The traditional model of education in the tertiary sector positions the lecturer, tutor, and student in a hierarchical relationship to each other which results in a ‘top down’ flow of information and learning. The assumption underpinning this model is that the lecturer is the only person equipped to provide knowledge which is imparted to the students via the facilitation of the tutor. It ignores the possibility of collaborative learning based on the multiple knowledges of all persons in the equation, and therefore misses a unique opportunity for mutual learning to occur. By applying critical reflection as the theoretical framework for practice, synergistic learning opportunities can arise that sees the traditional learning structure inverted or morphed into an iterative process involving all the players. The authors were coordinator and tutor respectively for the second year undergraduate unit Culture & Society. In this session, we discuss the structures and processes which were designed to create an environment of mutual support and learning. Using mechanisms such as student focused discussion, reflective journals and mentoring, we found ourselves learning from each other and from the students on how to engage with difficult and controversial content.
Darlaston-Jones, D. & Owen, A. (2011). A collaborative learning and critical reflexivity model of anti-racism education. Paper presented as part of the symposium From theory, through evidence to practice in psychology education. 46th Annual APS Conference, Canberra, ACT, 3-8 October, 2011.