Student ambassadors: ‘role models’, learning practices and identities

Gartland, Clare (2014) Student ambassadors: ‘role models’, learning practices and identities. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36 (8). pp. 1192-1211. ISSN 0142-5692

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Employing students to market higher education (HE) and widen access is established practice in the United Kingdom and other developed countries. In the United Kingdom, student ambassadors are held to be effective in aspiration and attainment-raising work and cited as ‘role-models’ for pupils. The focus of this paper is student ambassador outreach work in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics including medicine) at two contrasting universities. The study deployed ethnography and approaches from across the social sciences to trace and analyse discourses surrounding ambassadors, and to explore their positioning within learning contexts, relationships with pupils and the learning that takes place. Findings indicate that where ambassadors work collaboratively with pupils in contexts with ‘informal attributes’, pupils can identify closely with them. However, in contexts with more ‘formal attributes’, differences, not similarities, are highlighted. Stakeholder interests are found to significantly impact on learning contexts and on ambassadors’ efficacy as HE ‘role-models’.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: student ambassadors, higher education, widening participation, science, technology, engineering and mathematics including medicine, role-models, informal learning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Applied Social Sciences
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2018 10:56
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2018 14:50

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