Reference List Entry:

Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy, Sam L. Drovakova, Kelly E. Matthews, Sofia Abbot, Breagh Cheng, Peter Felten, and Kelly Swaim. 2017. "A Systematic Literature Review of Students as Partners in Higher Education." International Journal for Students as Partners 1 (2): 1-23.

About this Journal Article:

In this comprehensive literature review on the subject of Students as Partners (SaP) Mercer-Mapstone et al. are guided by an overarching question about “[h]ow are “students as partners” practices in higher education presented in the academic literature” (p. 4). The article offers a comprehensive analysis of the percentage of publications authored by faculty/academic staff, undergraduate students, and post doctoral researchers; percentage of publications coming from specific disciplines, as well as the types of partnerships frequently undertaken, a detailed and clear picture of the positive and, in some cases, negative, outcomes of student-faculty engagement, and finally, proposes areas within the subject of student-faculty partnership for further investigation and development.

The authors also address some of the major characteristics of student-faculty partnerships, highlighting the importance of reciprocity in the relationship, which can be understood as a form of shared responsibility in the process of learning, shared goals and risks, viewing students as co-learners and/or colleagues, i.e. a relationship that destabilizes the traditional power hierarchy between the faculty and students. Interestingly, the authors conclude that the analysis of current scholarship about subject of student-faculty partnerships shows that this does not always translate into shared authorship: the vast majority of research published on the topic of SaP is authored primarily by faculty, concluding that “[w]hile our literature review captured a plethora of SaP practices premised on the ideals of reciprocity and shared responsibility, the artifacts (publications) of those interactions tended to be staff-centric” (p. 14).