Engagement through partnership: Students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education
Writing primarily for the teaching faculty in higher education institutions worldwide with interest in engaging students as partners in learning and teaching, as well as for the administrative staff willing to develop institutional culture of partnership, Mick Healey, Abbi Flint, and Kathy Harrington’s Report titled Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education (2014) claims that developing partnerships between faculty and students in the area of teaching and learning is a pedagogically sound endeavor for it generates student engagement and, consequently, delivers better learning experience.
As authors make a pedagogical case for developing student-faculty partnerships in learning and teaching in higher education, they offer a conceptual model for exploring the areas in which students and faculty can work together; outline the models for sustainable and successful partnerships; identify tensions that might arise with the shifts in power relationships, risk-taking, the development of trust, etc.; and, identify areas for further research.
Healey, Flint and Harrington view student-faculty partnership as a process rather than goal and outcomes driven activity and, as such, one that has the potential to dramatically transform the purpose and structure of higher education that is largely based on delivering results in the form of outcomes through assessment. The authors maintain that unlike the current model that is end-oriented, the student-faculty partnership is pedagogy that is “(radically) open to and creating possibilities for discovering and learning something that cannot be known beforehand” (p. 9).