What does higher education learning and teaching enable students to do and to become? Which human capabilities are valued in higher education, and how do we identify them? How might the human capability approach lead to improved student learning, as well as to accomplished and ethical university teaching? This book sets out to generate new ways of reflecting ethically about the purposes and values of contemporary higher education in relation to agency, learning, public values and democratic life, and the pedagogies which support these. It offers an alternative to human capital theory and emphasises the intrinsic as well as the economic value of higher learning. Based upon the human capability approach, developed by economist Amartya Sen and philosopher Martha Nussbaum, the book shows the importance of justice as a value in higher education. It places freedom, human flourishing, and students' educational development at its centre. Furthermore, it takes up the value Sen attributes to education in the capability approach, and demonstrates its relevance for higher education. "Higher Education Pedagogies" offers illustrative narratives of capability, learning and pedagogy, drawing on student and lecturer voices to demonstrate how this multi-dimensional approach can be developed and applied in higher education. It suggests an ethical approach to higher education practice, and to teaching and learning policy development and evaluation. As such, the book is essential reading for students and scholars of higher education, as well as university lecturers, managers and policy-makers concerned with teaching and learning.
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Dr Melanie Walker is Reader in Educational Studies in the School of Education, University of Sheffield. Her previous posts were at the Universities of the West of England, Glasgow and the Western Cape. Her research and publication interests focus on capabilities, student and lecturer identity formation, diversity, equality and social justice in higher education.
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