Edinburgh Napier University: ENroute Yearbook 2018 Edition - Page 5

ENroute Yearbook 2017-18 Developing Lecturing Styles in the Widening Participation Context Jamie Buchan, School of Applied Sciences, Fellow LEAPS (www.leapsonline.org) is a widening participation programme which includes intensive summer school teaching in Sociology and Criminology. My role was to develop and run a three-hour session on community penalties (probation, community payback, electronic ‘tagging’ etc). Although I only taught one session, it proved important for developing my teaching style. Inevitably, much of our teaching is on subjects in which we are not specialists. My experience of this led me to over-rely on written notes, meaning I communicated factual content correctly but with somewhat stilted delivery and limited interaction. Community penalties present difficulties for teaching, being surprisingly hard to define and obscure compared to other justice institutions (prisons, policing etc). However, because of my PhD research in this area, I felt confident to approach this teaching without extensive notes and experiment with a freer style of delivery, mixing group discussions into the lecture and raising specialist debates in the field even with this young and inexperienced cohort. Since then my delivery style in lectures is more confident and experimental, with less reliance on notes and more interactive discussion. Student feedback on my lectures improved noticeably as a result. My experience of LEAPS has also led me to consider wider issues related to the widening participation agenda, including whether we conceive ‘university readiness’ as simple subject matter knowledge or in terms of transferable thinking skills – a key issue in a field where we emphasise critical thinking about crime and justice. 3