Facilitating Inclusive Teaching and Learning Spaces Through Digital Education Technology: Teaching and Learning Though Digital Technology

Facilitating Inclusive Teaching and Learning Spaces Through Digital Education Technology: Teaching and Learning Though Digital Technology

Tsediso Michael Michael Makoelle (Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan) and Michelle Irene Somerton (Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6261-0.ch003

Abstract

As more universities move towards a distance mode of teaching and learning, there are increasing opportunities to enroll students from a greater diversity of backgrounds. Often students have commitments that include family responsibilities and/or professional career engagements that make it difficult to physically attend classes. This chapter accounts for how digital technologies have been instrumental in supporting learning for postgraduate students in a Kazakhstani university school context. The authors present a qualitative account of research framed around Bourdieu's notion of habitus, where data was collected through unstructured interviews with purposefully selected faculty members and postgraduate students in one of the blended teaching and learning courses.
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Background

Theoretical Framework

The theory of Bourdieu is central in understanding how learning and teaching are framed within what he calls educational ‘habitus’. Habitus according to Bourdieu is a set of internalized dispositions within an individual or a group which determine how they will think and act (Brubaker, 1993). With habitus the agents (which are actors) conform to the principles and values privileged within the habitus (Nash, 1990). Such principles and values are embedded within the cultural capital which is fundamental and is transferred to new socialized members within the habitus (Tittenbrun, 2016). The habitus thus acts as a mediator and regulator of activities by the agents.

The digitization of learning and teaching spaces produces a habitus and amasses a unique kind of cultural capital which enables agents to be socialized within the habitus. The transference of this capital to other forms of habitus such as intellectual habitus is crucial for understanding the regulatory nature of the habitus itself (Brubaker 1993). The habitus puts forward a modus operandi as the way or method, and an opus operatum as the product or resulting outcome. The notion of modus operandi in a technologically digitized teaching and learning suggests some form of actions normative to dispositions framed by habitus. The present study sought to explore and problematize the extent to which digital technology enables or disables postgraduate students in the facilitation of inclusive teaching and learning. The results frame the way agency is produced through dispositions within the ‘habitas’ of a technologically digitized teaching and learning space, and the impact on student actions, participation, innovation, and performance.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Technologies: The technology that represents texts in a digitized format.

Education: The process of transferring knowledge from the knowledgeable to the less knowledgeable in an educative environment.

Inclusive Education: An equitable provision of education to all students in the way that respond to the individual needs of students in a less restrictive environment regardless of disability, gender, race, socio-economic state, ethnicity, or religion.

Inclusive Pedagogy: A pedagogy that makes learning inclusive to all students by changing attitudes, beliefs, teaching, and learning methods.

Information and Communication Technology: An integrated form of communication technologies that share information through telecommunications.

Equitable Learning: Learning that is geared towards closing the gap of disadvantage the students bring into the learning process.

Inclusion: The process by which people who have been excluded in a system are being included.

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