Parents as ‘stakeholders’ and their conceptions of teaching excellence in higher education in England

Wood, Margaret and Su, Feng (2018) Parents as ‘stakeholders’ and their conceptions of teaching excellence in higher education in England. International Journal of Comparative Education and Development. ISSN 2309-4907 (Accepted for Publication)

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Purpose - The purpose of the study was to explore parents as 'stakeholders' in higher education in England and how they perceive teaching excellence. Design/methodology/approach - The study adopted a qualitative research design using an interpretative approach which aimed to develop understandings of parents' perspectives as higher education ‘stakeholders’. The empirical data was gathered via focus group interviews and an online survey with twenty-four participants in the UK. Findings - This study found that the majority of parents wished to be treated as an important stakeholder group in higher education. Parent participants perceived that teaching excellence could be evidenced through indicators and measures, for example, the design and delivery of the courses, progress measures, contact hours, speed of return of marked work, graduate employability and so on. They also saw value and significance in the students' exposure to ideas and perspectives not previously experienced, in zeal and passion in the teaching, and in an academically nurturing, understanding and supportive pedagogical relationship between academic and student. Originality/value - This study uncovered some apparent tensions, contradictions and challenges for parents as stakeholders in higher education, for example, in reconciling the co-existence of their desire to be involved and engaged with scope for students to be formed as independent young adults. Parents’ desire to measure teaching excellence is also compounded by their concern that excellent teaching is thereby reduced to a box-ticking exercise. This study has implications for higher education institutions wishing to engage parents as a stakeholder group in a meaningful way.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article which will be published by Emerald in International Journal of Comparative Education and Development. Once published it will be available online at:
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Education Studies
Depositing User: FRANK SU
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 13:01
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2018 13:01

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