3rd November 2010
Speaker: Barry Hodges, English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, University of Newcastle, Australia
This seminar presented a portrait of the Open Foundation Program of the University of Newcastle, Australia, a highly successful University-based enabling (widening participation) program of a type which seems to be uncommon in the UK. It provided some thoughts on its paths to success and some beginning reflections on differences with the UK approach to widening participation in order to raise some comparative questions about widening participation pathways.
Dr Barry Hodges is Program Coordinator of the University of Newcastle Open Foundation Program, the oldest and largest University-based Enabling Program in Australia. He has taught Philosophy at undergraduate level as well as in the Open Foundation Program for over ten years, sharing in a Vice-Chancellor’s Program Award for Teaching Excellence (2007), before becoming Coordinator of the Open Foundation Program in 2007. In 2009 he was Chief Investigator in an Australian Learning and Teaching Council project investigating student retention and attrition in the Open Foundation Program and is Chief Investigator of a major collaborative ALTC Competitive Grant project extending that investigation in 2011-12 to five Australian University-based enabling programs. His research interests include student retention in, and effective pedagogies for, enabling education and the implications of Karl Popper’s theory of science for philosophical and sociological accounts of knowledge.
Dr Hodges has extensive experience in both the formal and non-formal education sectors. Prior to becoming an academic he worked as secondary school teacher and later as a community educator. He has been a a member of a Curriculum Materials writing team for the South Australian Department of Education and a founding member of the innovative Development Education Group in Adelaide (SA). He was a major participant in a project to restructure the education program of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid and developed curriculum materials on the Geneva Conventions for the education program of the Australian Red Cross Society.