A hermeneutic phenomenological investigation of the lived experiences of educators facilitating higher-order thinking skills in Higher Education

Healey-Benson, Felicity (2023) A hermeneutic phenomenological investigation of the lived experiences of educators facilitating higher-order thinking skills in Higher Education. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity St David.

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Irrespective of discipline, educators in Higher Education (HE) are expected to develop students’ higher-order thinking skills (HOTS). University curriculum paperwork often refer to the deep-thinking levels of Bloom’s original or updated taxonomy (Bloom, 1956; Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) which amplify HOTS as analytical, synthetic, and evaluative. Despite academic institution focus, further petitioned by global business demand, graduate employability reports claim highly qualified graduates lack these skills (Kosbie et al., 2017). Evidence also suggests educators feel insufficiently prepared to support HOTS (e.g., Retnawati et al., 2018). HOTS-themed research predominantly focuses on the student experience or quantitatively-measured outcomes. The research aims to ontologically understand HE educators experience of facilitating HOTS. Heideggerian and Gadamerian philosophy and van Manen’s ‘Phenomenology of Practice’ infuse the research design. Heideggerian ontological existential analytic and van Manen’s life-world existentials guided the data analysis for exploration of the meaning of 12 HE educators experiences accessed through online interviews. Findings indicate that HE educators facilitating HOTS are engaged as ‘Journey to Mind Mentors sans Frontiers’. The HE educator appears to experience HOTS facilitation as a) Threshold Aid to Authentic Agency; b) Conduit and Space-Maker, Shaping the Environment for Context, Challenge, Connection, and Curiosity; c) Authentic Responsive Being, an Attentive and Adaptive Role Model Navigating Paradoxical Zones; d) Truth Catalyst, Mediating Meaningful Horizon-expanding Inquiry through Discourse, Challenge, Exploration, and Introspection; and e) Journey Sustenance, Gifting Self, Mentally, Emotionally, and/or Physically, though Affective and Cognitive Disclosure, and Sensitive Response. Through mimesis, the study also crafted 12 persona vignettes to evoke insight into the phenomenon. Findings are intended to assist educators' HOTS facilitation preparedness and practice, and influence HEI leadership and professional support. The insights of the educators’ lived-throughness of HOTS facilitation have practical implications for mitigating academic staff well-being and retention challenges. The research aims to contribute beyond the business school context.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Dr Felicity Healey-Benson
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2023 10:40
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2023 11:25
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/2422

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