Choices, Decisions and Transitions: The politics, practices and possibilities of understanding transition as becoming. Dr Carol Taylor Jean Harris-Evans Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion This presentation • We want to unsettle established or ‘commonsense’ notions of transition as induction or development • Propose the concept of transition as becoming • Present some empirical data from two transitions projects • Use some ‘tools for thinking’ from Deleuze and Guattari (1987) and Cavarero (2000) to theorise transition as becoming • Think about the implications of this for transition practices • Consider some implications for research practice Transition: activities and practices • Course information days • Accommodation • Clearing open event • E Countdown campaign • Fresher's week • Course Induction week • Society fairs • Library tours • Academic tutorial system Transition: practices and norms • Linearity • Temporal logic • Time bounded • One off • Institution ↔ Student • Student engagement: ‘fitting in’ vs student voice Student Transitions and Experiences Project (STEP) Higher Education Transitions Project (HET) This project is designed to investigate Education Studies students’ perceptions and accounts of their decision-making processes in relation to university activities and strategies for conversion to full-time undergraduate study. recruitment marketing students’ perceptions influences on students decision and choice-making processes T1, T2, T3 Gale & Parker (2012: 5) Rethinking transition as Becoming • ‘All concepts are connected to problems without which they would have no meaning and which can themselves only be isolated or understood as their solution emerges’ (1991: 16) • Concepts are themselves emerging events which enable us to think of new possibilities • Stagoll (2005: 50) ‘A concept is created or thought anew in relation to every particular event, insight, experience or problem, thereby incorporating a notion of the contingency of the circumstance of each event’ • Concepts we are interested in: – Rhizome, Assemblage, Becoming Selina's Narrative • Yeah, it was horrible and like my dad lives in Wolverhampton now and so going there was a bit more like I might get to see my dad a bit more often, so that was quite where I was wanting to go with that, but then when I went to the open day I was like “I am not going here”, but then I applied for the course, because the course sounded quite good, so I applied for the course anyway and then I went to [university]s open day and the course sounded really good, but like the accommodation wasn't very good and I didn’t really like the idea of staying at home. I didn’t really want to do that but the accommodation was horrible. Yeah, it was horrible, and I applied for [university] and I went to their open day and I really liked it there. Yeah, because my boyfriend goes to [university] so I kind of knew quite well the area and things like that and so that was one of my options. And I didn’t come to [university’s] open day because at first it wasn’t really, or I hadn’t really thought about it as an option. I had just kind of put it on my UCAS form because I needed to fill it, I just put it on because I had never been to Sheffield before but I kind of knew of it. ermm, and I just, yeah, I just read the bits on the website and stuff and I kind of put it on because I needed to fill my spaces. And then after I had applied I looked in to it more and realised that I liked it more than I thought I had. And then I came to the post invite day … And when I came then, that is when I really found out that I liked it. Rhizome • Quotes from data x 3 and more explanation of concept Assemblage: Hazel’s Storyboard Assemblage Becoming: And, and, and I nearly, nearly – and they wouldn’t let me and I was so glad – changed courses after the first couple of weeks, because just initial workload and … we used to get a big booklet to read every week and I’m like, ‘I just can’t do it,’ and I didn’t understand a lot of it at the beginning and I got to the point and thought I just don’t like it and I went down to Student Services … and I nearly changed courses and they said, ‘that course is full, so you can either come back next September, but we recommend you just stick your course out for a bit and then if you still want to change’ … And I was like ‘fair do’s’ because there was no way I was not going to be at university anymore, it never even crossed my mind that I’d just quit … And then after the first couple of weeks, it was just like, I was just so pleased I didn’t change because I really enjoy it … Everyone else were like sort of treading lightly around it and my sister was just like, ‘stop being soft and just get on with it.’ Michael. Cavarero: Narratable selves • Desire for narration • Narratable selves • Telling and hearing our story is about becoming a narrative ‘who’ not an abstract philosophical ‘what’ – our narratives constitute each of us as a ‘living singularity’ not an abstract universal • Relational ethic within the collective Implications for transitions practice(s) • Recognizing singularity and multiplicity • Relationship focused approach? • Relationality • Social justice • What is learning? • What is the idea of the University? • Rethink what is fixed and established about an institution Implications for researching transition • Transition is a moving concept, constituted differently within each event and singularity • Ethics: Entanglement of researched-researcher-data • Need to seek new ways of representing and writing about transition Questions? Contact details • • Dr Carol Taylor C.Taylor@shu.ac.uk • http://www.shu.ac.uk/research/ern/sp_carol_taylor.html • • • Jean Harris-Evans J.Harris-Evans@shu.ac.uk To find out more about the Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion: • http://www.shu.ac.uk/faculties/ds/deci/ References • • • • • • Cavarero, A. (2000). Relating narratives: Storytelling and selfhood. trans. Paul A. Kottman, London, Routledge. Delanda, M. (2006). A New Philosophy of Society. London, Continuum. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. London, Continuum. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1994) What is philosophy? New York, Columbia University Press. Gale, T. and Parker, S. (2012). Navigating change: A typology of student transition in higher education, Studies in Higher Education, ifirst. Coleman, B. and Ringrose, J. (2013) (eds.) Deleuze and research methodologies. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.