A critical philosophical examination of the educational mission in Student Conduct practice in higher education

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kiara Fattah Allison (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Leila Villaverde

Abstract: As a Student Conduct professional, I felt a tension between the espoused educational mission of our field and the daily functions of my role, which did not seem to have anything to do with education. Therefore, this dissertation investigates the purported educational mission of Student Conduct practice in higher education by building from the careers worth of scholarship offered by Gert Biesta. To do this, I first conduct a historiography to understand the normative view of education within the broader field of Student Affairs. I found that although the dominant narratives that emerged from the historical discourse promote the idea that our work is educational, Student Affairs has always struggled to couple its functions with its supposed educational mission. Then, I explore ‘accountability’ and its relationship to education since it is assumed that holding students accountable is related to their learning. Here, using a hermeneutic approach, I demonstrate that we do not hold students accountable as much as we make students accountable through surveillance, tracking, sophisticated student databases, and misconduct reporting structures. Furthermore, I suggest that student accountability is more closely related to risk and brand management than it is to our supposed educational mission. Both aforementioned inquiries serve as attempts to deconstruct commonly held assumptions within our professions. Next, I offer suggestions on how we might affirmatively reconstruct our educational mission by shifting from pedagogies of essence, which focuses on who the student should be and become, towards pedagogies of existence, which involves what the student chooses to do in the world. Finally, to conclude this project, I introduce preliminary plans to continue this research, namely by focusing on the intersubjectivity of students and Student Conduct professionals. Here, I posit that this research may present a productive opportunity for our field to reimagine our interpretation of theory-to-practice by shifting from an externally focused endeavor, in which the goal is to control our students and predict their educational outcomes, to an internally focused pursuit of our own professional subjectivities. The result of this dissertation is an alternative articulation of the educational mission of our work as Student Conduct and Student Affairs professionals.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Cultural Foundations, Student Affairs, Student Conduct
College discipline
Student affairs services
Educational accountability

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