Bridging sociocultural Incongruity in the undergraduate Education Curriculum (BIEC)

Who is involved?

  • Dr Marie Stevenson
  • Dr Bronwyn James
  • Dr Minkang Kim

What are we doing?

This program supports students from non-traditional backgrounds by embedding academic support related to the development of critical thinking into the curriculum.

With increasing numbers of students from non-traditional backgrounds (e.g. low-SES, first-in-family, non-English-speaking background), there is a growing responsibility to provide appropriate academic support for these students. Students from non-traditional backgrounds are likely to be less familiar than other students with the assumptions, values and expectations underlying skills and practices common in university settings. Devlin uses the term 'sociocultural incongruity' to describe such gaps between students from non-traditional and traditional backgrounds.

Currently, academic support is not integrated into the Education curriculum, meaning that many students do not seek it, or if they do, may have difficulty relating it what takes place in the university classroom. Therefore, there is a strong need to embed academic support into actual subject teaching.

The BIEC project embeds academic support for the development of critical thinking skills into a foundation first year undergraduate education unit that attracts 450-500 students and develops a template for embedding academic support more broadly into the undergraduate Education curriculum.