Pseud or sound?

7 12 2005

Is this a profound and meaningful job or just a load of guff? I find it difficult to decide! It is a ‘Learning and Progression Project Manager’ post at a neigbouring institution (OK, Birmingham)

Join our efforts to make Birmingham’s excellent curriculum accessible to those who have the innate ability to benefit from it, and to ensure that all students are supported academically to reach their full potential with us. We need someone who can develop, with input from academic colleagues, and evaluate initiatives that will identify and support those students who, for whatever reason, appear not to be achieving their full potential or in danger of discontinuing. You will have a professional insight into pedagogic approaches and knowledge of initiatives and research in this area. You will also be committed to evidence-based evaluation of student progression and capabilities.

It’s the final two sentences I find hardest to comprehend. Does it really mean that you should be an ex-teacher who prefers fact to fantasy? Or am I missing something?




One response

7 12 2005
John Dale

I was sufficiently intrigued by this to go to Birmingham’s web site and read the full particulars. (They’re here if anyone else is interested.

The long version makes slightly more sense than the extract; it’s about designing induction programs and modules to help students with academic/life skills. Not unlike our own PDP co-ordinator role, perhaps, though the description is littered with gobs of jargon; “develop early, diagnostic assessment processes that then inform a proactive response to individual patterns of learning”. Why not say “Help students to learn in ways that suit them”? But then it wouldn’t be pedagogy, I suppose.

But the bit that really tickles me is:-

identify and support those students who, for whatever reason, appear not to be achieving their full potential…

I have a vision of the post-holder monitoring the campus from some sort of CCTV helicopter, spotting an under-achiever, then going round to their house in the evening and saying “You aren’t fulfilling your potential. Here, I’ve brought you a new ring binder”.


I like the ring-binder approach to maximising achievement I must admit.

I couldn’t bear to look at the full details though! Further reflection makes me even more confused by the idea of those who are not achieving “for whatever reason” – suggests that the appointee WILL have to visit their houses just to ensure that they cover all the possible reasons.

(Am now just waiting for a helpful critique of the last job ad I placed…)

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