Jan McArthur is a lecturer in education and social justice within the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University, UK (although she is originally from Melbourne and studied and taught at Monash University).
Her research explores the nature and purposes of higher education. She has a particular interest in critical theory and conceptions of social justice, particularly challenging traditional notions of higher education and argues instead for a reconsideration of the relationship between economic and social purposes of HE from perspectives other than the wealthy, already privileged or powerful. Her book Rethinking Knowledge in Higher Education: Adorno and Social Justice uses the lens of Adorno’s critical theory to consider higher education as a place of engagement with complex and contested knowledge. It considers the social justice implications of ensuring students experience knowledge in genuine ways that ‘bear the marks of mistakes, revisions, rethinks, challenges and even misunderstandings’. Underpinning this work is a challenge to the dichotomisation of theory and practice to reconnect with the social justice purposes of higher education.
Jan has worked on a number of projects around issues of sharing control with students, co-navigation of courses and nurturing genuine dialogue through feedback and other teaching-learning interactions. She is a co-author of the recent Bloomsbury book, Reflective Teaching in Higher Education, which aims to provide accessible and research-informed analysis and insights into key areas of the HE teaching practice.
Jan is currently working on a book titled Assessment for Social Justice, and an article introducing key themes of this work was recently published in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education.
Abstracts this author is presenting: