Satisfaction, settlement and exposition: conversation and the university tutorial

Amanda Fulford

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
    229 Downloads (Pure)


    In this paper, I consider the tutorial conversation in Higher Education. To focus the discussion I use the scenario of a tutorial conversation between a lecturer and a student. I begin by suggesting that the increasing emphasis placed on student satisfaction in certain Higher Education Institutions tends to focus the tutorial conversation towards a form of settlement that I then consider in light of Thoreau's Walden. To explore what other conversation might be possible, I turn to the philosophical writing of Martin Buber. I discuss his 'life of dialogue' in relation to the distinction he draws between I and Thou and between I and It and to how Nancy Vansieleghem and Jan Masschelein analyse this in relation to the 2002 film, Le Fils. With reference to the film adaptation of Alan Bennett's The History Boys, I suggest a different starting point for the tutorial conversation. I conclude that the tutorial discussion, seen as an invitation to speak, and as a form of exposition and dialogue, is the possibility of the opening up of a new dimension of thinking and acting. This is the invitation to a conversation in education that is itself truly educative.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)114-122
    Number of pages9
    JournalEthics and Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


    • Buber
    • conversation
    • discussion
    • satisfaction
    • settlement
    • tutorial
    • unsettling; Thoreau


    Dive into the research topics of 'Satisfaction, settlement and exposition: conversation and the university tutorial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this