What are our big ideas about a #coopuni? 9 November 2017 in Manchester

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#coopuni event, 9 Nov 2017, Manchester

Chrissi from CELT attended the inaugural event in Manchester that had a focus on a future Cooperative University and writes a little reflective narrative about the day. The plan was to keep it short… but it ended up a bit longer. Hopefully it is useful to others. Here it comes…

I was intrigued to find out more about it. Could a cooperative university present an attractive alternative higher education model? Thank you Ronnie for bringing this event to my attention.

A cooperative university, is a thought provoking idea. But what is the need for such a university? What would it achieve that other universities don’t and how? Is an alternative higher education needed and could such a university progressively transform existing institutions? Is this desirable? Are there opportunities within existing universities to have cooperative clusters, for example? How about open cooperatives?

I was looking forward to find out more about the cooperative university and meet Ronnie Macintyre my open practitioner buddy and others who have a vision to create alternative higher education opportunities through democratic participation. However, is this not what open education is also working towards? How does the idea for a cooperative university link to the ethos and values of open education?

Furthermore, I was interested in finding out how my practice and research in open education (Nerantzi, 2017) and particularly in open and cross-institutional academic development and collaborative open learning relates to cooperative ideas and the cooperative movement.

The aims of the day as communicated at the opening of the day were
> bring ideas together
> facilitate a mutually supportive environment
> establish a co-operative higher education forum (CHEF)

From the delegates list, I could see we were around 90 from a range of backgrounds. In the morning, after an introduction to the history of the cooperative college and related activities especially since 2010, a range of cooperative projects from across the UK were shared. After listening carefully, I think what is different in these educational initiatives is how they operate.

This is what I noticed: I can see how they are (more) cooperative. Or are they actually collaborative? I don’t know much, or very little I should say about the governance dimension of cooperatives. This is something I would like to find out more to better understand what this is all about. But I suspect that the area of governance is what differentiates a cooperative from other initiatives and businesses. It seems to me that cooperatives have the community at the heart, the collective. They aim to empower individuals but also the cooperative as a whole. The cooperative as a community. I think also to create a sense of belonging. The example from Spain of the cooperative University of Mandragora illustrated this really well through its flat structures, autonomy of faculties and the lived and dynamic culture of innovation in learning, teaching and research. It was refreshing to hear about this model that was not just an idea but something that was implemented and working. I would have liked to ask questions especially around the challenges and how these are resolved but we watched a recording so this opportunity was not there. I will have a look online to find some more information about this university as well as related research.
In the earlier examples, learning for life and for learning’s sake where mentioned, often as an alternative model to a focus on employability which is often the case in universities. While I can see value in empowering individuals to love learning, often the people we would hope to reach, are the ones who might be disadvantaged and helping them get a job would be a great achievement. Otherwise, I think otherwise any cooperative university could become exclusive and elitist? Don’t know where these thoughts are taking me now but it is something that popped into my head and wanted to share.

I can see the potential links between the idea for a cooperative university and open education but I struggle to articulate them. Could the cooperative movement provide an attractive business model for open education? Could you have open cooperatives? Not sure if business model is the right term here… but is there an opportunity to marry the two?

As I was seeing the links between open and cooperatives, it was obvious to me. I was expecting to hear something around open education, open practices, open educational resources, open badges but none of the examples shared mentioned something related. The ecological university (Barnett, 2016) and learning ecologies (Jackson, 2016) also didn’t feature. And what about the Porous University (Lennon, 2010; Macintyre, 2016). These concepts don’t promise new higher education institutions but propose to transform the existing ones from within. At least this is my understanding.

Because none of the above were not mentioned during the day, does of course not mean that the links have not been made. I need to do some reading!!! The ethos and values of open education, however, were at the heart of the initiatives that were shared. I am wondering if there is an opportunity or even a need to closer link up cooperative and open learning? What about collaboration? It was hardly mentioned… Also, are the UNESCO and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals relevant to a cooperative university?

Themes that provided discussion foci in the afternoon workshops were the following:
> Democracy, members and governance
> Knowledge, curriculum and pedagogy
> Livelihood and finances
> Bureaucracy and accreditation

I joined the pedagogy group in the afternoon as I felt that my interests would fit best but wondering now if the workshop around Democracy, members and governance would have been useful too. Would this have given me a flavour of what this is all about? We all had questions. I had more questions at the end of the workshop than at the beginning which really made me think hard about what a cooperative university would be about. I am searching for an answer myself and with others in some of the discussions we had. I think more work needs to be done to articulate the purpose and vision for a cooperative university before embarking on defining a specific pedagogical model. I think the working group that has been set-up has this purpose. Something much more organic, flexible or even elastic and open, is needed that would give learners choice. Choice to pursue what they want. And while there were some discussions that the courses might not be accredited… I think accreditation is still very important, especially in cases where such an accreditation of learning through the cooperative university would be a lifeline and not a luxury some individuals can easily find or afford elsewhere. There were mixed views about the use of technology in a cooperative university and my thoughts are that for some the online engagement might be the only viable option, for others it might not work. If such a university is going to empower the ones in real need to engage in learning, they should also have access and be able to work towards accreditation, if they wish. In my mind, a cooperative university shouldn’t be a second or third class university. And I am thinking here of providing access to education to homeless citizens for example for whom such education would give new hope and a new positive purpose in life and help them return to become contributing members of our society.

During the day, I did a lot of listening. What hooked me was the idea of and for positive disruption and making big ideas happen. But what are these big ideas linked to the cooperative university? Have they been articulated? Are they still work-in-progress? I was searching for some of them myself and in discussions with others. What makes a good idea, a big idea that gives it importance, urgency and empowers us to act?

Thank you to all organisers for a thought provoking day. Maybe there is now an opportunity to come together to draw our cooperative university or make a model of it. Such playful and pan-participatory approaches have the potential to release our inner big ideas… share them with others so that we can link them, develop them into concepts and make them happen… together…


References

Barnett, R. (2011) The coming of the ecological university, Journal Oxford Review of Education, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp. 439-455, available at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03054985.2011.595550

Jackson, N. (2016) Exploring learning ecologies, Chalk Mountain

Lennon, E. (2010) ‘The Porous University‘, New Perspectives: Arts and Humanities Enter a New Phase, London: Times Higher, Supplement on Trinity College London

Mackintyre, R. (2016) The Porous University, RoughBounds, 9 November 2016, available at https://roughbounds.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/the-porous-university/

Nerantzi, C (2017) Towards a framework for cross-boundary collaborative open learning for cross-institutional academic development, PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University: Edinburgh

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Festival of Social Science event at Manchester Metropolitan University

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‘Deal with each other in the spirit of Ubuntu’

Place: Brooks Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Bonsall Street, Manchester M15 6GX Reception tel: +44 (0) 161 247 2646

Time: 2-5pm

Date: 9th November 2016

This creative programme of activity brings together a world-class social scientist with students from Manchester universities and two community artists. An exhibition, a walking tour, and creation of a collaborative artwork, will help to create a unique experience themed around global citizenship and the idea of ‘community’ that will shine a light on the ways in which social sciences and the creative arts can come together.

This event is completely free and open to all.

Please use the following link to sign up to attend:

http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/cpd/viewcourse.php?unit_id=234

 

Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti: Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change, at the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Vanessa has extensive experience working across sectors internationally in areas of education related to international development, global citizenship, indigeneity and social accountability.  Her work combines poststructuralist and postcolonial concerns in examining educational discourses and designing viable pedagogical pathways to address problematic patterns of international engagements, flows and representations of inequality and difference in education. Many of her publications are available at: https://ubc.academia.edu/VanessadeOliveiraAndreotti.

Kerry Morrison – Environment Artist and In-Situ Director

Kerry Morrison merges art with ecology to produce intriguing interventions in the everyday landscape of our urban lives. Through a conspicuous process of walking, talking, listening, drawing, collecting, and performance, she explores people’s connections with the environment: how we move through it, take from it, and add to it. Her approach is durational and transitory whereby art is a verb: a process of action, dialogue, and performative patterns resulting in new, shared experiences and unfolding narratives. She co-founded InSitu, a not-for-profit artist-led organization based in Pendle, East Lancashire. In Situ nurtures into existence art that addresses local issues with the aim to make a positive difference to people’s lives and the environment.

Mary Courtney – visual artist and poet

“I like to experiment with drawing and different visual art forms, to play with words and ideas and bring out creativity in others”.

Mary has been artist in residence at Warwick University Chemistry Department during 2016, leading art workshops for staff and students and scripting and producing a chem-art film called “Planet Biscuit: Into the Micronosphere”. She’s organised giant community map-making events, with hundreds of participants, including the “Mappa Magnificellaneous” this year. Art-poetry combinations have been exhibited at Compton Verney, Tate Modern and MediaCityUK. She has received poetry awards from the National Poetry Competition, the International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine and Cambridge University.

 

For more details contact:

Alicia Prowse at Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Manchester Metropolitan University, a.prowse@mmu.ac.uk

Valeria Vargas at Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, v.vargas@mmu.ac.uk

Susan Brown, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, Susan.A.Brown@manchester.ac.uk

Audiovisual material in teaching – ESD-

You are warmly invited to attend the next Sustainability in the Curriculum meeting  (Manchester Met in collaboration with UoM)

on 

Wednesday, 22nd June,  2 to 4pm Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Room JD E419

 

 

We will be exploring with Dr Vitalia Kinakh (School of Dentistry)  how audiovisual material (video clips, films and images) can be used to present/engage students with sustainability issues. Dr Kinakh will  discuss how she  is using audio visual materials to present sustainability related issues  in dentistry.

You are invited to ‘bring’ to this meeting any audiovisual materials you (staff and students)  use for the purpose of engaging others with sustainability issues. These will form a part of our explorations.

 

Discussion questions may include the following (alongside any questions/related topics that you would like to discuss in relation to this topic):

  •       Do educators from different faculties/schools make use of audiovisual resources in their teaching to illustrate issues of sustainability?
  •       Does the use of audiovisual resources help students to make emotional connection to sustainability?
  •    Who should be responsible for selecting audiovisual resources for use in lectures/ seminars?

 

Hope to see you there. All welcome, staff and students

Festival of Learning and Teaching: Programme Available Now!

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CELT is very pleased to share the programme of the Festival of Learning and Teaching for June 2016! There are over 50 events, workshops and talks taking place, so there is something for everyone.

We’ve categorised the events to 6 themes –

It is easy to select events according to which campus you’d like to attend on as well. Simply select Crewe or Manchester to filter the results.

We’ll be offering a prize draw entry to anyone who attends three or more Festival sessions. You can also use attendance at the Festival sessions to form a basis for aFLEX portfolio which you can use for credit towards a PGC in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, or an MA in Higher Education, or to support an application forHigher Education Academy professional recognition. Collaborative partners and other guests are welcome to attend sessions.

Go to www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/festival/ to see all the events and to book.

Tag Cloud

Creative Support for Reflection and Assessment – Complexities in Assessment –  Skills Fair –  How to… set up your first digital portfolio – Academic Study Skills: Critical reading and writing –  Distance Working –  Interdisciplinary Collaboration –  Academic Study Skills: Presentation Skills –  Digital Portfolios –  What’s your curriculum for? Embedding Sustainability –  An Introduction to Moodle 3 –  Delivering an Inclusive Curriculum –  Augmented Reality – a concept too far? –  Learning Through Objects –  Making your Moodle areas more student-friendly –  Personalising Education –  Academic Study Skills: Masters Level Writing –  Induction Challenge –  Extending Your Practice – Learning & Teaching in Computing, Maths & Digital Technology –  Supporting Transitions –  Interdisciplinary Teaching –  How to … use video with your students –  Play your Mods Right –  Stand and Deliver? –  OMG Manchester –  Steps to Internationalisation –  Academic Study Skills: Planning Demystified –  Pedagogic Research in HE drop in session –  A will to learn … –   Academic Study Skills: Exam Techniques – Planning for PARM (Preparing your documentation) –  CARPE Learning Lab –  Ready Steady Teach –  Academic Study Skills –  Novel approaches – What’s your story: using collaborative story-making to enhance learning –  How to… do basic video editing for your teaching

The role of education institutions in tackling climate change

Friday 13th May, University of Manchester, 11am-3.30pm. A UCU / NUS event exploring the role of education institutions in tackling climate change in the light of the Paris global agreement, focussing on education, research and finance. Speakers include Lisa Nandy MP (Shadow Energy Minister) and Energy UK.

Source: The role of education institutions in tackling climate change

Call for Papers: Symposium “Universities and Climate Change: the Role of Higher Education Institutions in Addressing the Mitigation and Adaptation Challenges” Manchester, United Kingdom, 1st -2nd September 2016

Dear Colleagues,

 

Many universities across the world perform state- of-the art research on matters related to climate change, both in respect of

mitigation, and adaptation. Yet, as shown by the latest 21st Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Climate Change
(COP 21), held in Paris in December 2015, there is much room for improvements in the role played by universities in the negotiations and in influencing decision-making on a matter of such a global importance.

There are unfortunately relatively few events where a multidisciplinary overview of university-based research efforts and projects on climate change can be show cased, and where researchers from across the spectrum of the natural and social sciences have had the opportunity to come together to discuss research methods, the results of
empirical research or exchange ideas about on-going and future research initiatives focusing on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

It is against this background that the Symposium “Universities and Climate Change: the Role of  Higher Education Institutions in Addressing the Mitigation and Adaptation Challenges
is being organised  by Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and HAW Hamburg, Germany, under the auspices of the  International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP).
It will be held in Manchester, United Kingdom, on 1st -2nd September 2016.

The Symposium will involve researchers in the field of climate change in the widest sense, not only
from traditional climate science, but also from the fields of environment, human geography, business and economics, arts, administration and media studies.

The Symposium will focus on the role of higher education institutions in addressing the
mitigation and adaptation challenges and will contribute to the further development of this fast-growing field.  All papers will be peer-reviewed and the accepted ones will
be published in the “Handbook of Climate Change Research at Universities: addressing the mitigation and adaptation challenges”. This will be a unique, state-of-the-art publication, which will document and promote the research on climate change taking place at universities across the world. The publication will be  part of the award-winning
“Climate Change Management Sustainability Series” (launched in 2008), published
by Springer, one of the world´s top five scientific publishers.

Selected papers presented at the event, will be published in a special issue of the International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, which is a fully indexed journal. The call for papers can be seen
here: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/call_for_papers.htm?id=6464.
Please note that no ad hoc submissions are possible. Only papers presented at the event and discussed,
may be considered.

If you are working and/or publishing on climate change, this is an event not to be missed.Further details can be seen at:
http://www.haw-hamburg.de/en/ftz-als/veranstaltungen/universities2016.html

Rgds,
Walter Leal

Chair

Blog post contributed by Prof. Walter Leal

ESD meeting next week

Next week our ESD meeting with colleagues from Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Manchester, will take place at the Geoffrey Manton Building Room GM233 2-4pm on Wednesday 16 March. You are very welcome to join us.

The session will be led by Jane Mörk, Senior Research Assistant- Carbon Literacy, School of Science & the Environment.

Please find below an outline of the session:

Keywords: Carbon Literacy, Climate change, extracurricular vs curricular, transferable skills, employability

 The Carbon Literacy project is a world’s first unique training programme that stems from Manchester’s Climate change action plan– Manchester a Certain Future (MACF). According to MACF, everyone that lives works and studies in Manchester should have access to one days’ worth of Carbon Literacy training.

Carbon Literacy is defined as:

“An awareness of the carbon costs and impacts of everyday activities

and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions on an individual,

community and organisational basis.”

 The aim of this workshop is to share Manchester Met’s experience of delivering Carbon Literacy to students. The workshop will start off with a presentation that covers:

  • Background to the Carbon Literacy Project.
  • Background to Manchester Met’s involvement with the Carbon Literacy Project.
  • Manchester Met’s new Carbon Literacy scheme: Carbon Literacy for Students (CL4Ss) and Carbon Literacy facilitator programme.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion covering topics such as:

How can a University support the Carbon Literacy Project?

Should Carbon Literacy be embedded in the curriculum or should it be delivered through extracurricular activities?

 

Related links: The Carbon Literacy Project- website  – Carbon Literacy in a single side