Wednesday, 7 December 2011

I predict an education riot


I have told my students about this seminar on the Summer 2011 riots:

I Predict A Riot
Professor Ken Worpole, Cities Institute, LMBS, will be presenting at a seminar on what the riots mean for our city. He will talk on 'Public Space, Public Health and Urban Connectivity' and how the quality of the spaces where people live reflect the lives of the communities they serve.
The seminar followed by a panel discussion will be held on Thursday 8 December from 5pm to 6.30pm at: Unit 4 Union Wharf, 23 Wenlock Road, London N1 7SB.  RSVP joy.burgess@fha.co.uk

My view is that the riots were also about the learning spaces that we inhabit and that - especially in London - these were the great EDUCATION riots of 2011. 

Research from the child poverty action group in the 1980s indicated that if you wanted more families from non-privileged backgrounds to stay on at school, maintenance grants were necessary and lo in the twinkling of a couple of decades EMA were born. By 2011 you could pass an inner city secondary school and over hear the students talking about university: and not just as an abstract concept - but in terms of which university and what course they were considering. It seems that the very millisecond that this sort of thinking occurred, EMA was scrapped, fees shot up to £9K per year... and riots broke out.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Freire, 'favela', slum clearance and the demonising of the white w/class

This week one of my Educational responses to refugees students delivered a wonderful interactive workshop on second language acquisition drawing on the work of Paolo Freire (http://prezi.com/p5zxcpterqx-/second-language-acquisition-according-to-paulo-freire/?auth_key=dbbdcbb5ab595178c27481b128336260549bbc0b)  
She illustrated his method by exploring the word FAVELA (slum) - and since then I have watched Unsung Town Re-visited - Gareth Malone going back to South Okhey... There was such a powerful connection in my mind with the work of Freire and Malone - and attitudes towards refugees and the (white) working class.

So - make time to watch this ‘educational response to refugees’ (before Monday 5th December 2011 or find it on the web) http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b017yxhd/The_Choir_Unsung_Town_Revisited/ 

South Okhey is what you make when you have slum clearance without consultation with and not ‘for’ the people you clear. After the war people from the East End of London were moved to this hidden estate – and rendered silent and invisible in the process. Subsequent re-demonising of the white working class have made people like this the only ‘legitimate’ targets of middle class contempt and derision – which is why I have called these people refugees and this an educational response. 

If the original Choir - Unsung Town is out there - watch that too!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Some creative things to explore – and to use in your workshops

Here are some more creative ideas that my students are using

Challenging activities/tasks that can be adapted & built into your workshop – or any teaching:
http://www.slideshare.net/adm111/challenge-toolkit

This has lots of ideas from the Creative Teaching & Learning Toolkit – again – have a look to see what you could adapt for your own session:
http://www.slideshare.net/adm111/the-plenary-producer-9521503

This slideshow could be viewed as a visual essay:
http://youreport.newstalk.ie/story/404

Stephen Fry animation – on self pity. Useful for seeding a talk on some of the emotional aspects of studying:
http://youreport.newstalk.ie/story/404
www.slideshare.net
The Challenge Toolkit provides 50 different activities to stretch and extend students' thinking. They can be used for all ages and subjects. From Guardian Teach
 ·  ·  ·  · 18 November at 22:04

Authentic assignments, student engagement and all that

This is such a strange time for HE. Everybody is talking about student engagement – without actually speaking with or listening to what students want. There is a huge push for e- or blended learning – but surely it can be more than online submission or yet another online quiz? These are some useful vidcasts, sites and examples that I am sharing with my students to seed debate.


Shot by: http://www.gpixstudios.com/ Jim Davies "Don't Waste Student Work" In this TEDxOttawa talk, Dr. Jim Davies describes how to make student assignments m...

Authentic assignment potential: Real interviews animated by our students: Why I had an FGC (w/subtitles)

Uploaded student's Z-A of University - produced as part of our Tell us the secret of your success project

Student engagement? Not if they don't... 'Listen to the heart'

6 Ways To Make Online Education More Inviting | Edudemic

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

E-Library for Performing Arts - wants feedback

"From: ART-TECHNOLOGY@jiscmail.ac.uk


Dear all,
ECLAP - the e-library for performing arts - is a European project and
Best Practice Network that is bringing together the most relevant
performing arts content (videos, photographs, texts, essays, etc.)
from cultural institutions across Europe, that were never before
accessible via the Internet. They are now available on www.eclap.eu.

We would like to find out what you think of the current version of the
ECLAP portal, so we can further improve it to suit your needs. Two of
our partners (namely the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision and
the University of Amsterdam) have therefore prepared two surveys. If
you haven't visited the portal before, please go to www.eclap.eu and
go through it before returning to the survey. If you do not have time
to do so and if you are involved in performing arts education as a
teacher, researcher or student, you can also opt to fill out the ECLAP
educational survey. This is specifically aimed at identifying needs,
interests and use of digital heritage in Performing Arts education and
for which prior knowledge of the ECLAP portal is not required.

• A general survey aimed at all target users of ECLAP with the
aim of evaluating the current version of the portal and to collect new
requirements from all types of users =>
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ECLAP_general_survey
• A specific survey aimed at the educational and research target
users with the aim of making an inventory of performing arts
educational practices and which role online resources and tool are
used for these practices =>
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ECLAP_education

We will randomly give away three Amazon €50 gift vouchers to those
that complete one or both of the ECLAP surveys! You can leave your
contact details at the end of the survey if you are interested if you
want to participate in the prize draw.

For questions about this survey or other remarks, please contact Lotte
Belice Baltussen (lbbaltussen@beeldengeluid.nl).
Many thanks for filling these surveys and see you soon on the ECLAP portal!

Best regards,
CĂ©lyne van Corven
La Bellone, House of Performing arts in Brussels
ECLAP dissemination activities coordinator"

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The AccessArt "Share-a-Story & Inspire an Artist" Competition

I'm using my blog to post about the Access Art story competition... I'm really intereted in developing creative and engaging teaching, learning and assessments - and this competition provides a real opportunity to bring all that together. Set entry as an assignment for your students... You know it makes sense.

The AccessArt "Share-a-Story & Inspire an Artist" Competition

To coincide with their 12th birthday, AccessArt is launching a brand new story writing competition aimed at both adults AND children:

"The "Share-a-Story & Inspire an Artist" competition is aimed at both adults AND children. We'd like to invite you to submit a children's short story. The story can be about ANYTHING, as long as you think it would appeal to children aged 5 to10, BUT it must be highly visual in the way that it's written.

The winning story will be used as the focus for The Matchbox Project, through which AccessArt will invite practising artists/illustrators and makers to illustrate YOUR short story. The winning story will really need to inspire the illustrators; so make your story line dazzle, your words spark visual fireworks, and your characters larger than life.

Once illustrated by a group of artists, you'll see your story shared online via the AccessArt site (www.accessart.org.uk), published as a pdf, and as a print-on-demand book (and of course you'll receive a copy!).

We welcome submissions from individuals (all ages) and from schools, writing groups, and other organisations.

Follow the guidelines!
* Remember, you don't need to illustrate the story - just write it!
* Stories should be no longer than 2000 words (and can be much shorter).
* Send your story by November 15th (by email: info@accessart.org.uk) or post: AccessArt, 6 West Street, Comberton, Cambridge, CB23 7DS
* Please ensure you include your name, address, email, phone and age (if you are under 18)
* Schools: Teachers may send stories on behalf of groups/classes - if so please include contact details of a teacher.

About AccessArt

AccessArt is a UK Registered Charity which promotes visual arts learning through sharing resources, workshops, events and networking. You can access our resources aimed at teachers and practitioners at www.accessart.org.uk

Terms & Conditions

By entering this competition you agree:

* That the story was written by the person whose name is on the entry, and that that person as author has intellectual property right of the work.
* That the story was written for the purpose of this competition, or if the story was written previously, the author confirms that the story is otherwise unpublished.
* That AccessArt can use the story, if it wins, as the focus for The Matchbox Project. The finished, illustrated story will be published as AccessArt sees fit, and this may include online, pdf, print on demand, and published print.
* Any income from sales of print on demand/pdf/published book, if they arise, will be donated to AccessArt Registered Charity 1105049
* The author will be credited in any publication: online or printed.




Very best regards

Paula Briggs
AccessArt

info@accessart.org.uk
http://www.accessart.org.uk"

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

'Exploring student learning spaces in second life'

I have not posted in a while - so thought that this time I would share our
Higher Education Research Seminar, delivered at London Met, 7th June 2011. Here are the contributors and the gist of our presentation - followed by links to the slides and other related blogs. I've also included a very positive response that we got...

Contributors:
Alan Hudson, SL, Faculty of Computing, Sandra Sinfield, SL Learning Development & Debbie Holley, PL, Faculty of Education, Anglia Ruskin University

'Exploring student learning spaces in second life'
“More and more, people expect to be able to work, learn, study, and connect with their social networks wherever and whenever they want to.” (New Horizons report 2010:5)

The increasing use of 3D and other ‘Virtual Worlds’ for educational and business use is a highly contested area. Although there are a number of refereed papers on the theoretical constructs and underpinnings of Second Life (www.secondlife.com/), there is little formal research reported as yet into the learning experiences of student and lecturer interactions within these worlds (Herold, 2010)). By 2011 it is estimated that about 80% of active Internet users will have an “avatar” and/or a “second life” in some form of virtual world environment (Chang et al 2009).

This HER seminar will offer colleagues an overview of second life, and then demonstrate projects the team have been working on to engage students in this novel 3D world. First year students have been exploring study skills in the ‘On the beach’ project; Masters students have been creating learning environments and tools, and the team have recently been working on a ‘Toxic Warehouse’ project with a partner from industry, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Materials have been developed that will enable colleagues to get started in exploring Second Life – and will be available below.

WHY Second Life:
This work intersects with and extends our earlier critique of the government's Harnessing Technology document (viz. 'A journey into silence: students, stakeholders and the impact of a strategic governmental policy document in the UK' in Social Responsibility journal, Vol 5 No 4, 2009, I've also attached an old ppt FYI).

Harnessing Technology laid out the goals of Technology Enhanced Learning for society as a whole and HE in particular. Our discourse analysis of this policy text revealed a reductive vision of ICT with isolated, atomised students dislocated from their peers, their culture and their class (and ultimately thus from themselves) as they are plugged into remedial ICT packages and programmes designed to 'fix' them.

We wanted to transcend a Foucauldian medical model of technology for learning - and explore how we could harness its potential for collaborative embodied aspects of learning – and also how we can use the technology to empower rather than limit or control the students’ ability.

Further - there are hints for future research in re Bourdieu's notion of habitus and cultural capital (the concept of being constrained by one's culture and class): does the option of choosing and constructing an avatar not only allow one to become virtually embodied, but also facilitate a transcendence of boundaries?

Resources - from Alan Hudson:
The slides are loaded up to slideshare -

People may also like to look at and the 3D Warehouse blog at and we'll be circulating the On the Beach info very shortly once we've tinkered with the content.

Response from a participant:
Thank you for a really interesting presentation yesterday! For me that was the best - most graspable and enlightening - introduction to what Second Life is about and can offer in the context of higher education I've encountered so far. It is inspiring to see all of the good work you are doing, and great for me to start to feel I have an idea of what Second Life can offer students that other environments cannot. I'm especially taken with the way that the space can be used to facilitate genuine collaboration, connection, creativity and a helpful spirit of competition amongst students who might otherwise struggle to engage and feel a valuable part of some joint endeavour. Really excellent.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Update on the proposed closure of learning/writing development ...

I have written about the proposed deletion of learning and writing development at my university - and there was much concern at the news... This is to update people on 'the story so far'...

First of all I would like to thank every body who wrote to us and to the VC ... and to the Times Higher, the blogs and twitters ... your support has been wonderful and very important.

The outcome has been that whilst the overall cut has been reduced, we do still lose the Learning Development Unit and the Writing Centre on the 31st July 2011 - with a significant loss of administrative and academic staff, and the end of direct support given to students from these offices.

A new Centre is to emerge on the 1st August that combines the remaining Education,
Writing, Learning & Blended Learning Development people: The Centre for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching (CELT).

The CELT's role and activities will be primarily staff facing and will include: support for curriculum transformation, including via the embedding of academic literacies; promotion of blended learning; professional development in learning and teaching; policy development; income generation through third stream activity; and 'co-curricular learning & writing development'. This latter can be loosely described as supporting the Faculties with supporting students.

Since this latter announcement, our VC has spoken on Channel 4 and Sky News about the need to reduce our courses (from over 400 to some 160) and consequently to significantly reduce staffing (it is rumoured by 70%). The first move in that direction has been the announcement of the expunging of the majority of our Humanities courses with the axing of philosophy, history, caribbean studies, theatre studies and performing arts. We now understand the meaning of pyrrhic victory - though I guess future generations of our students will not.

Thank you again for your concern and your support; alas, I think that the struggle for meaningful higher education in England is just beginning.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Get Ahead 2011- a VIRTUAL conference by students and for students?

Our Get Ahead 2010 conference: http://www.catsconsulting.com/getahead2010/#

There will be no money available for a physical Get Ahead conference for students this year – but we have the opportunity to run a virtual one instead.


I am hoping that enough of us can get together to work out when, where and how to run a virtual conference – about successful study , writing, volunteering, joining a club or society, moving on to successfully apply for and get that great job… Or getting students to devise and deliver a conference on any theme they may choose


In particular I think that we need:

* Events management students to organise it
* Computing, animation and multimedia students to facilitate it
* Students engaged in reflective practice to (be supported to) ‘present’ at it
* As many of our students as possible to attend it
* To award module credits as much as possible around the conference...

The way forward:

* Join us if interested in this
* If you know of other people who might be interested, tell them
* If you already have a plan of how we might make this happen (on the principle that good ideas emerge in many different people at the same time) – you especially should get in touch!
* To join in – go to:

http://getahead2011.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/hello-worldfirst-virtual-meeting/

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Write, share re-write

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some of the short writing tasks that we have built into our modules – including into seminar time – in order to promote ‘write to learn’ approaches at our university. Recently I asked a colleague from Plymouth to share some of the activities that she has used in her brilliant and engaging conference workshops (ALDinHE and WDHE). She has graciously shared them with me – and I am sharing them with you:

“Like a good magpie, most of the ideas are of course stolen gems, based mostly on the work of Bronwyn Davies (her book Doing Collective Biography is really practical and inspiring), and Jane Speedy's collaborative writing toolbox which she is currently developing for ESCalate.

Basically, the point is to write and share and then rewrite.

Imposing limits seems to focus the writing better, and some of the tricks are to insist that the participants write in sentences of no more than three words, or write( their life?) in no more (and no less than) 50 words.

Alternatively they can be asked to write a short piece (in a set time) around a particular theme (ie mis/recognition, fear, school, etc.) with the express aim of attempting to capture and evoke (in an embodied sense) a particular moment in time.

The emphasis in this kind of workshop is not just on the writing, but also on the audience. Therefore the listeners should be aware that they have a responsibility to critique and comment (positively) on the writing with the aim of helping the writer edit out all superfluous information. Bronwyn maintains that even if you are listening intently, your mind will begin to wander the minute the writing rings untrue or irrelevant. This is the moment when the writer needs to be made aware that they have 'lost' their audience.

I have to say, the writing I produced in her workshop was the most intense and emotionally dense I have ever done… “

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Learning Development: roles and working lives

The Association of Learning Development in Higher Education is conducting an informal ethnographic study of the work of learning developers across the sector. Each month we are invited to blog what we did on the 15th day – or the nearest working day to the 15th. If you are engaged in any form of learning development role yourself, do go to the blog and add an entry (for January please go to http://aldinheprofdev.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/january-2011-journal/ ). If you do not want to blog yourself, just go and read the entries – they are fascinating. I am reproducing my January blog here, fyi:
I did not work on the 15th and as I am 0.8 and I do not work on Fridays either, my nearest working days include Weds/Thurs 12th & 13th January – but also Monday 17th January – so here’s a little bit about all of those.
Some context: as you all know, we all work in increasingly pressured, work heavy and time poor environments – pushed forever to do more with less, for less and in less time. At the same time we are all deluged with increasingly peremptory and steadily mounting demands and pressures: this year we are all blended learning – get up to speed, produce new course designs & resources, develop new Teaching, Learning & Assessment practices … yesterday – or else. Ooooh, this year we are all transitions & student engagement: three-line whip to attend workshops, sit on discussion groups, produce policy documents whilst remembering that we are still ‘blended learning’ so must keep producing those resources and new course designs and activities whilst the university deletes administrative posts so that we all have to do a thousand extra admin tasks as well …
And so it goes! Thus generally we are all nose to grindstone, shoulder to wheel and forehead to door of fridge – and no matter how hard we work, how many hours or days of unpaid over time we give – we never feel we have done enough or that we are good enough…
BUT – they announced our redundancies in November… and this brings me to the 12th & 13th January:
Last week amongst the email and admin which is endless and forever… I dragged my nose, shoulder and forehead to my desk and decided to play. We learn through play. We are engaged by and in play… So I opened a twitter account and started tweeting. I resurrected my blog (http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.com/2011) and started blogging. I entered my facebook account without shame – and IM’ed an ex-colleague who now lives in Dublin. I also followed threads and links and posts … I cannot tell you how much I learned in those two days. I now feel ready and able to really DO blended learning. More so than any amount of micromanaging or bullying or hectoring could ever have accomplished.
Homily: In these increasingly harsh times, let us fight for those creative and emancipatory spaces for ourselves. Let us take the time to explore, develop, share, learn and grow – in fun and joy.
17th January: the other day nearest the 15th that I worked involved the usual email and admin – but also our SWAP symposium. The LearnHigher and Write Now CETLs at London Met funded pedagogic research projects in reading, notemaking and writing around the theme of Supporting Academic Writing Practices (SWAP). On Monday we had a symposium wherein the majority of participants were able to report back on their projects. Over 50 people attended the event – and there were fascinating presentations on: Using mobile phones for studying and notemaking; Writing in public: exploring the use of Web 2.0 in developing students’ academic writing; Using tweets for reflection during practice; Re-purposing a Reflective Practice learning object; A teaching resource to guide biological laboratory and scientific report writing; Read to succeed – a project to embed reading and the Academic Liaison Librarian to aid the transition of first year undergraduates; Writing in the disciplines E-pack; and A handbook for creating a story-telling space on virtual 3D environments(Second Life). For reports on these projects do go to: http://www.writenow.ac.uk/outcomes/resources/mini-research-projects/#SWAP
A merry lunch was eaten and a good day was had by all. Hopefully also this event did not draw a line of closure – but has sparked further ideas, including for further collaborations, between participants. Personally I am hoping that our Events management students will get together with our Computing, multimedia and animation students to run a virtual Get Ahead conference for us this year as there is definitely no money left in the pot to run a real one! (For a look at our last conference by students and for students, go to: http://www.catsconsulting.com/getahead2010/#)

Learning Development: working lives, roles and ethnographic study

The Association of Learning Development in Higher Education is conducting an informal ethnographic study of the work of learning developers across the sector. Each month we are invited to blog what we did on the 15th day – or the nearest working day to the 15th. If you are engaged in any form of learning development role yourself, do go to the blog and add an entry (for January please go to http://aldinheprofdev.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/january-2011-journal/ ). If you do not want to blog yourself, just go and read the entries – they are fascinating. I am reproducing my January blog here, FYI:

I did not work on Saturday the 15th and as I am 0.8 and I do not work on Fridays either, my nearest working days therefore include Weds/Thurs 12th & 13th January – but also Monday 17th January – so here’s a little bit about all of those.

Some context: as you all know, we all work in increasingly pressured, work heavy and time poor environments – pushed forever to do more with less, for less and in less time. At the same time we are all deluged with increasingly peremptory and steadily mounting demands and pressures: this year we are all blended learning – get up to speed, produce new course designs & resources, develop new Teaching, Learning & Assessment practices … yesterday – or else. Ooooh, this year we are all transitions & student engagement: three-line whip to attend workshops, sit on discussion groups, produce policy documents whilst remembering that we are still ‘blended learning’ so must keep producing those resources and new course designs and activities whilst the university deletes administrative posts so that we all have to do a thousand extra admin tasks as well …

And so it goes! Thus generally we are all nose to grindstone, shoulder to wheel and forehead to door of fridge – and no matter how hard we work, how many hours or days of unpaid over time we give – we never feel we have done enough or that we are good enough… BUT – they announced our redundancies in November… and this brings me to the 12th & 13th January:
Last week amongst the email and admin which is endless and forever… I dragged my nose, shoulder and forehead to my desk and decided to play to learn. We learn through play. We are engaged by and in play… So I opened a twitter account and started tweeting. I resurrected my blog (http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.com/2011) and started blogging. I entered my facebook account without shame ... and I also followed threads and links and posts … I cannot tell you how much I learned in those two days. I now feel ready and able to really DO blended learning. More so than any amount of micromanaging or bullying or hectoring could ever have accomplished. Homily: In these increasingly harsh times, let us fight for those creative and emancipatory spaces for ourselves. Let us take the time to explore, develop, share, learn and grow – in fun and joy.

17th January: the other day nearest the 15th that I worked involved the usual email and admin – but also our SWAP symposium. The LearnHigher and Write Now CETLs at London Met funded pedagogic research projects in reading, notemaking and writing around the theme of Supporting Academic Writing Practices (SWAP). On Monday we had a symposium wherein the majority of participants were able to report back on their projects. Over 50 people attended the event – and there were fascinating presentations on: Using mobile phones for studying and notemaking; Writing in public: exploring the use of Web 2.0 in developing students’ academic writing; Using tweets for reflection during practice; Re-purposing a Reflective Practice learning object; A teaching resource to guide biological laboratory and scientific report writing; Read to succeed – a project to embed reading and the Academic Liaison Librarian to aid the transition of first year undergraduates; Writing in the disciplines E-pack; and A handbook for creating a story-telling space on virtual 3D environments(Second Life). For reports on these projects do go to: http://www.writenow.ac.uk/outcomes/resources/mini-research-projects/#SWAP
A merry lunch was eaten and a good day was had by all. Hopefully also this event did not draw a line of closure – but has sparked further ideas, including for further collaborations, between participants. Personally I am hoping that our Events management students will get together with our Computing, multimedia and animation students to run a virtual Get Ahead conference for us this year as there is definitely no money left in the pot to run a real one! (For a look at our last conference by students and for students, go to: http://www.catsconsulting.com/getahead2010/#)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Write to learn, weekly writing tasks +/- VLEs

Someone on the LDHEN jiscmail just asked about short tasks for putting in our VLEs that are designed to promote student learning. Personally I am not keen on multiple choice or drag and drop tests. I think they lead to convergent thinking and the notion that there Is, ONE right answer to every problem... and so forth (do see Ken Robinson's animated talk: Education - a paradigm shift:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U).


To promote active learning with 'my' students, I've become increasingly keen on short weekly writing exercises that can happen either live in class - or be given as an on-line task that is set and submitted via the VLE. These can be semi-structured, along the lines of: 'Summarise what you have learned from today's session and discuss how you will make use of that in your final assignment...' to really quite shaped and formulated writing exercises. If anyone in the blogoshphere is interested, I can send you a module seminar handbook that has a range of different weekly writing tasks that we used with a second year group - though this formulation tends to work at every level.

We found that students who participated in the tasks got the best marks they'd ever received for their final pieces of academic writing, that they felt they had more knowledge about the course content, that they'd felt able to be more creative on the course - and that they finally understood why they were reading.

If doing this with small groups, it would be possible to give feedback on the writing submitted. With larger groups some form of peer review could be facilitated...

To increase participation, you always have the option to incentivise by awarding marks for submission (1 mark per submission up to a maximum of ten, say) - or even allowing the submission of a revised formulation of the written submissions as a patchwork text for the final assignment.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Starting over... deleting LDUs

It's January 2011 - happy new year, folks! I've decided that I will keep a blog - and I might as well use this one as it already exists.

Most recent news: is the deletion of the Learning Development Unit at London Met. I've written about this on the Student Learning and Teaching Network blog, the story has also been covered in the Times Higher and on the LDHEN jiscmail...

There is a small light on the horizon; we may keep a vestigial stump of LD provision within our Centre for Academic and Professional Development. This will be staff facing and will mainly concentrate on embedding LD provision within the curriculum. Excellent as this - and there is much evidence suggesting that the best learning and writing support does happen in the context of the teaching and learning that the student has to undertake - I hope that we also maintain something that is student facing - that can operate with and for students - and that can match THEIR needs.

I've always believed that whilst emancipatory practice is excellent in the curriculum, students also need to access advice, support and guidance from knowledgeable academics who are not marking their final assignments. Academics with whom it is safe to be honest about hopes and fears, doubts and problems...

But in the brave new world of a privatised HE - what space is there going to be for students within or outwith the curriculum?