Inspiration from others

shaking hands through a laptopI attended the University of Edinburgh Learning and Teaching conference on 15th June. They opened their first day to outsiders which was a nice taster of what was to come over the three-day event. Opened by their dignitaries, to be expected, which was interesting and heartening to hear the similarities in our institutions over the last year’s hard graft by staff and students. They too celebrated their HEA fellows and encouraged others to engage with their process.

The two keynote speakers that followed were excellent and generated lots of discussion on the webinar Q&A. The first was “Curriculum Considerations In Supercomplex Times” from Kerri-Lee Krause who is Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Avondale University College, Australia (UoE’s VP is from Australia so there was a connection). This was a very interesting discussion and sharing of her research into transforming the curriculum. She posed 4 questions: Q1 What is Curriculum Transformation? Q2 Why bother about is Curriculum Transformation? Q3 Who is leading Curriculum Transformation? And Q4 How will you engage with Curriculum Transformation? She encouraged us all to answer them either in the chat or just on paper. I tweeted the questions and then added my personal response. I thought that it would be interesting for us as a team to respond, even without listening to @kerrileekrause presentation I think it would be an excellent exercise for us all to consider as we are all academic developers. You can find my tweets @mandyjjack the direct links to each question tweets are above.

The second keynote Rowena Arshad, Professor Emerita and Personal Chair of Multicultural and Anti-Racist Education, University of Edinburgh, “Diversity in Learning and Teaching: Is Inclusion Truly Available?” This was a very powerful address where Rowena discussed a more holistic approach. The key points she discussed:

  1. Inclusive – and the need to considers the diversity of learners, the ethos of the space, the language, curriculum content, and pedagogic approaches.
  2. Antiracist – the challenges of it, the values and structures that perpetuate systematic racism.
  3. Decolonising the curriculum – and the need to critically examine the power and the history. That it isn’t simply adding a varied range of sources in our reading lists. It is not just about adding diversity, but learning from different perspectives, and about a different, more collective vision.

I couldn’t attend in the afternoon, but here is the link to their blog there are some interesting titles and some have useful links within their blurb that may be work a look. If the recording to the keynotes is distributed I’ll add it.

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