I've written before about emancipatory practice being the core, defining value of Learning Development, and about how this is at the same time a problematic concept, neither students nor learning developers having the power to overturn the cultural norms of academic discourse or disciplinary communities of practice. If, as Academic Literacies theory tells us, students … Continue reading An Emancipatory Approach to LD: Student options and choices
At Newcastle this year, we've been beyond fortunate to have an incredible Student Union exec, a team of formidable and inspiring Sabs who have not only worked their hardest to support their fellow students through what they couldn't have known would be one of the hardest academic years ever due to the pandemic, but who … Continue reading Decolonising Study Skills and the role of Learning Development
This post follows on from the previous one on Decolonisation and LD... Decolonisation is, to use the current phrase, about 'doing the work', and it's difficult, uncomfortable work which for many of us will feel threatening, as it's a de-centring of dominant cultural values, discourses and practices, a dismantling of a system created for the … Continue reading Decolonising Learning Development: Doing the Work
Learning Development is in many ways spoken of in the abstract, as a set of values, principles, theoretical approaches to supporting students. One of my abiding interests in this field is about taking those abstractions and working out ways to make them concrete, practicable, doable. This interest extends also to the material realities of Learning … Continue reading A Manifesto for Learning DevelopERs
"I earned a placed at Newcastle University to study medicine. The north-east was unlike anywhere I had lived before. One of sparingly few black faces in the university, I felt like a misplaced peppercorn in a bowl of salt. My first year was especially difficult. The loneliness sank me into a deep depression. I felt … Continue reading Induction – the University Citizenship Test?
How is it mid-July already?! There's been so much to think about and plan recently, much of which I've wanted to share here, but time has been ticking by, and so much to do! I wanted to share some of the thinking I've been doing with my colleague Liam Carson around the piece of work … Continue reading Thinking about Induction and Transition
A while ago, I wrote a post exploring whether, in addition to helping students articulate and navigate the signature pedagogies of their own disciplines, Learning Development could be said to have a signature pedagogy of its own - a distinctive way that we teach what we teach. My approach to answering this question was to … Continue reading LD@3: Does Learning Development have a Signature Pedagogy?
University is often thought of as a sheltered environment, a cosy retreat from the Real World, a safe ivory tower where young people play with ideas that are 'purely academic' before being launched into the unforgiving grown up world. But what if we recognised that university is far from a safe shelter where learning can … Continue reading Developing wicked learners for an unkind university
In these still relatively early days of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis (I’m assuming here that the repercussions will drag on for the rest of this academic year, at least), there are a few things we can say for certain. Firstly, this is unprecedented. Whatever we know about distance learning, about online learning, about how this … Continue reading Student Support 2.0: Working with not against the pivot online
There’s a crisis on, and we want to help. In the first couple of weeks of the move to remote, online learning, there has been a deluge of advice, information and support for staff new to the technologies and pedagogies involved, and a race similarly to get information and guidance up online for students. Within … Continue reading Let Them Suck Eggs: framing advice to students appropriately in a crisis