The Denial of Death, Masculinity, and a well-lived life

This post might have ended up on my my Dispirited blog, but there is enough cross-over with recent preoccupations here about grit to persuade me to pop here initially…  Teaching is a funny thing. Sessions on material you have done many times before, and where you are pretty sure what is going to unfold, can knockContinue reading “The Denial of Death, Masculinity, and a well-lived life”

What is ‘motivation porn’, and why does Higher Education seem addicted to it?

Dr Nicola Rivers and Dr Dave Webster.  In our recent work, looking at discourses of ‘resilience’ and ‘grit’ in Higher Education, we have made only passing reference to a phenomenon that seems to occupy much of the same narrative space, namely motivation porn. The term ‘motivation porn’ refers to a form of narrative that seeks to associateContinue reading “What is ‘motivation porn’, and why does Higher Education seem addicted to it?”

Higher Education is not The Apprentice, and neither is the ‘Real World’.

Dr Nicola Rivers and Dr Dave Webster.  Enabled by technology, we were discussing assessment feedback in Higher Education, while watching an episode of The Apprentice*. Although neither us of us are entrepreneurs, or teach business, or retail, courses, what initially struck us when watching the Apprentice was that it offered a certain jouissance of judging others. TheContinue reading “Higher Education is not The Apprentice, and neither is the ‘Real World’.”

You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Blog is About You: Academic Conference Misbehaviour

[Note: conference bingo image is not mine- but not sure where online I originally found it] September is, for many academics, the conference season, but they occur all year, and this post is borne from decades of bad coffee, overstuffed powerpoint slides,  humble-brag introductions, and unspeakable ‘social event’ experiences. Much of the behaviour I discussContinue reading “You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Blog is About You: Academic Conference Misbehaviour”

Why we should be wary of thinking students just want to have fun

Dr Nicola Rivers and Dr Dave Webster.  This post is borne out of hearing some in the HE sector talk about the puzzle of student engagement. This is a serious and worthwhile endeavour. Amidst the plethora of good ideas, and a lot of them relate to forms of active learning, however, we have heard the notion thatContinue reading “Why we should be wary of thinking students just want to have fun”

Academic Challenge and intellectually Stimulating Teaching: 1. Cultivating Autonomy

Ros O’Leary & David Webster The first of the five areas of our Academic Challenge and intellectually Stimulating Teaching model, is Cultivating Autonomy. While not wishing to overly stress the Kantian notion of the autonomous agent, potentially atomised in neoliberal isolation, and being hostile to discourse about student resilience for related reasons, we still want toContinue reading “Academic Challenge and intellectually Stimulating Teaching: 1. Cultivating Autonomy”

The curious case of social media

I’m really looking forward, next week to giving an opening keynote at an event our Postgraduate Research students have put on. Later in the day, @nikirivers and I will be exploring our ideas around resilience, and there’ll be a range of topics, from Anarchy to horror films (I’ll be hiding my eyes during the latter).Continue reading “The curious case of social media”

De-weaponising Academic Challenge. Let’s lionise Vulnerability, and Leave ‘grit’ to the Self-help Gurus.

Ros O’Leary & David Webster In another post, we will reflect on the pedagogical responses that Higher Education practitioners might make to an atmosphere where ‘challenge’ is suddenly (partly due to a shift in the National Student Survey questions) a hot topic. There is a discourse, which we are seeing more of, related to theContinue reading “De-weaponising Academic Challenge. Let’s lionise Vulnerability, and Leave ‘grit’ to the Self-help Gurus.”

Festival of Learning 2017: Reflections

I have recently had the privilege of organising (along with a team of people who actually made it happen) The University of Gloucestershire’s inaugural Festival of Learning. You can see more of the event, and get a real sense of the conversations, via the Storified Tweets at : https://tinyurl.com/GlosLearn17. There will be lots of video contentContinue reading “Festival of Learning 2017: Reflections”