Students becoming more than students

Not a post about my own work but that of my colleague, Mike Neary, who leads the Centre for Educational Research and Development (CERD), where I work. When I first joined the University of Lincoln, Mike asked me to contribute to a book chapter he was writing on the Student as Producer (read it here). More recently, Student as Producer has become a major university project, funded by the HEA. The project aims to

…establish research-engaged teaching and learning as an institutional priority at the University of Lincoln, making it the dominant paradigm for all aspects of curriculum design and delivery, and the central pedagogical principle that informs other aspects of the University’s strategic planning.

Underlying the practical ambitions of the project are a number of theoretical ideas, which draw from critical social theory. Recently, Mike has written about these in his paper, Student as Producer: A Pedgogy for the Avant-Garde and another book chapter, Pedagogy of Excess: An Alternative Political Economy of Student Life, authored with Andy Hagyard, who also works in CERD.

Pedagogy of Excess looks to the world-wide social protests of 1968, in which students played a central role, for inspiration for the notion of research-engaged teaching. Grounded in critical social theory and based on historical material that deals with the events in Paris, Pedagogy of Excess describes 1968 as a moment when the students became more than students, and acted as revealers of a general crisis by demystifying the process of research. The students did this by engaging in various forms of theoretical and practical activity that took them beyond the normal limits of what is meant by higher education. It is the notion of students becoming more than students through a radical process of revelation that provide the basis for our concept of Pedagogy of Excess. At the end of the chapter we discuss Pedagogy of Excess in relation to other critical pedagogies, and set out a curriculum based on the principles of pedagogical excess.1

Both the journal article and book chapter focus on a radical re-conceptualisation of what it means to teach and learn. I found them really stimulating and I hope you do, too.

  1. Download pre-print of book chapter here []