Podcast: Drew Whitworth Introduces Session on Information Inequalities
This is a podcast of a panel session chaired by Dr Andrew Whitworth (Manchester Institute of Education) entitled Information Inequalities: do they exist and are they a problem for Manchester? This session considers how policies other than strictly ‘education’ policies can impact upon access to informational resources, and thus the learning capacity of communities.
The session opens by presenting a recently-researched map of Manchester’s informational environment (see http://tinyurl.com/manchesterinfolandscape), showing how a range of physical informational resources, such as libraries, tutors, work clubs and youth clubs are distributed across the city, and how this correlates to indices of multiple deprivation. Where no policy framework governs their distribution, as with private tutors, there is an almost complete absence of these in the city’s poorest areas.
This session invites various panel members to discuss and consider how policies other than strictly ‘education’ policies can impact upon access to informational resources, and thus the learning capacity of communities. Members of the panel were:
- Alex Dunedin: Ragged University
- Ian Harford: Previously Regional director WEA
- Mark Burton: Steady State Manchester
- Fred Garnett: Institute of Education, University of London
The panel will place these findings in historical context, with a discussion of the 19th century ‘Ragged Schools’ movement, the Workers’ Educational Association and its contemporary analogue, ‘Ragged University’, an attempt to use community resources like shops and local businesses as settings for education. Why do we need to attend to informational inequalities as part of the drive to readjust our economy and culture towards sustainable models? What policies will help – or hinder – this adjustment?
About Manchester Policy Week
Leading thinkers from the world of politics and policy grappled with key issues around inequality at our flagship Policy Week event in November 2014. It included lectures, debates and workshops organised by researchers across the University, featuring expert academics, high-profile figures and policy influencers. Dozens of events took place on theme of Addressing Inequalities – and the week marked the launch of the University’s Social Responsibility signature programme of the same name. For the first time, there were a number of special themed days during Policy Week; education, health and urban inequalities.