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Ragged University as a model of education: Power differentials and problems of scale

This presentation was given to the Knowledge, Power and Identity research group at the University of Manchester Institute of Education, on the 29th February 2016.  The research group explores understandings that educational theories, practices and policies work to constitute categories of identity and subjectivity that reflect knowledge and power relations.

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A Word For The Social Model of Madness: Psychiatry and The Family by Alex Dunedin

When Shakespeare writes about how family and friends drive us mad, and treat us badly, it is great art – when a psychologist suggests it, then it is an outrage; this is a contradiction we find in our culture. The implications of openly accepting that close and dear ones as a source of malevolence and psychological trauma are extensive. It is the love that we dare not speak its name… Read more

Great Educator: William Edward Burghardt Du Bois 1868 to 1963

William Du Bois, or ‘Doctor Du Bois’ as he insisted on being addressed, was a great scholar, historian, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, and pacifist. He was a picture of the modern intellectual and scholar engaging eclectically in philosophies ranging from Calvinism to Socialism. His thought was to shape the world after it emerged in America against the backdrop of considerable racial barriers. Read more

Thinking In Complex Ways And Development On Our Own Doorstep

In September 2000 advocates from 189 countries signed up to the United Nations Millennium Declaration which is a statement for the rights of the poor. The declaration commits countries to fighting poverty and has its main drivers set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which include halving the numbers of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.

Millenium Development Goals Reports

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Public Places Where We Meet And Share Are Third Places

What is the value of a pub ?  How important is a cafe ?  Why do we need libraries ?  Do we just wash clothes in laundrettes ?  These are some of the questions which I am interested in when I explore the concept of ‘third place’.  Pubs, cafes, libraries and laundrettes can all be ‘third places’ according to Prof Ray Oldenburg who coined the term.  He argues in detail of the importance of these social spaces which exist outside of our homes (first place) and workplaces (second place).  Third places are the spaces where we meet and share with other people… Read more

Discrete Correspondences: Student Support Services On Zero Hours Contracts

Over the years, I have had many conversations and emails with various people involved in formal education – much of which remains private between myself and those individuals.  Occasionally I ask if I can share some of these conversations and personal correspondences in the public realm as I think they are important first hand accounts of what is happening.

What follows in the quotation marks is a verbatim excerpt from a private correspondence with an academic in a UK university sharing their feelings about what is happening to the higher education environment where they work.  The commercial forces are replacing values of learning and nurture with those of ‘cost effectiveness’ and profit.

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