Transformative Learning Activism and Reflexivity in Education
University of Dundee, UK | Routledge, UK | UCL Press, UK
Dates: 15-17 November 2022
Abstracts: 30 June 2022 (Round 1) 05 October 2022 (Round 2)
CALL: A direct engagement with a community challenges students from every discipline to work with real problems, real places, and real people: whether they come from design fields, the arts and humanities, social studies and social work, geography or community studies. It demonstrates that concepts drawn on the computer screen or developed in theory in a classroom have consequences, but also have the potential to make transformative change in the real world. In engaging with transdisciplinary learning beyond the campus, on the outside, we can create a knowledge framework beyond the traditional disciplinary perspectives, enabling students to position themselves as critical practitioners and as citizens, and question the role (and responsibilities) of universities within wider society.
Active and reflexive learners and practitioners are essential to shaping and re-shaping our future places and practices. In allowing for the exploration of change in a place it allows us to embed the need for knowledge built by working with others and embedded within the social context. As we face the challenges of rapid urbanization, social and economic inequalities and the climate emergency, our students need to be equipped to navigate a super-complex and uncertain world. Understanding the complexity of place and societal issues, and our roles as designers, advisors or practitioners in various fields is essential. In shaping and re-shaping places, services and community practices of various sorts, students have the opportunity to look holistically at the inter-connection of society, structures, and space, but also to understand how they might contribute and be part of the problem they are addressing and its solution.
If it is said that “the people coming out of the world’s best colleges and universities are leading us down the current unhealthy, inequitable, and unsustainable path” how might education change direction?
Asking this question with a particular interest in the built environment and design, the team at the University of Dundee welcome topics that include but are not limited to:
Civic mindedness | Critical practice | Transformative pedagogy | Transdisciplinary design | Community activism | ‘Live’ projects | Collaboration and co-design | Participatory practices and research.
Publications with Routledge and AMPS as part of its UCL Press open access journal.
Kirsty Macari, Cindee Hogan, Rachel Isaac-Menard