The great social commentator Paul Weller (cough) once said “the more I know, the less I understand” in his three minute masterpiece that was The Changingman. I always thought it was about him, and his experiences of going through divorce and becoming a new person. Just lately I have been thinking about the phrase as my attempts to settle in to life as a PhD student. In October I gave a talk at the University of Leicester, brimming with confidence that what I was saying, as a practitioner, was correct. Now I’m trying to study the theory about what I think makes my ideas correct. The result is that my confidence is suddenly not as wilful, and my ideas are changing. My knowledge is growing – so I should be even more confident surely? But that is not the case. The more views and opinions I read, the more my doubts grow. I saw a graphic of a PhD researcher’s journey earlier this week. Continue reading “Research: The more I know, the less I understand…”
Like the recently discovered mastertapes of Bob Dylan playing live in abasement or rerecorded versions of discarded Beatles tracks that became top ten hits or John Lewis adverts here is a completely useless bit of academic writing which will probably serve no purpose other than to compare whether it actually improves in coming years. It’s called Community and Participation for no other reason than that is what it is supposed to be about. Continue reading “Public Engagement blog: Community and Participation – that is what it is supposed to be about”
This was my talk to the Network of Directors of Faculty Operations/College Secretaries, hosted by the University of Leicester on 19/11/2014. “In this presentation I’ll try to introduce the idea of The University role in Civic Actions and Social Responsibility which will be a combination of my learned experiences of managing DMU Square Mile and as a student researching this area for my PhD. DMU Square Mile aims to connect the university with the community to deliver Civic Actions and Social Responsibility and is a great case study of how we demonstrate the public benefit, or public good as it is more commonly referred to, of a university.
I read a report from a British university recently that proudly boasted that one million (yes, one million) people had benefitted from its engagement activities over the course of just one academic year. This, from a university in a city with a population of just over 120,000, a fifth of which are students. This bold claim of engagement might well have some truth to it, after all, a university city can be a famous place. Tourists might well flock to see its dreaming spires, however one million were engaged people in one year? Continue reading “Public Engagement blog: My random thoughts on engaging people”
Communities across the United Kingdom have different social challenges and those working in Higher Education have the opportunity to share knowledge by working in partnership with them. According to a HEFCE report in 2010 it is one of the services universities offer society. The report notes five key areas Higher Education can deliver public benefit. Continue reading “Public engagement blog: Community problem solving”
I’ve spent the past few weeks looking at the issue of toilets in schools in India, or lack of them. It is widely reported that millions of children, particularly girls, drop out of education because of a lack of washrooms. At this point these children lose the chance of a better life, their potential and enter an apparent cycle of poverty and poor health, simply because they cannot access something most of us take for granted – a loo.