"Pedagogical experiments played a crucial role in shaping architectural discourse and practice in the second half of the 20th century. In fact, the key hypothesis of our Radical Pedagogy research project is that these experiments can be understood as radical architectural practices in their own right. Radical in the literal meaning from the Latin radice, as something belonging or relating to the root, to its foundations. Radical pedagogies shake foundations, disturbing assumptions rather than reinforcing and disseminating them. This challenge to normative thinking was a major force in the postwar field of architecture, and has surprisingly been neglected in recent years. ...
Architectural pedagogy has become stale. Schools spin old wheels as if something is happening but so little is going on. Students wait for a sense of activist engagement with a rapidly evolving world but graduate before it happens. The fact that they wait for instruction is already the problem. Teachers likewise worry too much about their place in the institutional hierarchies. Curricular structures have hardly changed in recent decades, despite the major transformations that have taken place with the growth of globalisation, new technologies, and information culture. As schools appear to increasingly favour professionalisation, they seem to drown in self-imposed bureaucratic oversight, suffocating any possibility for the emergence of experimental practices and failures. There are a few attempts to wake things up here and there but it's all so timid in the end. There is no real innovation.
In response to the timidity of schools today, the Radical Pedagogy project returns to the educational experiments of the 1960s and '70s to remind us what can happen when pedagogy takes on risks. It's a provocation and a call to arms."
(Beatriz Colomina with Esther Choi, Ignacio Gonzalez Galan and Anna-Maria Meister, 28 September 2012, The Architectural Review)
1). Radical Pedagogy is an ongoing multi-year collaborative research project by a team of PhD candidates in the School of Architecture at Princeton University, led by Beatriz Colomina and involving seminars, interviews and guest lectures by protagonists and scholars. The project explores a remarkable set of pedagogical experiments of the 1960s and '70s that revolutionised thinking in the discipline. Each student is working on one of these experiments and collectively mapping the interconnections and effects of these experiments towards a major publication and exhibition.
Fig.1 Tournaments in the Course ‘Culture of the Body', at the Valparaíso School, 1975. Courtesy of Archivo Histórico Jose Vial, Escuela Arquitectura y Diseño, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
"There was a time when learning was what we did from birth to college graduation. After that? We just worked and eventually retired.
But the world is changing rapidly. And now, more than ever, learning is something that happens outside the classroom throughout our entire lives.
We now have to learn new skills every year just to stay relevant in our jobs (not to mention making a career change!). And it's not just our careers, we also want to learn and continually improve in the things we do outside of work. Whether it's yoga or golf or photography or anything we're passionate about, we want to be better. Every day we see our friends sharing their new achievements and posting their milestones on Facebook; how do we keep up and reach our potential?
We're busier than ever. And despite having access to a mountain of information via the internet, we still struggle to find structured, comprehensive, trusted sources who can excite us and teach us all the things we want to know. We need trusted experts, guides, to help us on our way - we need the ability to learn from the amazing instructors in the world."
Date: 29 May 2013 - 30 May 2013
Location/venue: Thistle Brighton, King's Road, Brighton, England, BN1 2GS
The Higher Education Academy’s second annual learning and teaching Arts and Humanities conference, ‘Storyville: Exploring narratives of learning and teaching’ will take place on 29 – 30 May 2013 in Brighton.
"At the heart of the Arts and Humanities disciplines sit stories – stories which create and recreate worlds, distant and present, stories which inspire and engage, stories which grow imaginations and expand what is thinkable.
Stories are everywhere, and our second annual conference seeks to explore the intersections between narrative and learning and teaching..."
(Higher Education Academy, UK)
Date: 24 Apr 2013; Location/venue: University for the Creative Arts Epsom Ashley Road, Epsom, Surrey , England, KT18 5BE
"The Group for Learning in Art and Design (GLAD) will be holding their 2013 annual conference on 24 April 2013 and is calling for case studies and research papers that explore three areas that are likely to change the future of English art and design higher education.
1. Starting. Changes to the school art and design curriculum and how the new English Baccalaureate and the demands it places on school timetables might crowd out of the curriculum offer in the arts. How we might engage to redress this? Speaker/s from the school sector.
2. Sustaining. How we should evolve our working with students to support their learning and to address the data-led climate for student choice? Speaker/s from institutions that have improved their student experience data and are engaging with students in innovative ways.
3. Succeeding. What are institutions doing to support employability? Case studies from graduates highlighting what was useful to them in securing employment, plus speaker/s from creative careers professionals.
We are looking for responses to these questions and themes, with contributors offering the conference presentations/papers/discussions typically of 20 minutes duration."
(UK Higher Education Academy)
"For the 2012 / 13 academic year, NTU is introducing a new scheme for assessing undergraduate students' work. The scheme is known as grade-based assessment or GBA.
A major advantage of GBA is that it ensures that there is a direct link between the expected learning outcomes of the part of the course being assessed and what you, the student, have demonstrated in the assessment. This short video explains this.
The specific arrangements relating to the assessment of a module will be set out in module documentation. Previously, assessed work was awarded a mark, usually a percentage. Following the introduction of GBA, each piece of assessed work will be awarded one of 17 grades.
You will be informed about what is expected of you in order to achieve a particular grade. This information will mean that feedback on your work will be clear and you will be able to evaluate your progress towards your final degree classification."
(Nottingham Trent University)
[This animated presentation provides an overview of the grade-based marking scheme which is being introduced at Nottingham Trent University for the 2012 / 13 academic year. The presentation is clearly aimed at NTU students (and refers to the university-specific VLE called the "NOW" - the "NTU Online Workspace"), despite this the clip covers issues which I expect have more general relevance to students studying at other institutions.]