Dr Joss Winn has recently written an opinion piece for the Times Higher Education website, reporting on the recent conference, Making the Co-operative University. In part, the conference builds on research that Joss and Prof. Mike Neary have been undertaking into co-operative higher education since 2010.
“Last week, the Co-operative College, established in Manchester in 1919, hosted a conference on ‘Making the Co-operative University’ with the intention of exploring its role in supporting and co-ordinating a federated model of co-operative higher education.
Throughout the day, there was a sense of anticipation and historic responsibility among the 90 delegates who were told that in 1909, W. R. Rae, Chair of the Co-operative Union educational committee, had addressed the Union and stated that “What we want and seek to obtain is a co-operative journey that will end in a co-operative university”. Writing at a time when there were only 15 universities in the UK, Rae saw the development of a co-operative university as another example of members providing for themselves where the State did not: “So long as the State does not provide it, we must do, as we have in the past, the best we can to provide it ourselves.””
Read the full article on Joss’ blog and further reports from the conference on the Co-operative Higher Education bibliography.
On 5th April, Mike Neary, Katia Valenzuela Fuentes (Nottingham) and Joss Winn presented a paper at The Co-operative Education and Research Conference, 5-6 April 2017, Manchester. It is the first report from their Co-operative Leadership for Higher Education project.
This paper reports on recent research into co-operative leadership which aims to support co-operative higher education; where co-operative education is understood as the connection between the co-operative movement and co-operative learning (Breeze 2011). The research was carried out in three co-operatives: a co-operative school, a co-operative university, a workers’ co-operative, and an employee owned retail business. The research is framed within a set of catalytic principles established in previous research (Neary and Winn 2016): knowledge, democracy, bureaucracy, livelihood and solidarity. The results have been developed as a diagnostic tool for academics, other staff and students in higher education institutions to assess the extent to which they are already operating in co-operative manner and how these co-operative practices might be further developed. The ultimate aim of these activities is to establish a cooperative university. The research is funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
Download the paper.
29 June 2015
University of Lincoln
You are invited to an informal gathering to celebrate the publication of Dr. Sarah Amsler’s new book, The Education of Radical Democracy (Routledge, April 2015). The event will be held in MC0025 (Media, Technology and Humanities Building); tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.
The book will be introduced by Dr. Ana C. Dinerstein (University of Bath), author of The Politics Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope (2014).
The Education of Radical Democracy explores why radical democracy is so necessary, difficult, and possible and why it is important to understand it as an educative activity. The book draws on critical social theory and critical pedagogy to explain what enables and sustains work for radical democratization, and considers how we can begin such work in neoliberal societies today. Exploring examples of projects from the nineteenth century to the present day, the book sheds light on a wealth of critical tools, research studies, theoretical concepts and practical methods. It offers a critical reading of the ‘crisis of hope’ in neoliberal capitalist societies, focusing on the problem of the ‘contraction of possibilities’ for democratic agency, resistance to domination, and practices of freedom. It argues that radically democratic thinking, practice, and forms of social organization are vital for countering and overcoming systemic hegemonies and that these can be learned and cultivated. This book will be of interest to academics, practitioners, researchers, and students in education and critical theory, and to those interested in the sociology, philosophy and politics of hope. It also invites new dialogues between theorists of neoliberal power and political possibility, those engaged in projects for radical democratization, and teachers in formal and informal educational settings.
For further details about the book and library orders, see http://www.tandf.net/books/details/9780415702638/.
The Research in Critical Education Studies (RiCES) group works to promote the development of rigorous, critical and socially engaged research for education. For more information, see http://criticaleducation.blogs.ac.uk.
On July 1st, Dr. Cassie Earl will be joining the School of Education and Research in Critical Education Studies group. We are delighted to welcome her to our community. Below is an abstract for a paper she presented recently at the 5th International Conference on Critical Education at the University of Lower Silesia in Wroclaw, Poland, entitled ‘Occupying education: the power of the empty signifier’.
“The global Occupy actions gave some pause for thought. At first, some thought that this was a global movement that could change the way politics was conducted and maybe see the end of capitalism as we knew it. The hopes for Occupy were high, but the highest hopes for the movement were short lived. This paper examines Occupy’s legacy; what potential remains and where we might go with it. It argue sthat Occupy became an empty signifier: a ‘bucket’ of discontent into which thousands of disjointed, dissenting voices and discontents were poured, ranging from the original Wall Street encampment to the Umbrella revolution in Occupy Central. The paper looks at the power of the ’empty signifier’ as a galvanising mechanism and explores what this could mean for education. The notion of occupying the curriculum in HE will be explored as a unifying mechanism for multidisciplinary teaching and learning.”
A new journal article by Joss Winn has recently been published in Power and Education journal. For the first time, it reviews the emerging literature on co-operative higher education and offers a coherent theory of academic labour, the academic commons and critical pedagogy, based on our work on Student as Producer.
THE CO-OPERATIVE UNIVERSITY: LABOUR, PROPERTY AND PEDAGOGY
“I begin this article by discussing the recent work of academics and activists to identify the advantages and issues relating to co-operative forms of higher education, and then focus on the ‘worker co-operative’ organisational form and its applicability and suitability to the governance of and practices within higher educational institutions. Finally, I align the values and principles of worker co-ops with the critical pedagogic framework of ‘Student as Producer’. Throughout I employ the work of Karl Marx to theorise the role of labour and property in a ‘co-operative university’, drawing particularly on later Marxist writers who argue that Marx’s labour theory of value should be understood as a critique of labour under capitalism, rather than one developed from the standpoint of labour.”
You can download this article from the journal, Power and Education.
A pre-print version of this article is available from the University of Lincoln research repository.
An earlier and expanded version of this paper given at the ‘Governing Academic Life’ conference is also available from the University of Lincoln research repository.