Editorial for Issue 2
Welcome to this second issue of LINK, an online journal published by the University of Hertfordshire School of Education.
LINK has been created to make visible the research and scholarship undertaken by colleagues within and linked to the School of Education. These include academics, professional staff, visiting lecturers and our partners in schools and other professional settings, as well as current and past post-graduate students.
The readership of LINK includes both academics and practitioners - locally, in the rest of the UK and globally. We hope that the journal will enable academics and practitioners to link with each other in a number of ways, through sharing learning, through collaborating in innovation, through developing their networking and through building knowledge together.
The articles in this issue all focus on a critique of current higher education policy and practice and, in so doing, fulfil one of the underpinning aims of LINK, that is, to act as a provocation for thinking and critical reflection on practice. A theme of 'disruption' runs through these articles, all of which ask us to consider the question, 'Is there another way?'
Joy Jarvis's article sets out to disrupt our thinking about the key function of the university, that of teaching. Exploring the current context of university teaching in relation to socio-cultural influences, her article reflects on the impact of perfomativity and a range of initiatives designed to improve learning and teaching in higher education. She proposes an interesting role for academic staff, that of disturbing prevailing narratives around teaching in the academy.
Lewis Stockwell's critique centres on the philosophical discourse in education around the role of the university in the cultivation of active democratic citizenship. Through offering a critique of the types of citizenship prevalent in higher education, it offers an alternative view of the qualities of a good academic community - that is, the critically reflective pursuit of truth and the virtues required of this activity.
Jon Berry's article looks squarely upon the challenge of the marketisation of education and the discourse that sees students as consumers of educational products with the dominant aim of enhancing human capital for the jobs market. It argues that the response to this challenge does not have to be quiescence. Educationalists and students can reframe the dominant discourse and create opportunities to interrogate the nature, value and purpose of higher education.
Following all of this disruption, one would hope to have a more comforting time in the thought-pieces, especially as the first focuses on knitting. This is knitting with a difference however. Lynn Bhania and Amanda Roberts have used the medium of a video-piece to showcase the work of Crafting Change Together, a community development project which aims to support individuals and groups in using craft activities to bring about change. The power of knitting to support the development of inter-generational understanding is the focus of their thought-piece.
Barry Costas' thought-piece also focuses on change. He wishes to explore the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics, as seen through the eyes of the children who were part of it. However, before he can continue on his journey, he has come to understand the need to examine the complexity surrounding the term' legacy'. He invites us to debate this with him.
In our final thought-piece of this issue, Adenike Akinbode examines an unusual aspect of diversity, that of quiet. Her piece is framed by questions such as: As a teacher, are you concerned about the quiet learners in your class? Do you feel that they sit back and let others do all the work? Do you find it necessary to coax quiet learners into participating more in class? Do you consider 'quiet' a flawed way of being? Given that teaching is a vocal profession, is it possible to be a quiet teacher? Once again, accustomed ways of seeing are challenged here.
We hope that you enjoy reading this issue of LINK. We hope too that if you are part of or linked to the University of Hertfordshire School of Education you are encouraged to consider developing an article or a thought-piece for a future issue.
Amanda Roberts and Philip Woods