Rikke Toft Nørgård and Søren S. E. Bengtsen have put together a great Special Issue of Policy Futures in Education, on the theme of the ‘activist university’. The opening of their editorial suggests that ‘There is a note of activism hanging in the air in many universities, a sense that studying, teaching, and researching is not enough….’, and they’ve pulled together a group of international researchers to address this theme. Michael Gallagher and I really enjoyed writing on the drivers and methods for the Near Future Teaching project as a contribution to this – you can find the paper itself here – this is its focus:
Our starting point was that universities need to get better at crafting their own, compelling counter-narratives concerning the future of technology in teaching, in order to assert the agency and presence of the academic and student bodies in the face of technological change. In working toward this, we drew on recent thinking in anticipation studies in education and developed an original methodology for participative futures work within universities. The paper reports on the outcomes of this project, and its implications for the sector more generally, arguing that university communities can work to define their own digital futures through an emphasis on collectivity, participation and hope.
Michael and I are giving a seminar based on the paper at the upcoming Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Society webinar series on November 16th.