Radical Teaching Collective
At the Occupy Research Collective convergence last month, one of the discussion groups formed was on “Teaching Social Movements”. We discussed the limitations of radical teaching in institutions that often demand “neutrality” – the university academy, schools and colleges, community groups, charities and third-sector organisations.
We agreed that attempting to remove teacher/pupil hierarchies, and facilitating students to question and take ownership of the learning process, might be key to fostering and maintaining a culture and community of radical teaching/learning – both inside and outside the classroom.
We also highlighted that teaching social movements is often compartmentalised in a purely historical or factual framework. We discussed that it would be important to teach the processes, politics and skills to enact change if we were to engage students in our current social struggles.
We recognised that many people involved with ORC – and many people outside of it too – are already engaged in radical teaching processes. We therefore suggested establishing a network for teachers/learners, who could practically engage with the issues of radical teaching.
We suggested that this could be done through organizing skill sharing and training on radical teaching methods: creating a forum for ideas, successes and failures from the classroom. The idea of occupying a space dedicated to developing educators/learners was also put forward.
A short summary of our group discussion can be listened to here:
RTC is very much in its infancy, and we welcome debate and challenge from anyone who may be interested in developing the aims of the collective. It would be fantastic to have the involvement of educators who may already be engaged in radical teaching – we are conscious of not wanting to try to “invent the wheel”. We also hope to discuss whether we are going to remain part of the ORC or to form an autonomous splinter group.
Meetings hopefully coming soon.