Past Event details

IS THERE (STILL) ROOM FOR EDUCATION IN THE CONTEMPORARY UNIVERSITY? Exploring policy, research and practice through the lens of professional education. Seminar 3

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Background and rationale

Despite the emerging policy interest in the quality of teaching in the UK University – the Teaching Excellence Framework – the question whether and to what extent the university can (still) be a place for education rather than just a place for training and the production of useful knowledge remains important and urgent. In this series of three one-day seminars we bring together scholars from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to consider these questions, taking professional education across a range of professions as a focal point for analysis and discussion. In the first seminar we focus on policy, exploring how policies and policy developments are impacting on the educational remit of the university and on how this works out in fields of professional education. In the second seminar we focus on research, asking to which degree and in what ways research – both on the professions and as a mode of professional education itself – is impacting on the educational remit of the university. In the third seminar, we turn to the humanities, asking what the humanities are doing and might be doing in domains of professional education in light of the educational remit of the university. In the background of these discusses are wider questions about what the university is and what the university is for and how the educational remit of the university might be articulated and justified.


Seminar 3. HUMANISING EDUCATION: HUMANITIES, PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION AND THE UNIVERSITY

Examinations of the place of the humanities in higher education have focused on the moral significance of humanistic modes of study in the knowledge-seeking endeavours of the university.  Nussbaum has warned, for example, of the moral fragility of an educational system that strays too far from ‘the beaten path of human beings’ in a social and political climate that privileges scientific and ultimately economic endeavour.  This is a case for the continuing importance of the study and teaching of the humanities in higher education and society more generally. But what does it mean to call for a humanisation of higher education and what might this look like, more concretely, in fields of professional education? In particular, how can the humanities be brought to bear on three prevailing concerns:

  • The requirement for the professions to be ‘evidence-based’.  Literature, for example, is not often invoked in argument for its evidential characteristics, but for its capacity to ‘tell the truth’.  What place might humanistic conceptions of truth have professional education?

  • The place of ‘knowledge’ in the curriculum.  What is the nature of humanistic ‘knowledge’ and to what extent can it be codified? What would it mean for higher education to privilege transformation of the self over the acquisition of knowledge (or ontology over epistemology)? 

  • The idea of ‘engagement’.  How can literature, philosophy and history be invoked to account for the relationship between student, teacher and subject matter in ways that resist instrumental conceptions of teaching and learning?  Is it, in fact, through the involvement of the humanities that professional ‘education’ can remain educational?
  •  

    Speakers:

    Prof Malte Brinkmann, Humboldt University of Berlin
    Dr Amanda Fulford, Leeds Trinity University
    Dr Dr Aine Mahon, University College Dublin
    Prof Richard Smith, Durham University

     

    Facilitators:

    Dr Ourania Filippakou, Brunel University London
    Dr David Aldridge, Brunel University London
    Prof Gert Biesta, Brunel University London
     

    This is seminar 3 of a series of 3.

    Seminar 1 : QUESTIONING TRAJECTORIES: POLITICS, POLICIES AND HIGHER EDUCATION, 14th March 2018

    Seminar 2: IF RESEARCH IS THE ANSWER, WHAT WAS THE QUESTION? RESEARCH, PROFESSIONS, AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION, 25th June 2018

    Network: Theory
    Date(s): Tuesday, 16 October 2018
    Times: 11:00 - 16:00
    Location: SRHE, 73 Collier St, London N1 9BE
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    AineMahon
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    Richard Smith
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