Exploring the ‘Civic Curriculum’ colloquium (updated with slides)

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DESIGNING A curriculum that forges productive links with regional politics, culture and business was the focus of a successful LITE event.

The ‘Exploring the Civic Curriculum Colloquium’ – organised by the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE)  – explored the role of a university and its relationship with its surrounding region and community.

READ: full slides here for morning Great Hall one and afternoon Great Hall one and morning Great Hall two and afternoon Great Hall two

READ: full programme here.

More than 80 delegates attended the event from 20 Universities in total, including external speakers from the universities of Birmingham, UCL, Sheffield, Leeds Beckett, Nottingham, Warwick, Lancaster, Bedfordshire and Edge Hill.

The Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) is a community of research and innovation with the aim of establishing the University of Leeds as a sector leader in teaching practice and scholarship. The Institute provides funding, time and support for current and future student education leaders to develop their profile at the University and to carry out research and innovation projects with internal and external impact.

Dr Raphael Hallett, Director at LITE, who led on the event, says: “We were delighted with both how well attended this event was and the depth and energy of the debate generated.

“Throughout the day we interrogated and reflected on the practice and pedagogy of engaged learning, community-facing programme design and curricula and its links with regional politics, culture and business.

“We also explored the idea of ‘civic’ belonging, exchange and responsibility as ways of understanding the University’s current and future role in relation to society.”

Amongst the colloquiums themes explored on the day were:

  • Designing modules and programmes that engage students with regional communities, cultures and businesses.
  • The pedagogy of ‘engaged learning’ and ‘the connected curriculum’.
  • Nurturing a student’s ability to understand and critique regional questions of power, politics and identity.
  • What ‘civic’ identity, responsibility and belonging could mean for University students and staff.
  • The role and status of the University in relation to its surrounding region.
  • Taking risks with educational and learning spaces: the benefits and challenges of extending boundaries and sites of learning.
  • University strategy and the role of ‘the civic curriculum’ (or similar concepts) in institutional policy, marketing, identity
  • The Leeds ‘City of Culture’ 2023 bid, and how to design the ‘2023 curriculum’.

For further enquiries and ideas about follow-up events and publications please contact Dr Raphael Hallett at r.hallett@leeds.ac.uk.