The following post is from Amy Walsh, who has been a BILT Associate since September 2018.
For the past five years, I have worked with University of Bristol students, academics and the community to co-create transformative opportunities to develop students’ skills and academic knowledge through their formal and informal curriculum.
Just three percent of the global population attend University, but they fill eighty percent of the world’s leadership positions (Chuck Hopkins, UNESCO Chair). Leading environmentalist David Orr (1994, p. 7) argued that our society and planet are largely threatened by “the results of work by people with BAs, BSs, LLBs, MBAs and PhDs”. Yet higher education continues to fail to equip graduates with the skills and values to overcome the complex global challenges we face (Wood, 2004; Martin & Jucker, 2005; Sterling, 2010; Sterling, 2011). As a BILT Associate I will champion the benefits of students participating in Engaged Learning in the community as part of their curricula.
My role as Bristol Green Capital Liaison Officer is based in the Engaged Learning Team in Public Engagement (RED). I manage the Skills Bridge project which aims to harness the potential of Bristol’s students to solve local and global challenges. I connect community organisations and local businesses with students to solve local and global challenges through Engaged Learning projects where students develop and apply academic theory to real-world practice.
Alongside my role in the Engaged Learning Team, I recently completed the MSc Education (Policy & International Development) programme in the School of Education. This gave me the opportunity to grow my understanding of the theories and philosophies than underpin learning and teaching for sustainable development. As BILT Associate I will work with colleagues from across the University to produce resources to support academics to develop Engaged Learning projects in their programmes.
My first output as a BILT Associate will be a critical literature review of current Engaged Learning theories and practice across the UK and international HE sector. I will produce a concise summary to be presented at a workshop at the annual BILT festival of learning and teaching. My second output will build on my dissertation work, which will explore the ethics of Engaged Learning. Investigating how we can ensure Engaged Learning projects are mutually meaningful and beneficial for students and community partners
Martin, S. & Jucker, R., 2005. Educating Earth-literate Leaders. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 29(1), pp. pp. 19-29.
Orr, D., 1994. Earth in Mind: In Edication, Environment and the Human Prospect. Washington DC: Island Press.
Sterling, S., 2010. Sustainability Education: Perspectives and Practice across Higher Education. London: Taylor & Francis.
Sterling, S., 2011. Transformative learning and sustainability: sketching the conceptual ground. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Volume 5, pp. 17-33.
Wood, E. J., 2004. Problem-Based Learning: Exploiting Knowledge of How People Learn to Promote Effective Learning. Bioscience Education E-Journal, 3(1), pp. 1-12.