In contemporary higher education, educators have responsibilities towards increasing numbers of learners. The expectation of care-giving is becoming institutionalised and commodified within higher education via the rhetoric of ‘well-being.’ Yet the expectation that educators engage in care often operates in tension with the reality that we work at scale.
Within open education circles, the discourse surrounding care tends to emphasize a pedagogy of relational knowledge, empathy, and sharing (Bali, 2015), as well as affect and empowerment (Motta & Bennett, 2019). An open pedagogy of care often encourages resistance to totalizing technical systems and to the reduction of learning to transactions and data.
On all fronts within higher ed, however, the responsibility to respond with care converges on front-line teaching staff who may be oxymoronically required to offer emotional labour within ambivalent or uncaring structures, creating pedagogical commitments which may not be sustainable, or may foster feelings of inadequacy (Bryant, Lanclos, and White, 2019). What do we achieve if only those who are privileged enough to have few students, or an abundance of time, are in an actual position to invest in an ethic of care?
In this workshop we will critically explore the extent to which the ideology and values of open pedagogy (Paquette, 1979 in Hendricks, 2016) can support care-at-scale in contemporary institutions. Is it possible for openness-for-care to be embodied not just through individual practice but holistically, through the fabric of the institution? Can this shift create a culture within which care is not a performed commodity but suffused across the multiplicity of roles and identities which intersect with higher education? Finally, we explore the tensions and limitations of care as practice that need to be attended to if educators are to engage in what hooks (1994) calls the process of self-actualization that promotes their own well-being and by extension, that of learners.
Three imagined futures will be presented. Using open pedagogy as an underpinning value, participants will speculate a design in response to proposed educational scenarios within these futures. The design responses will then form the coordinates for discussion.
The design responses will be in the form of text and/or diagrams which can be shared openly as an output of the session.
Speculative Design is an appropriate method for OER20 as it:
(i) moves away from the constraints of the commercial practice (steered by the market); (ii) uses fiction and speculates on future products, services, systems and worlds, thus reflectively examining the role and impact of new technologies on everyday life; (iii) and initiates dialogue between experts (scientists, engineers and designers) and users of new technologies (the audience) (Auger, 2013).
(wrt point iii we see participants as both ‘experts’ and ‘users’)
Participants: up to 40
Room: Cabaret style
10mins the speculative design process + the three ‘futures’
15mins participants respond to a scenario (each table being a different scenario)
15mins participants switch to a second scenario – OR, if in the moment it feels a better use of time, stay focused on original scenario and move toward preparing responses
(responses posted to a shared online space)
15mins sharing + discussion
All outputs will be shared online + blog post to capture the narrative of the session and key themes
Auger, J. (2013). Speculative design: Crafting the speculation. Digital Creativity, 24(1), pp.11-35.
Bali, M. (2015). Pedagogy of care: Gone massive. Hybrid Pedagogy https://hybridpedagogy.org/pedagogy-of-care-gone-massive/
Bryant, P., Lanclos, D. and White, D. (2019). Precarious voices: The shared hopes and dreams of those teaching and supporting learning in digital contexts . https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/bitstream/handle/2123/20694/precarious%20voices.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y
Hendricks, C. (2016). Open pedagogy and a very brief history of the concept. https://homonym.ca/uncategorized/open-pedagogy-and-a-very-brief-history-of-the-concept/
hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.
Motta, S.C. and Bennett, A. (2018) ‘Pedagogies of care, care-full epistemological practice and “Other” caring subjectivities in enabling education’. Teaching in Higher Education 23 (5), 631–646.
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