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Four reasons we should all learn about Green Careers (+ some top job hunting tips!)

Joe Simms, Louise Krupski, Bilvalyn Asamoah all talking at the Green Careers Day at Goldsmiths.

Councillor Louise Krupski, Deputy Mayor of Lewisham and responsible for the Environment, Transport and Climate Action in the Borough, offers this top tip to the schools who are attending a Green Careers’ Event at Goldsmiths. She urges everyone to find out the real truth about what is going on with the environment. She says, ‘There’s a backlash at the moment against climate activism, but let’s be in no doubt, we face a climate emergency, and one way of addressing it is by getting as many young people as we can involved in green careers.’

Her belief in the importance of green careers is echoed by other people on the panel, who include the new Young Mayor of Lewisham, Bilvilyn Asamoah,13, Joe Simms from RAFT, a social enterprise which retro-fits housing so it’s environmentally friendly, and performance poet and youth advocate Laila Sumpton. The panel is the culmination of a day where pupils and teachers at schools local to Goldsmiths, academics, museums, business people, and local government workers have come together to explore and learn about what green careers involve. There are a number of lessons we all learned throughout the day. Here’s my summing up of them.

Many careers now have a green element

Marta Martinez, the Head of Business Decarbonisation at West London Business, where she manages the Green Business Action programme, gave an engaging keynote speech about the work she does with small businesses to decarbonise their work. She pointed out that there are many careers now that had to have a green element. She cited as a great example, a small fashion business, who sourced materials from the leading fashion brands so that their ‘cast-offs’ didn’t go to waste. She pointed out that every business needs to consider how they use their energy efficiently, how they might cut the environmental impact of their supply chain, how they might encourage their employees to travel to and from work sustainability.

Other speakers during the day amplified upon this point. Carole Destre, the Climate & Ecological Coordinator at Horniman Museum and Gardens, spoke powerfully about the work she does so that museum considers how its energy use might be decarbonised to save the environment and costs, which can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. She emphasized the importance of collaboration, saying: ‘I cannot achieve anything by myself in my role and the goals are only achievable if every one else in their respective position plays ball and puts in place the changes needed.  At every level. So as Marta said every career could be green, the light green, pending on the choices we make.’

Joe Simms at RAFT enumerated the skills shortage that there is in the construction industry because not enough people are qualified to ‘retro-fit’ housing with more energy efficient heating systems and insulation.

Laila Sumpton pointed out that everyone in the arts and culture sector has to consider the climate emergency in the work they do in some way or other because it’s such a burning issue on many levels: politically, culturally, financially and, of course, environmentally.

Green careers are a positive way forward

What was fascinating about the day was the way in which the day was a really positive experience. Everyone came together to share their expertise and problem-solve. As Marta had pointed out, one of the problems about the climate debate is that it causes a great deal of anxiety amongst people, and this switches them off actually doing anything. But at this Green Careers Day, there were a lot of solutions which involve helping young people understand the  opportunities that there are to problem-solve. Laila asked everyone to think about what activism involves and how they might get involved in changing the world for the better, even on a small level.

The Young Mayor Bilvalyn also spoke very eloquently about the need for young people to do the so-called ‘small’ things right: to pick up litter, to avoid getting into fights, to be kind to other people and themselves. In such a way, she outlined the values and aims of working with a green mindset: ultimately it’s about being kind to yourself and the environment.

All our homes, places of work and outdoor spaces need a green re-think

Laila Sumpton lead an interactive workshop about the Parklife Project I have been the principal investigator of for the last three years. We have learnt during this project that getting young people to use creative methods to research their local parks has been particularly effective. We’ve encouraged them to write poems, draw pictures, take photographs and make films about their local parks in order to learn more about them, and consider how they might be improved. Laila asked one workshop group from Forest Hill school, 13-14 year olds, to write ‘recipe’ poems about the park. Here’s is one of the poems written on the grid Laila devised for the session:

As you can see the poem advocates for there to be more activities in the park, such as basketball, a skate park, a café, shade and trees, a kid’s playground, and air conditioned shelters. The aim here was to get young people creatively devising their own visions of how a new future might work, re-envisioning their local green spaces.

Tania Jennings, the Net Zero Carbon Manager at Lewisham,  helpfully noted that ‘green means clean’, and listed this key issues that we as a society must address:

  • Electric heating, not gas boilers
  • Locally grown food, not global agriculture
  • Natural fibre insulation, not petroleum-based
  • Renewable energy, not coal and oil
  • Electric cars & active travel, not petrol cars
  • Circular Economy, not single use & trash

All of this means re-thinking where we live, work and play. Green careers will play a major role in reshaping how we live, work and play in lots of different ways.

 

Green careers are a growth area

Tania Jennings pointed out that over one in ten Londoners will work in the green sector in 2050, listing these jobs as being needed:

  • Electrical Vehicle Technician –Maintains & Manages EV Parts & Charging Stations
  • Renewable Energy Installer –Installs and maintains Solar PV, Wind, and Wave technology
  • Environmental Engineer –Developing Efficient & Cost Saving Renewable Technologies
  • Waste Worker –Keeping Our Communities Clean & Safe from Harmful Waste
  • Urban Planner –Designing Better Spaces for our Towns/Cities
  • Landscape Artist –Installing Green Walls to Buildings to Help Improve Air Quality
  • Conservation Officer –Preserves & Cares for Natural Habitats
  • Greywater Engineer –Designs Water recycling systems for buildings, including homes
  • Retrofit Coordinator –Manages Retrofit projects from Assessment to completion
  • Sustainable Fashion Designer –Uses recycled and locally produced fabrics
  • Sustainable Delivery –Uses Cargo Bikes or Electric Vehicles to deliver materials
  • Sustainable Farming –Includes urban farming, reducing the embodied carbon in food growth

 

Throughout the day, we learnt about how all of our major work sectors, from the arts/culture, education to business and construction all will need to embrace a green mindset, with many jobs involving people considering how to reduce our carbon footprint in sustainable, creative and exciting ways.

Dr Francis Gilbert, Head of Mas in Educational Studies, MA Creative Writing and Education, Academic Co-Director of the Connected Curriculum and Principal Investigator on the Parklife Project, Goldsmiths University.

 

Huge thanks to the participating schools (Forest Hill and Christ the King), Victoria Willis, Schools Climate Network Co-ordinator at Lewisham, Megan Bastable of the Widening Participation Team at Goldsmiths, and Eleanor Hamblen, Schools’ Learning Officer, for organising and running this day so well.

 

APPENDIX

Elena Draganova, Employment and Training Advisor at Lewisham Council, ran a successful CV writing workshop on the Green Careers Day, offering this advice.

Top tips & links for getting ahead in the jobs market

Job Searching:

Student Work: Save the Student – Guides and resources specifically for students looking for part-time or summer jobs.

E4S (e4s.co.uk) – Connects students with employers in various sectors.

Caterer.com – For those interested in hospitality careers.

Milkround (milkround.com) – Focuses on graduate jobs and internships.

Indeed (uk.indeed.com) – General job search engine with a wide range of opportunities.

 

Crafting a Great CV:

Free CV Builders:

Canva (Free CV Maker: Create professional CVs online – Canva) – Easy-to-use platform with creative templates.

Reed (reed.co.uk/cvbuilder) – Build a professional CV with expert guidance.

CV-Library (cv-library.co.uk/free-cv-builder) – Streamline the CV creation process.

 

CV Writing Video Tutorial: YouTube – A helpful video guide to walk them through writing a strong CV.

Job Profile Exploration:

Prospects (prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles) – Explore different career paths and learn about specific job roles.

Bonus Resource:

Barclays Life Skills (barclayslifeskills.com/) – Free online programme offering resources on employability and financial education.

 

Devised by Elena Draganova

Employment & Training Advisor

Economy, Jobs and Skills Team | Lewisham Council

Elena.Draganova@lewisham.gov.uk

 

Social Justice and Education: why exploring ‘difficult’ and ‘messy’ questions matters

“Education does not transform the World. Education changes people.
People Change the World”
– Paulo Freire

Whether in the streets of London, primary schools in Nairobi or universities in Santiago, we witness and experience the impact of social injustices almost every day. We know that different people experience complex crises differently: from ongoing conflicts and anti-gender movements to racial inequalities and the climate emergency. There are of course geographical differences. For example, the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report found that while the out-of-school population fell by just 9 million globally, it increased in sub-Saharan Africa by 12 million. According to the United Nations, ‘inequity is perhaps the most serious problem in education worldwide’.

At Goldsmiths’ Educational Studies, we delve into the impact of these various issues on education and simultaneously explore how education might provide solutions. Through our MA in Education: Culture Language and Identity (soon to be MA Social Justice in Education) we explore ‘difficult’ and ‘messy’ questions such as: what is the role of teaching and learning in struggles towards social justice? How can education in diverse learning spaces (schools, universities, civil societies, museums) help us understand what social justice is and how to ‘get there’? How can we make classrooms more inclusive of and a safe space for diverse identities, languages and cultures?

While there is, of course, no single answer to these questions, take inspiration from the above words of Brazilian educator and revolutionary Paulo Freire. We believe that it is through people engaging in critical conversations that spark new ideas, consider new solutions, and potentially, ‘change the world’. In this MA programme, you will draw from your own professional and personal experiences, whether you are a primary school teacher, a school leader, a charity worker, a community facilitator, a museum practitioner or simply someone passionate about education. Through engaging with these difficult questions, you will have the opportunity to contribute to meaningful discussions and broaden your perspectives.

We believe that it is through people engaging in critical conversations that spark new ideas, consider new solutions, and potentially, ‘change the world’.

In this MA programme, we don’t only understand and identify issues but also explore existing initiatives from different parts of the world and how they address these challenges. We have sessions, for instance, that look at the role of language in bringing diverse communities together. We also engage in conversations with student activists who have successfully lobbied for policy change in their communities. The teaching team in this programme bring years of research and teaching experience in areas such as race and education, gender, language and global education and policy.

While we look at current research, we also learn from examples shared by our students. Many students have been catalysts for change in the schools they lead, in the movements they participate in and the initiatives that they spearhead. Following the course, some have pursued further studies, some taking up leadership position in their schools and some have worked on their government ministries.

The pursuit of social justice in education is complex and requires people from different professions and disciplines to come together. Our MA in Education, Culture, Language and Identity (soon to be MA in Social Justice in Education) offers a space for critical dialogue with like-minded peers and teachers. Join us in this journey as we continue to learn, question and advocate for a more just and inclusive society!

Written by Chris Millora and Veronica Poku

—–

More about our MA in Education, Culture, Language and Identity.

Learn more about this MA in an upcoming free event for offer holders and potential students here. We will be joined by Dominic Grego from Goldsmiths International Office who will share support available for international students.

More about Dr Veronica Poku’s (Head of Programme) research and teaching.

More about Dr Chris Millora’s research and teaching.

Book a one-to-one chat with Dr Chris Millora about the MA programme here.

How do I become a better writer? How do I become a better teacher of creative writing? Podcast with Ardu Vakil

Ardu Vakil, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, and co-founder of the MA Creative Writing and Education along with Professor Vicky Macleroy, talks about the factors that lead people to become better writers and better teachers of creative writing in this video podcast. He is interviewed by Dr Francis Gilbert, currently Head of the MA Creative Writing and Education.

No language left behind; no student left behind

Last time I flew into the UK from my hometown I had a revelation. It was the first time I heard my mother-tongue spoken through the plane tannoy. I cannot tell you how elated I was. After over 20 years of shuttling between Barcelona and London, it was the first time my language, Catalan, was used by the usual formal welcome of the pilot and their technical account of the flight path, the weather conditions to be encountered, and the duration of the flight. My mother tongue, the intimate, personal language that had accompanied me through the early part of my life, had suddenly made it big. My heart filled with joy, my language suddenly connected with the privileged aerospace realm, and its beautiful tinted blue skies and sea of clouds. I wanted to get up and give a huge hug to the pilot to show my infinite gratitude for the bravery of including my language, a minority language, in his announcement. I felt visible and validated. It was at this moment that I fully realised how linguistically deprived, and how different my relationship with my mother tongue was to those of monolingual speakers of English or Spanish. Whilst in my life-time Catalan had so far travelled hidden from view and unheard, it finally travelled first class.

In the Department of Educational Studies, we welcome and value students’ linguistic and cultural baggage and their knowledges and ways of viewing the world so that they travel comfortably in their educational journeys. We acknowledge that languages other than English do not just belong to the community or to first generations of migrants, but we consider languages as a key aspect of lived experience, that we take with us wherever we go, as a shell on our backs. In the Department of Educational Studies, we welcome and value students’ linguistic funds of knowledge and their cultural diversity.  

 In our MA in Education, Culture and Identity, students’ language repertoires are seen as deeply entangled and in connection with people, spaces, and materiality, whilst acknowledging the power of inequalities permeating their use. Given that in the UK approximately a third of students speak another language at home in addition to English, adopting a linguistically and culturally inclusive and socially equitable approach to languages and language education is key. One of the aims of this MA is to counter monolingual ideologies and approaches to education that see the English as an Additional Language (EAL) student as deficient. Honouring a considerable amount of research into literacy, bilingualism, and intercultural communication, we start from the premise that students and their linguistic diversity bring a wealth of experiences and cultural capital to the learning process. We believe that languages and the linguistic and cultural diversity of the student population should not only be valued for the functional skills, the cognitive benefits and social mobility they bring, but also for other equally important social, creative and compassionate benefits. By valuing students’ languages and their cultures, we not only help decolonise teacher’s knowledge and minds, and diversify ways of seeing, but we promote fundamental human qualities both in teachers and learners such as empathy, hospitality, and care for others, whatever their linguistic background.

 When you come to the Department of Educational Studies your languages and those of your students will be valued and harnessed as vital parts of one’s identity and ways of being in the world. Such an approach is guaranteed to facilitate speedy boarding next time you embark on a new linguistic and cultural adventure. In acknowledging languages and cultures as alternative and genuine resources for knowledge in your future teaching career, no language will be left behind, and no child will be travelling to school without their languages and cultures neatly packed in their school bag.

By Cristina Ros Sole, cristina.ros@gold.ac.uk

MAs in the Department of Educational Studies which you might be interested in are:

MA Education: Culture Language and Identity, soon to be MA in Social Justice

The MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity has been developed into the MA Social Justice in Education (new from September 2024). We build very much upon the strong and popular basis that is the MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity drawing upon the expertise of talented and knowledgeable academics. This programme is designed for you if you are interested in how questions around social justice impact upon education as well as lived aspects of our lives. In part, this new MA  aims to address issues faced by those in informal learning contexts as well as formal educators at all levels, international settings and related fields.

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA Children’s Literature

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA Children’s Literature: Illustration Pathway

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA Arts and Learning

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA in Creative Writing and Education

You can learn more about the MA in Creative Writing and Education here. 

Four ways education can make the world more socially just

It was a very rainy cold night in New Cross, London, but it was warm in the Margaret McMillan Building on the Goldsmiths Campus! Several Educational Studies staff, former and current students, and prospective students had gathered both in the building and online to discuss a vital issue for our times: how can education make the world more socially just?

It is a huge topic, but a very important one to consider. The discussion was very fruitful and a few key points emerged by the end of the evening, which I’ll sum up here.

ONE: Make every voice count.

If there was one strident point to emerge from the evening, it was this. If we are going to institute social justice in the world, then both formal and informal educational settings need to foster listening cultures where everyone feels they can be heard and listened to with respect, kindness and consideration. This is not to say that there shouldn’t be disagreements, but the crucial issue here is that people should feel their opinions, their thoughts, their feelings, their experiences count. This is something that all the programmes at Goldsmiths encourage. The BA Education as Dr Amina Shareef, a lecturer and tutor on the degree, pointed out, is all about giving students the confidence to articulate their views, and to listen to other people. Equally, within the Masters’ programmes in Educational Studies, this theme was a constant. Dr Chris Millora, module leader on globalization and education on the MA Education, Culture, Language and Identity, highlighted what happens when people are not given a voice. He showed us a photograph of a bulldozer ploughing down homes in the Philippines, where he is from, in order to build a resort, and pointed out that while for some the bulldozer is a symbol for helping communities become richer by building a resort that fosters tourism, for other people, particularly the local community, the bulldozer represents losing their homes. His module and others on the MA interrogate these issues. Whose voice really counts in the world? Who is listened to and respected? Too often, the voices of the economically disadvantaged and of marginalized groups are ignored at best, and at worst obliterated.

 TWO: Help everyone become critical and creative thinkers.

Professor Vicky Macleroy, Head of the MA Children’s Literature, talked powerfully about the ways in which her MA explores the ways in which people, children and the world are represented in children’s literature. This MA is innovative in the way it helps students on the degree become critical and creative thinkers simultaneously. They read so many wonderful children’s texts – written by staff on the course like Professor Michael Rosen and alumni like Dean Atta – and then are given space to respond both critically and creatively with their own analytical essays, podcasts, pictures, and creative writing. On the MA Creative Writing and Education, students are encouraged to use creative writing in all sorts of educational ways: to use it as a form of self-healing, to get communities writing poems, plays and stories about the injustices they see around them. Seb Duncan, alumni of the MA Creative Writing and Education, is just about to publish a novel, The Book of Thunder and Lighting, which explores these issues in some depth. His time-travelling hero undergoes a fantastical psychic and physical journey through London’s past and learns about the injustices that have happened throughout the ages to emerge as a changed person.

 THREE: Foster the spirit of rebellion against injustice.

This was a theme that was raised initially by a student on the MA Creative Writing and Education, Denise Dixon Roberts. She’d run a wonderful workshop earlier in the term for the general public on Creative Rebels. She pointed out that it is often the rebels that change the world for the better. We talked about artists like William Blake and Linton Kwesi Johnson (Goldsmiths’ alumni) who fostered this spirit.

FOUR: To use research as a tool for social justice.

This was another theme that came up again and again. Dr Chris Millora talked about his own research into literacies in the Global South, and how the label ‘literacy’ can be oppressive when used in certain ways, if, for example, certain people and communities are labelled ‘illiterate’. Emeritus Professor Eve Gregory spoke about her research into literacy which had highlighted a similar issue in the United Kingdom and London. Her research conducted with many other academics over the years has shown that there are many hidden literacies amongst groups who are often labelled as lacking literacy skills, such as the Bangladeshi community and the white working class in the East End of London.

Exciting research within the Educational Studies Department with Social Justice as a key theme:

BeLiFS:  www.belifs.co.uk

‘Becoming literate in faith settings: Language and literacy learning in the lives of new Londoners’ (BeLiFS) is a research project funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council. This is a 3-year long project on four faith groups: the Pentecostalist community from Ghana, the Catholic community from Poland, the Muslim community from Bangladesh and the Hindu community from South India/Sri Lanka.

Multilingual Digital Storytelling Project (goldsmithsmdst.com)

The Critical Connections Project, initiated in 2012 with funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, is about enabling young people across the primary and secondary age range to create and share multilingual digital stories. It offers an approach to language learning, literacy and citizenship which recognises that communication is enhanced when plurilingual and digital resources are drawn upon purposefully and creatively. Consistent with Project Based Language Learning (PBLL), the value of a wider cross-curricular orientation, particularly in relation to the arts (drama, music, visual art) is also viewed as highly significant.

Other MAs in the Department of Educational Studies which you might be interested in are:

MA Education: Culture Language and Identity, soon to be MA in Social Justice

The MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity has been developed into the MA Social Justice in Education (new from September 2024). We build very much upon the strong and popular basis that is the MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity drawing upon the expertise of talented and knowledgeable academics. This programme is designed for you if you are interested in how questions around social justice impact upon education as well as lived aspects of our lives. In part, this new MA  aims to address issues faced by those in informal learning contexts as well as formal educators at all levels, international settings and related fields.

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA Children’s Literature

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA Children’s Literature: Illustration Pathway

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA Arts and Learning

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

MA in Creative Writing and Education

You can learn more about the MA in Creative Writing and Education here. 

The MA Children’s Literature joins the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education to celebrate their latest Reflecting Realities research

Last week, students from the MA Children’s Literature programme visited the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) for an insider’s look at their influential work promoting diversity and inclusivity in publishing.

The CLPE is a children’s literacy charity dedicated to raising the achievement of children’s reading and writing. Since 2017, they have published annual Reflecting Realities reports, which examine the quantity and quality of ethnic representation in the UK children’s book market. Our students heard first-hand from Farrah Serroukh, Interim Executive Director for Research and Development, about the key findings of the 2023 report, which was published last week. Together, we celebrated that 30% of the children’s titles published in 2022 featured racially minoritized characters – a big increase from 4% in 2017 – at the same time as thinking about how much further we have to go before the children’s publishing industry is truly inclusive.

For many students, the visit affirmed the importance of culturally relevant books for showing underrepresented readers that they have a place in the world and in the books they read. This message is fundamental to us on the MA Children’s Literature, where the first module “Children’s Literature, Culture and Diversity” examines how texts for young people can challenge and disrupt existing power systems and reimagine a more inclusive world.

One of the highlights of the visit was the chance to explore the 23,000 books and resources in the CLPE’s Literacy Library – a booklover’s dream. With fiction, non-fiction, picture books, graphic novels, and more, the Literacy Library gave students across all three pathways of the MA – Theoretical Approaches, Creative Writing, and Book Illustration – the opportunity to be immersed in the world of children’s books. Our visit made for a brilliant end to a great first term.

If you’d like to learn more about the MA Children’s Literature and the ways that we enable students to access cutting-edge insights into children’s literature and the publishing industry, visit our website. You can also contact our Head of Programme (Prof. Vicky Macleroy) or one of our Heads of Pathway (Theoretical Approaches – Dr Emily Corbett, Creative Writing – Dr Tori Bovalino, and Book Illustration – Bruce Ingman) for a more in-depth chat about how the MA Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London can support you.

Other MAs in the Department of Educational Studies which you might be interested in are:

MA Education: Culture Language and Identity, soon to be MA in Social Justice

The MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity has been developed into the MA Social Justice in Education (new from September 2024)

MA Children’s Literature

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-childrens-literature/

MA Children’s Literature: Illustration Pathway

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-childrens-literature-illustration/

MA Arts and Learning

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-arts-learning/

MA Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-multilingualism-linguistics-education/

Undergraduate BA programmes

https://www.gold.ac.uk/ug/ba-education/

 

MA Arts and Learning is unique, life-changing and innovative

 

On the MA Arts and Learning programme we are interested in exploring approaches to art practice and pedagogy by questioning theories of contemporary art and learning. Importantly we question what our practice is, what form it might take and how we can share innovative approaches with others. This term the students have been thinking about rules and disruption through a material engagement, making cats cradles, projecting ideas in spaces, questioning the identity of objects and themselves. We have thought about practice research methods, and how we can develop different ways to know, and engage complex ideas through materials and actions.

 

 

Next term we are excited that as part of our Critical Pedagogies in Contested Spaces module the students will be working with; The Mosaic Rooms, Bow Arts, The Young V&A, Autograph, and Bishopsgate. As part Of the Spaces of Practice module students will be also be working with CCA Goldsmiths, Gasworks and Iniva. These connections will enable us to unpick current pedagogical developments, and explore social and cultural issues within these wonderful venues and initiatives.

Our research and thinking on the MA Arts and Learning is closely connected with the Centre for Arts and Learning which is a research centre led by Dr Miranda Matthews in the Department of Educational Studies. This academic year the CAL theme is Arts Economies. If you interested in hearing more, you can access some of the fascinating previous presentations on Goldsmiths Learn.Gold webpage. You can also Follow us on twitter. (X) and instagram@maartsandlearning

Other MAs in the Department of Educational Studies which you might be interested in are:

MA Education: Culture Language and Identity, soon to be MA in Social Justice

The MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity has been developed into the MA Social Justice in Education (new from September 2024)

MA Children’s Literature

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-childrens-literature/

MA Children’s Literature: Illustration Pathway

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-childrens-literature-illustration/

MA Arts and Learning

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-arts-learning/

MA Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-multilingualism-linguistics-education/

Undergraduate BA programmes

https://www.gold.ac.uk/ug/ba-education/

 

 

 

 

The BA Education Programme at Goldsmiths is an amazing journey!

For many young people, going to university for the first time is a daunting experience. For some, it may be the first time away from home. For others, it may be the first time leaving the well-known neighbourhoods, routines, and cityscapes of childhood. For many, going to university is a first step into the “real world,” the world of being independent, thinking about and planning a career, and living on your own.

Whatever the situation, it is all the more necessary that young people have a supportive university environment in which they can learn and learn what excites them, speaks to their passions, and learn in ways that acknowledge their ways of knowing and being, brings their personal biographies, communities histories, and personal aspirations into the learning experience. It is also equally important that young people have an environment where they are valued as a individuals, their emotional needs are paid attention to and taken care of and they can seek pastoral care if necessary.

The BA program at the Department of Educational Studies provides just that kind of environment. The Goldsmiths BA program encourages students to re-think what they know about education and pay attention to its relationship to culture, identity, social justice, race and racism, citizenship, democracy, and much more. The program is led by well-accomplished scholars in their respective fields who understand how to make learning thought-provoking, culturally relevant, and transformative. At the same time, the small size of the program provides a tight-knit community that is nurturing, caring, concerned for wellbeing. In the BA program, tutors know students by their names and show genuine concern and care. The friendships made last a lifetime.

Nora Khan, a third year student, shares her reflections of the BA program:

“The BA program was an amazing journey! The classes were intellectually stimulating and well-structured. The professors were knowledgeable, approachable, and friendly, which created an environment conducive to learning. Interacting with peers was fun and enriching. The academic atmosphere within the department was one of diligence and camaraderie, creating a close-knit family. Overall, the BA program exceeded my expectations and offered a rewarding educational experience.”

For Nora, the BA program was not just a course, but a journey of traveling through ideas, concepts, and news ways of thinking and being. For Nora, the BA program was marked by the tutors who created a learning environment that was fun yet enriching.

Nora is not the only student to share such views about the BA program in the Department of Educational Studies. There are many others.

So, if you are thinking of a career in education, know that the BA program in the Department of Educational Studies will offer you a stimulating academic experience as well as a validating and comfortable social environment.

Hope to see you here!

By Amina Shareef, Lecturer in Education at Goldsmiths.

Undergraduate BA programmes

Log on here to find out more:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/ug/ba-education/

MAs in the Department of Educational Studies which you might be interested in if you already have a degree are:

MA Education: Culture Language and Identity, soon to be MA in Social Justice

The MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity has been developed into the MA Social Justice in Education (new from September 2024)

We build very much upon the strong and popular basis that is the MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity drawing upon the expertise of talented and knowledgeable academics.

This programme is designed for you if you are interested in how questions around social justice impact upon education as well as lived aspects of our lives. In part, this new MA  aims to address issues faced by those in informal learning contexts as well as formal educators at all levels, international settings and related fields.

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-education-culture-language-identity/

MA Children’s Literature

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-childrens-literature/

MA Children’s Literature: Illustration Pathway

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-childrens-literature-illustration/

MA Arts and Learning

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-arts-learning/

MA Creative Writing and Education

If you are writer who is interested in education, or a teacher who writes, this course may be for you!

Log on here: https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-creative-writing-education/

MA Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-multilingualism-linguistics-education/

 

 

Beat the Christmas blues by freeing your creative voice! Come to our amazing conference — it’s free!

For many people, Christmas can be a very problematic time. On the MA in Creative Writing and Education which I run at Goldsmiths, we investigate the ways in which creative writing and creativity more generally can improve your wellbeing. Much research and practice shows that creative writing can have healing properties. The founding father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud argued that creative writers are daydreamers who find expression of their innermost desires in their writing. Most recently, James Pennebaker and his fellow researchers have found that expressive writing can help people suffering from a wide range of medical conditions, such as HIV.

On the MA in Creative Writing and Education we learn about these different types of research into creative writing and put quite a few of them into action, with students carrying out their own research. One of the key strategies that many of our students find liberating and healing is freewriting. On the course, they learn how and why this form of writing can be so successful. One of the recent gurus of freewriting, Peter Elbow explains what it is here and its benefits:

‘The most effective way I know to improve your writing is to do freewriting exercises regularly. At least three times a week. They are sometimes called ‘automatic writing’, ‘babbling’, or ‘jabbering’ exercises. The idea is to write for 10 minutes (later on, perhaps fifteen-twenty). Don’t stop for anything. Go quickly without rushing. Never stop to look back, to cross something out, to wonder how to spell something, to wonder what word or thought to use, or to think about what you’re doing. If you can’t think of a word or a spelling, just a squiggle or else write ‘I can’t think of it’. Just put something down. The easiest thing to do is put down whatever is in your mind.’ (Peter Elbow, Writing without Teachers, OUP, 1998, p. 3)

On the MA many of our students significantly improve their creative writing and their teaching of creative writing by instituting a regular routine of freewriting with themselves and their students.

In an upcoming conference on Freeing Creative Voice at Goldsmiths, many of the workshop leaders and lecturers will be showing how they have used freewriting and other strategies to find their voice as writers, as teachers, as people. The award winning writer Rachel Seiffert will l will lead an interactive workshop and offer suggestions on how writers from all backgrounds can encourage young students to free their creative minds and voices. Alumni and current students from the course will be sharing their wonderful research and creative outputs during interactive workshops on reciprocal teaching and journalling, using creative writing with language learners, writing privately and totally freely, psycho-analysis and poetry writing, using creative writing to engage in political debates, exploring abuse through creative writing, and connecting with one’s cultural heritage through creative writing. The conference will be topped off by the wonderful Victoria Bolavino who will explore how and why she wrote her novel Not Good for Maidens – A Goblin Market Re-telling (2022), and illustrate how she has freed her own creative writing voice

If you would like to be cheered up and you’re interested in writing, and/or teaching creative writing, do consider coming to the conference, it’s free. Tickets can be found here.

You can learn more about the MA in Creative Writing and Education here. 

Other MAs in the Department of Educational Studies which you might be interested in are:

MA Education: Culture Language and Identity, soon to be MA in Social Justice

The MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity has been developed into the MA Social Justice in Education (new from September 2024)

We build very much upon the strong and popular basis that is the MA Education: Culture, Language and Identity drawing upon the expertise of talented and knowledgeable academics.

This programme is designed for you if you are interested in how questions around social justice impact upon education as well as lived aspects of our lives. In part, this new MA  aims to address issues faced by those in informal learning contexts as well as formal educators at all levels, international settings and related fields.

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-education-culture-language-identity/

MA Children’s Literature

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-childrens-literature/

MA Children’s Literature: Illustration Pathway

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-childrens-literature-illustration/

MA Arts and Learning

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-arts-learning/

MA Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education

You can find full details about this very popular MA on the website here:

https://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-multilingualism-linguistics-education/

Undergraduate BA programmes

https://www.gold.ac.uk/ug/ba-education/

Spreading good practice: developing the Parklife Toolkit

It is early July in Deptford Green schools and students from Goldsmiths, funded by the British Academy’s SHAPE initiative, are working with teachers and pupils at the school to co-create a ‘Parklife Toolkit’. They are looking at designs for possible websites for the Parklife Toolkit: considering fonts, colour schemes, lay outs. What will make the website attractive for other schools and community groups?

First, the pupils were asked by our website designer, a Media student at Goldsmiths, Yanning Tan, to:

Rank these 4 fonts (see above link) according to which would be best for the Parklife website? Don’t look too closely at the font in particular, instead focus on the overall vibe and impression of it! Do we want something more professional, or something more playful…or somewhere in between?

Then second, they were asked to consider:

Colours and possible logos – Which appeal most to them? Do the colours look visually appealing and do they fit the image of Parklife? If not what colours might be better? 

Website layouts and designs. Which one do they prefer and why? Any specific elements that they like about the design?

After some long discussions, the layout, fonts and colour schemes were agreed. You’ll have to wait until the website is launched to see the final result though, there was much debate and controversy amongst the pupils.

A series of other key ideas and concepts were considered, which are represented on these pieces of sugar paper. A key aspect of the Parklife project was doing creative research. The pupils and Goldsmiths students co-created this rather marvellous but simple series of steps.

The pupils considered the journey they went on during the Parklife Project so that they could put this into their Toolkit. This piece of sugar paper contains a rough series of points:

The Goldsmiths’ students helped the pupils discussed each of these important events and experiences connected with the Parklife Project:

Autumn Sharkey, a Goldsmiths student on the MA in Creative Writing and Education, summed up the timeline in this way:

1 Creative research

We split into three groups – the art group, the creative writing group and the litter picking group. We made a video of a hedgehog going through the woods and the forest using a 360 camera, we made a cottage poem and we painted artwork bringing to life what it could look like.

2 Advocacy day

Delegates from our local council joined together to listen to our manifesto. This included changes that needed to take place to impact safety, litter and engagement of the youth in our local park. The session started with the Parklife team presenting our creative research, which was followed by a Q&A session and a pledge writing activity, which were then followed up with. This helped us connect with the local community and bring change.

3 Following up on pledges from the council

The pledges were created from our short term and long term goals which were safety, litter and engaging young people. We collaborated, worked together and communicated by emailing the pledges back out to those who had attend the advocacy day to remind them about what they said they would do.

4 Meeting the mayor of Lewisham

Meeting the mayor of Lewisham was an important step that we have taken in order to achieve some changes in the park. During the meeting we used a shortened script from advocacy day in order to further advocate for our worries. We used the video to persuade and got some neutral response. They explained that the council doesn’t have enough resources to implement all of these changes, however we got to the point of agreement about a possible water fountain.

5 Building the water fountain

We prepared for the meeting with snacks and all of our creative work, and then the Lewisham Council came to school – we introduced ourselves and the project, explained how we want to change the park using our creative work. We asked them questions, and they took note, they said ‘no’ to a few, and discussed other points. We asked for the fountain and they built it.

6 Lewisham People’s Day

We went to Lewisham People’s Day to celebrate the work that we had created and spread awareness about park life. THis helped our confidence to stand up for our park and show others the significance of what we had done.

7 Meeting the NHS

We went to visit the local NHS workers to the park and discussed the flower garden that had been mentioned before in our meetings with Sarah Lang. The flower garden is being predicted to create 

8 Interviewing the police about park 

We were asking a lot of questions like how often does crime happen in the park, also we discussed the perception versus the reality of the park. We were discussing the statistics on how often crime happens and also the security of the park.

9 Major school survey about safety

We conducted a major school survey to determine the areas that cause the most fear. We discovered that the underpass caused the most feelings of lack of safety. We used this data to create our quiz.

10 Create an interactive quiz

The interactive quiz was first supposed to be made to raise awareness about our local green space. It was made as a Netflix film in order to engage as many as possible and make them realise the difference between perception and reality. However, later on we used it in our own climate conference in order to explain to the participants that were attending that although this relates to every park, it is better to check the reality rather than base our lives around possibilities.

11 Climate conference

We started practicing how to project our voices, we used what we’d already been doing to encourage other schools, and made a stand and a powerpoint to show how we’d changed the park – and then we added a quiz to stop them getting bored.

12 World Book Night

We collected together our best poems about Parklife, and then practised performing them to each other in a safe and kind way. We got in contact with the people who ran the local library and asked to present our poems to them and the local community. We were quite nervous when we presented the poems, but everyone was very appreciative. The local people asked us lots of questions about the project, and we were able to answer them very fully. It was a good experience to feel their interest and curiosity. They invited us back to do more events. It was a great connection to make. 

As you can see by the Powerpoint presentation painstakingly and lovingly created by our Creative Writing and Education student, Gabriella Sepsik, there were plenty of proud and memorable moments:

The project led to some wonderful creative work being produced:

A key feature of the project was to have clear goals and indicators of success. This poster illustrates this:

Christine Khisa supervised the last part of the creation of the Toolkit and really motivated the pupils to produce some great advice on how to run a Parklife project. These results will be shown in the upcoming Toolkit!

Meanwhile, Laura Dempsey at Volunteers for Future, and Rebecca Deegan, at I have a voice, two social enterprises that work with schools across the country, are devising their own Toolkit, which is aimed at primary school teachers and volunteer facilitators. It will also incorporate student research, ideation and design but aimed at a younger age group. We can’t wait to see what Toolkit they come up with as well!

The aim is that by the end of July, we will have two Toolkits in place: a toolkit aimed at teenagers, secondary schools and community groups and a toolkit aimed at primary school teachers. Both will go on the website that Yanning will create. In September, with the Toolkits published, we will start on the next phase of the Parklife project which will be test and trial the Toolkits with a number of schools: 3 secondary schools and/or local organisations, and 3 primary schools and/or groups which work with primary aged children. The final deadlines of the trialling and testing year have yet to be decided, but the funding has been secured so it’s definitely going to happen. We can’t wait to see how the Parklife Toolkits might work with other schools and organisations!