Slow strategies for student (and staff) engagement.

Joe Thorogood, Simon Faulkner, Laura Warner

Abstract


The past two years have seen an explosion of interest in the Slow Movement as a response to stress and overwork in universities. Many staff are working less and giving themselves appropriate breaks from academic life. Yet the theoretical and practical tactics and ideas for slowing down have not been shared with students, even as students suffer from overwork and employability concerns. At the same time, many universities have sought to engage students through new research-led approaches to teaching. We suggest that student engagement can be defined as the extent to which a student feels they belong to a department and that a department cares about them. We offer two methods of increasing this type of engagement. First, introduce students to the slow movement and second, take seriously the issue of staff engagement. We evaluate our own efforts to foster slow student and staff engagement through a ‘Shut Up and Write’ sessions adopted by the Geography Department at UCL.


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