Seeking social justice through student-staff partnerships

Thursday, May 23, 2024 Anna Sutton Building, University of Chester

Working with students as partners is the antithesis of the consumerist mind-set in higher education.

It goes beyond simply asking students for their opinions, by inviting them to join staff in investigating, creating, and implementing decisions about their higher education experiences, the curriculum, and knowledge production.

The practice of working with students as partners has become an important and rapidly growing approach to learning and teaching that underpins pedagogic approaches in higher education. Students as partners is a radical agenda because it challenges the traditional hierarchies in higher education as to who holds the power in educational spaces and how it is exercised.

As such, this practice offers opportunities to bring about social and educational transformations. In this interactive inaugural lecture, I will explore the relationship between social justice and student-staff partnerships by considering what working with students as partners contributes to social justice, and what a social justice perspective contributes to the practice and conceptualization of students as partners.

I argue that working with students as partners and seeking social justice can be considered two sides of the same coin, they are complementary practices. By recognising the relationship between working with students as partners and socially-just pedagogies we have the potential to enhance the endeavours of both areas.

Tea and coffee will be served before the lecture and a complimentary drink will be available afterwards.

“Anything done to students rather than with students can never be socially just.”

Lister (2023: no page)

“Students as partners is a socially-just pedagogy, especially if we pay attention to the disruptive intent of much of the students as partners literature.”

Munevar-Pelton et al. (2022: 3)

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