There’s power in the community: a sociomaterial analysis of university learning spaces.

GRIFFITHS, Teri-Lisa and DICKINSON, Jill (2024). There’s power in the community: a sociomaterial analysis of university learning spaces. Higher Education.

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Internationally, the significance of the relationship between the university environment and the student experience is well-documented. In response, UK university leaders have driven forward policies that focus on estates' expansion and regeneration. The restrictions necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic presented an opportunity to explore questions around the importance of the materiality of campus and its impact on the student experience. This case study examines students’ experiences over time within a post-1992 UK university during the 2020/21 academic year and makes a trifold contribution. First, it explores how restrictions placed on learning spaces can foreground the relationship(s) between space and learning practice. Second, through adopting a sociomateriality perspective, the paper examines students’ reactions to the top-down approach taken to Higher Education (HE) policy making and its potential for exposing manifestations of power within the student experience. Third, the paper illustrates how photovoice methodology can encourage reflections on the impact of materiality on the student experience. The findings reveal two principal themes: power dynamics and community participation. The authors make recommendations for university leaders to adopt a community-first, co-creation approach towards future policy-making that enables meaningful dialogue with students and educators and drives forward sustainable, inclusive change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1301 Education Systems; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; 1303 Specialist Studies in Education; Education; 3903 Education systems; 3904 Specialist studies in education
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2024 10:48
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2024 11:00

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