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Learning & Teaching Conference, Sheffield Hallam University


'How can learning walks foster creativity and belonging in Higher Education?'


A 45 min Learning Walk 'workshop on the go’ facilitated by the Walking Arts Research Group as part of the 'Student Retention' Strand at the SHU Learning and Teaching Conference, 11th July 2018. The workshop was led by Annie Watson and supported by Jeremy Lee Andrew Robinson and Sonya Robinson.

The theoretical rationale underpinning this session is about establishing a collective identity that fosters belonging and can help student retention. We will explore how walking between staff and students can break down established academic hierarchies and patterns of communication. Ruitenberg (2012) talks about the role of walk leadership and how important it is to create a space for students to find their voice, starting with the view that “all students are intelligent beings with the capacity to make meaning and share their view of the world”.

Before the walk, each  participant writes a question to which they require an answer. These are put into a hat, randomly picked out again and become the starting points for conversations on the walk. On return, walkers seek out the person who wrote the question and tell them the answer.

Ruitenberg, C.W. (2012). Learning by walking: non-formal education as curatorial practice and intervention in public space. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 31(3), 261-275, DOI: 10.1080/02601370.2012.683604

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