Kindness, care and love in education - Alison Phipps


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Presentation at HEA-funded workshop ' Kindness, care and love: exploring the hinterland of active learning relationships in Education'.

This event offered an unusual way of approaching relationships between students and teachers required to ensure active learning within higher education. The intellectual and academic are not understood separately from concepts of kindness, care and love – rather, there is an inherent interrelationship that teachers must embrace to ensure their students’ active learning experiences.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event:

For further details of the HEA's work on active and experiential learning:

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Kindness, care and love in education - Alison Phipps

  1. 1. From the Hinterlands of Loss: “Before you know what kindness really is…..” Kindness, Care and Love in Education. Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow
  2. 2. “Before you know what kindness really is You must lose things.” Naomi Shihab Nye.
  3. 3. Lost things….
  4. 4. Typical views from the Western Front? • Critical voices abound • Performative demands measure with increasingly invasive indicators. • Cynicism, nostalgia, fear. • Unkind, uncaring, unloving
  5. 5. Killing Thinking “Not only have universities committed themselves to the rule of the bureaucratic agenda, they have allowed themselves to be bought by commerce, industry and the market.” (p.42)
  6. 6. The University in Chains The rigid ideological, economic and religious chains that are now engulfing higher education so as to eliminate critical thought, [...] represent more than an attack on democracy. (Giroux 1-2)
  7. 7. Crac de chevalier, Syria “I am beset on everyside. Committed academics to my Right And to my Left. Behind, the grey years of the profession. Ahead, I hear the helpless cries of students For more entertainment and better results.” (Keith Warnock)
  8. 8. Loss of care; love of the ‘wrong thing’ • Kindness, care and love give way to the project of fitting out universities as places of ‘therapeutic, technocratic, consumer militarism’ (Brueggemann)
  9. 9. What are the effects? “Under these circumstances, the organization becomes unsafe for everyone in it. Emotional intelligence decreases and organizational emotions, including anger, fear, and loss, are poorly managed or denied.” (Sandra Bloom)
  10. 10. Post traumatic Institutions “The crisis-driven nature of the hyper-aroused system interferes with organizational learning. When the organization stops learning it becomes increasingly helpless in the face of what appear to be overwhelming and hopelessly incurable problems. “ (Sandra Bloom: The Sanctuary Model)
  11. 11. Damage Control “Globalisation takes place only in capital and data. All else is damage control.” (Spivak 2013)
  12. 12. Kindness crawls into the hinterlands …’ How can we find places from which from which to be restored?
  13. 13. “When where we are is where we are not.”
  14. 14. Al Aqsa, Khan Younis
  15. 15. Off-Grid: learning together
  16. 16. Ideal University? Healing, music, quiet, sanctuary, art and reading were the heart of the organic ideal campus.
  17. 17. Singing Goodbye. • Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network: Thinking with the city.
  18. 18. Perpetuating Beauty “ By perpetuating beauty institutions of education help incite the will toward continual creation” (On Beauty and Being Just, Scarry: 2003)
  19. 19. Resilient Kindness • Pedagogies of Indignation • Pedagogies of Creativity: – Earth, air, fire, water • Pedagogies for Conflict transformation • Pedagogies for Compassion • Alternative Economics for the Anthropocene. (Gibson- Graham) • Aural and Embodied – Poetry, touch and Sound