7 X 13 = 28, really? : rethinking how things become a matter of concern


Elaine Speight-Burton Elaine Speight-Burton

Language & Learning Advisor at Deakin University

About this conversation:

For almost a decade I have been entangled in a passionate love/hate/**!!?*/ relationship with the practice of academic language and learning (ALL) advising, that curious, vulnerable, risky, field of work that began in Australia, some 60 years ago, as a way of responding to the ‘problem of  difference’ in the university.  Like learning developers in the UK, our work is largely informed by taking an academic literacies approach to support students’ learning by working directly with them and alongside our disciplinary colleagues to clarify and explain the often implicit linguistic and cultural conventions that are valued in (western) academia. Like learning developers, ALL still finds itself caught up in struggles to define what we do, who we are, who we might be and how the institution has defined us.

In this conversation, I invite you to engage in a dreaming of what might happen, if as Maggie MacLure might say, we knocked ‘language’ off her throne for a moment, and began to consider how we might create learning communities that engage with difference, differently.

Taking John Hildson’s conversational lead very carefully; ‘[w]e now know that the continuation and replication of our current political, social and economic arrangements, which construct people primarily as consumers and producers to be the means to achieve the ends of profitability and ‘growth’,  in this conversation I want to explore an imaginary where particular arrangements, the discursive and the socio-material, are mobilised to assemble the self-regulated learner: learners who develop the capability to quality assure themselves as a means to secure institutional profitability and growth.

To do this, I draw on inspirations from the work of Diane Mulcahy and her work on performative knowledge practices to produce the accomplished teacher, (2010, and 2015, 2018), Actor network theory and material politics (Law & Mol 2008).

Come and join me for a very personal, antipodean take on dreaming of multiple learning communities where radically different ways of ‘doing’ and ‘knowing’ are not only possible, they are actually preferred.

Law, J & Mol, A 2008, ‘Globalisation in practice: on the politics of pigswill’, Geoform,vol. 39, no. pp. 133-143.

Law, J 2004, After method: mess in social science research , Routledge, London.

Mulcahy, D 2010, ‘Assembling the accomplished teacher : the performativity and politics of professional teaching standards,’ Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol .43. no. S1, doi: 10.1111/j.14609-5812.2009.00617.x

About Elaine:

Elaine currently works as a language and learning adviser at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.  Previously she was employed as an academic support and development lecturer at Victoria University, Melbourne where she began acknowledging and working with post-colonial perspectives in education, until the unit was dismantled. From 2009-2012, Elaine worked as a language and academic skills adviser at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. There she was employed as a TAFE (VET) teacher in the international division and worked to collaboratively embed language in the curriculum for all first year students, for which, along with her fabulous team, she was recipient of an OLT citation (Australian award for university teaching) in 2012 for Outstanding contributions to student learning: sustained innovation.

Elaine works explores creative analytic practices, performance texts and writing as a method of inquiry.

When: Tuesday 4th June 2019 12:00-13:00 (UK Time)

Joining the conversation:

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