Sponsored by the Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group & the Higher Education Research Group
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) places at its heart the idea of research-informed teaching (RIT) arguing that ‘The learning environment is enriched by student exposure to and involvement in provision at the forefront of scholarship, research and/or professional practice.’ (DfE, 2017, p25). While TEF can be criticised for advancing the marketization of universities, the emphasis on RIT provides a useful opportunity to reflect on our practice as researchers in the classroom.
RIT covers a range of practices from communicating research findings, through teaching and assessment methods and processes, up to students undertaking research themselves (HEA & UA, 2016). Geographic research into bodies and embodiment is well positioned to engage with RIT approaches because of the emphasis on praxis within feminist and allied scholarship (Staeheli & Lawson 1995). The phenomenological understanding of bodies and worlds being co-constructed produces a range of opportunities for learning-by-doing, creativity and experimentation (Manning, 2014) as do recent reflections on the potential for deploying ‘visceral’ methodologies (Sexton et al. 2017). Likewise, there are opportunities for action learning through research activities where students ‘trouble’ (Butler, 1990) their habitual embodied performances of space and multisensory experience of everyday landscapes. Such approaches also lend themselves to enhancing student skillsets by encouraging communication beyond conventional academic essays.
We are seeking panellists interested in discussing the place of bodies and embodiment research within higher education teaching. The format would be for panellists to provide a five minute pitch about their own teaching practice, followed by an audience Q&A. Themes for panellists could include:
- More-than-content-delivery approaches to teaching the body and embodiment
- Ways of connecting academic theory with everyday life
- Co-researching with students and encouraging students to become independent researchers
- Resisting/working with student instrumentality – “How will this get me a job?”
- Students presenting research findings beyond conventional modes of academic writing
- Research ethics, integrity and student embodiment
- Teaching and assessing the multisensory
If you are interested in taking part, please get in touch with one of the panel organisers: Phil Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jen Lea (email@example.com) and Nina Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Butler J (1990) Gender trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity. Routledge, London.
DfE (2017) Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework Specification. Department for Education, London.
HEA & UA (2016) What does research informed teaching look like? Higher Education Academy, London.
Manning, E. (2014) Against method, in Vannini, P. (ed.) Non-representational methodologies. New York: Routledge, pp.52-71
Sexton AE, Hayes-Conroy A, Sweet EL, Miele M and Ash J. 2017 Better than text? Critical reflections on the practices of visceral methodologies in human geography, Geoforum 82;Supplement C 200-1.
Staeheli L & Lawson,V (1995), Feminism, praxis, and human geography. Geographical Analysis, 27: 321–338
Phil Jones is a cultural geographer based at the University of Birmingham.
Phil Jones, Geographer