Slow Strategies for Student (and staff) engagement.

Joe Thorogood, Simon Faulkner, Laura Warner

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Universities have sought to engage students through new research-led approaches to teaching. This paper argues that student engagement strategies should include student disengagement and its causes. It draws on the Slow Movement to conceptualise areas where students and staff share anxieties (overwork, finances and careers) that contribute to a sense of isolation. The past two years have seen an explosion of interest in the Slow Movement as a response to stress and overwork in universities. Many staff use the movement to work less, reduce stress and give themselves appropriate breaks from academic life. The theoretical and practical tactics and ideas for slowing down, however, have not been shared with students. Students often feel overworked, particularly if balancing part-time work and employability concerns that can take up as much time as studying. This can cause disengagement with studies This paper argues that staff should become aware and sensitive of the demands placed on students and their time and offer appropriate strategies to help preserve it. It ends by evaluating one of the authors’ recent efforts to foster student and staff engagement through informal writing sessions for both staff and students (termed ‘Shut Up and Write’) in the Geography Department at UCL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-123
Number of pages19
JournalStudent Engagement in Higher Education Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018

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