SSC General Meeting, Saturday 4th April 2015, Mint Lane.

April 8th 2015, in meeting notes, combines some notes from pre-meeting about supporting scholarship at SSC.

Mint Lane, 12pm.

Apologies: Joss, Paul, Gerard, Martha, Laura.

Attending: Sarah, Lucy, Wendy, David, Peaceful, Andrew, Mike.

Previous minutes. These were agreed and matters arising were dealt with through the agenda.

Update on Know-How. Aniko’s session was widely praised. Sarah will email her for her whole thesis. Sarah will check that it is not detrimental to Aniko’s future publishing plans to have it available to SSC members only via the website.

Mike’s talk is next week and he has provided one reading for us and will circulate his own written piece shortly.

Andrew informed the group that his was personal, experimental and theoretical. He is going to talk about race in a way that might be sensitive. It is about the importance of history in research and what use it will be. He will send some materials around shortly. It is about Dachau, art and place, the Nazi’s and anti-semitism. It is a critique of Richard Evans a historian who claims it is just a case of ‘getting it right’. Andrew has chosen this over another possible talk on the interferometer, which was briefly discussed. Scholars would also like Andrew to do this session if time can be made by extending the schedule.

Martha’s reading is already circulated.

Visit updates. A summer day trip is to be planned to the London Metropolitan Archive http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/london-metropolitan-archives/the-collections/Pages/default.aspx and The May Day Rooms http://maydayrooms.org/. Mike will organise it after Easter.

AGM and Visiting Speakers. The AGM is to be held in the Main Hall at Croft Street Community Centre. This has been booked. Tony Jeffs http://www.infed.org/writers/tony_jeffs.htm, Andrew Jackson http://www.bishopg.ac.uk/staff/Pages/andrew-jackson.aspx, Bob Cannell http://bobcannell.blogspot.co.uk/ and Keri Facer http://www.bristol.ac.uk/education/people/keri-l-facer/ have been invited to speak.

Bob Cannell is a specialist in cooperative businesses. He is associated with Suma a food-based cooperative wholesaler specialising in vegetarian, fair-trade organic food.

Keri Facer has been involved in many large projects which encourage the use of arts and technologies she is currently leading the Connected Communities Programme (www.connected-communities.org)which aims to create new relationships between communities and universities, drawing on arts and humanities perspectives and methods to enable new forms of knowledge production to address urgent contemporary issues.

Tony Jeffs is a specialist in informal education from Durham. He has made a donation and has offered to put himself up but David will ask him if he wants to stay at Andrew’s instead.

Andrew Jackson is interested in the history of working class education and has done work around early 20th century Lincolnshire. He is on the SSC mailing list.

The room for the AGM is hired between 10.30 and 4.30. There is a plan to bring food to share. The poster is ready but it will not be completed until all the speakers have confirmed. Once this has happened there will be a group walk to fly-post.

There was a suggestion that we should have tea after the AGM at 4.30.

Discussion to support scholars. Sarah and Lucy had met for an hour before the General Meeting to begin discussing possibilities for sessions to support scholars to engage in the sessions run by the SSC. At the moment the priority is to support people to engage with Know How but shorter and longer term aims were discussed at the pre-meeting between Sarah and Lucy and Sarah outlined these. Basically they involved two sets of actions and ideas, one around theory and the other around supporting scholarship skills.

Theory: Longer term ideas and plans were about supporting scholars to engage with key theoretical ideas that they were unfamiliar with and\or that they wanted to engage with to enhance\deepen their existing understanding of. It was suggested we should do this with a series of workshops that not only explored the concepts and but also creatively engaged with how different pedagogical ‘dialogues’ and relationships could be engaged with. In addition the issue of childcare should be addressed.

At the pre-meeting specific theoretical ideas were discussed: Marx and the traditions that have built on Marxist thinking, Freire, Bell Hooks, C.Wright Mills, Freidan, Rowbotham and other Feminists. Also a list of concepts: gender, race, age, ethnicity, sexuality, disability; the media and young people, etc. The theoretical ideas were discussed and they were generally well received by those at the meeting and people were keen to get involved. The concepts were not discussed but are noted here for reference purposes.

We also discussed (at the pre-meeting and the general meeting) more creative pedagogies: using images, films, books, painting, knitting etc. as ways of changing both the forms of engagement with concepts and the relationships between participants in workshops. Steam Punk, the RSA drawings by Ken Robinson were also discussed. The idea of running a session at SSC during the Steam Punk Festival was raised.

As part of this attempt to engage with ideas more creatively Lucy will draft an email to Ben Goldacre http://www.badscience.net/about-dr-ben-goldacre/ who wrote a book called Bad Science that Lucy has read. She will write on behalf of the SSC. The draft will be circulated for comments. The plans for the workshops will be developed by those who want to be involved towards the summer months.

Scholarship skills: At the pre-meeting a list was drawn-up for a regular class which should support scholars to develop the skills they need to engage effectively with the courses run by the SSC. The following list was discussed: how do you evaluate different pieces of work; how do you do academic writing; how do you get an idea out of your head and onto paper; what does it mean to work together; and how do you critique. The SSC general meeting agreed a course should be designed for next year. This will take place over the summer. A welcome pack will be developed as part of this. However short-term plans are also needed for Know How.

Short term plans to support scholarship and theoretical\conceptual material of Know How: It was agreed that a one hour session would be run before Know How every 2 weeks. This would focus on exploring concepts associated with that evening’s session. The first meeting would be on the 9th April. Sarah is to circulate notes and book room. Then those who participate will review and plan forward.

AOB: a) Rent. Over £100 rent is due. Mike will pay it and then liaise with Stephen Hopkins.

b) Coordinator role. This will be discussed when Laura is present.

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