Social Science Centre – Notes for Planning Meeting 9th January, 12 noon, 12 Mint Lane Lincoln
SSC Cooperative Meeting
5th December 2015
Present: Wendy, Mike, Andrew, Joss, Laura Apologies: Lucy, Sarah, Mahmood
Last meeting’s minutes have been shared and agreed
Radical Histories Conference – 1-3 July 2016
“Towards a Radical Future of Education” – Wendy will get in touch to see if it is to late to submit a proposal. If not, Wendy offers to write a proposal and send to mailing list for comments.
SSC to support Wendy to attend, funds permitting.
Validation of Courses and Awards
Wendy asked about “next steps” for validating work. Joss described the various routes that SSC could support scholars to get accreditation from the state, which would include working in partnership with another university, e.g. the Open University, or with an accreditation body regulated by OFQUAL to award degrees. This route would have high resource and administration implications and would be suitable if we have hundreds of students. Alternatively, SSC can support scholars to obtain a PhD by publication, and they would need to apply to a university to do this.
Marx Law of Value
Wendy requested a lecture to help her move forward with her study.
Mike & Joss offer to share some online links via email (reading and recorded talks).
Curriculum for next term
Joss is keen to offer a ‘Politics of Archiving: Archiving Politics’ online course, supported by TESA, a US workers’ cooperative. It’s unlikely he will be able to do it this academic year though due to other commitments.
Raul Espejo http://syncho2.blogspot.co.uk/ offers a course in Social Cybernetics. Laura suggested that he might offer it on alternate weeks with SSI course in the new year. Mike will discuss dates with him. We would want to advertise this course.
Andrew, Wendy, Mike and Laura are all keen for SSI course to continue.
Gary offered to lead an SSC session in the new year – Mike will arrange a date with him.
Anarchist Research Group
Wendy gave feedback on a trip with Cassie and Lucy to the MayDay rooms. They gave a short talk about the SSC, and had interesting conversations with others who were there.
Others from the anarchist group suggest using libraries as a radical public space for meeting.
Cassie offers to do a write up.
Update on ISRF project
Project is continuing according to plan.
It is reassuring the ideas coming out of the focus group and workshops are similar to our own ideas.
People attending come from across the world and have lots of Cooperative experience.
Joss has put in an abstract to do a talk at the Cooperative College.
Laura will organise another workshop in the new year for people who are interested but missed the last one, and a subsequent meeting for those who decide to start a Lincoln Savings Pool. It will likely include people who are not currently scholars at the SSC, but Laura will send all info to the SSC email, and put info on the website.
Mike invites us to his place on 19th December.
Laura is getting a DBS check through the Voluntary Services Centre; others can get a DBS check but would need to pay for it. Mike (Secretary) agreed to file the VSC paperwork with other SSC documents.
SSC planning meeting 7th November 2015
Attendees: Lucy, Wendy, Mike
Apologies: Sarah, Laura, Andrew, Joss
- Minutes from last meeting
No minutes from the last meeting as only Mike and Laura attended.
Wendy found it difficult to engage with the ‘Sociological Imagination’ but found the session brought the book to life when it related to people’s lives. Laura picked out parts in the book that related to values and as a group we decided to re-write our biographies from a values viewpoint. The Sociological Imagination is a useful book to refer back to. It gives practical advice for research and the value of research. The SSI course is going well. Mike has written some prose. We discussed the value of life history as a research method. A colleague from Middlesex University gave a talk this week on methodologies for professional doctorates.
- Reciprocity Pools
Laura would like to set something up. A group of 20-30 people all putting in approx £10-20 to see how it goes and if its a success, talk about putting in bigger amounts.
- Project is going well. 3 out of 5 workshops have been delivered. 3 out of 5 focus groups have been delivered. Joss and Mike have been regularly interviewing people. The summaries have been posted on the website. An interim report is going to be written and submitted to LATISS, an open access journal.
The green paper on higher education has been published. Some notable aspects are:
- New entrants only need 1,000 students to be classified as a University.
- It will be possible for Universities to award degrees in six years rather than ten.
- This could be exciting for the cooperative movement
- Green paper appears confused as there are no incentives for Universities to positively respond to changes, there are more regulations.
Mike and Joss are writing a response to the green paper and invite SSC members to read the paper and give their thoughts. We could write a collective response.
Unfortunately the green paper shows no sensitivity to history, social justice or cooperative values. It would be interesting to analyse the paper through the values and principles of the cooperative movement.
Wendy has started a PHD through Lincoln University, however is struggling to finance this. Is there a way SSC can offer assistance with validation?
SSC is unable to award at this stage, however, can provide ongoing support. Wendy could enrol at a University in France and the SSC will still support Wendy through this. Wendy could also get her PHD through publication. Write and submit at least 5-6 articles (with ongoing support from SSC) to peer review journals and then compose 10,000 word commentary to pull all the work together. This is how Joss obtained his PHD.
- SSC online course
There has been a proposal to build an online course around archiving and the politics of archiving. TESA, a workers cooperative in America helps organisations do online teaching and training around cooperatives. They would be able to support us to build an online course. They can provide a handbook on how to do online courses and research into the best technologies for online courses. This can be trialled as an addition to the research project as it is a relevant aspect. It needs to be ready for around March-April 2016.
Wendy and Lucy are visiting the Anarchist Study Group in London on 28th November with Cassie Earl to speak about the SSC. SSC have offered to fund travel.
Attending: Cassie, Martha (opening and closing), Mike, Sarah, Wendy
Apologies: Andrea, Andrew, Graham, Joss, Laura, Lucy, Paul
Matters arising from minutes (of 4 July 2015)
The curriculum planning day has been rescheduled for two meetings on September 5th and 12th. The first will start with a general discussion about the aims of the curriculum for the term, responsibilities and etc.
Sarah will put a call out for new courses and set up Loomio discussion(s) for preliminary discussions.
Courses and activities will start in October 2015 – Wendy’s must be as early as possible.
Report from ISRF/SSC project
There is a new report on the first workshop. It will be out soon after participants have seen the transcript.
All SSC members have been invited to take part in a funded workshop in US; details to follow from Mike.
The second workshop on ‘governance’ is to take [took] place on 17 July 2015.
Trips and visits
There is a trip planned to London to the London Metropolitan University archives and MayDay Rooms on 10 September; we will take train, Mike to buy tickets. Contact Mike N. if you want to go.
We have been invited to visit the New Anarchist Research group – Cassie and Sarah to follow up
Members of the SSC with an interest in alternative forms of higher education are invited to a ‘Gathering of Kindred Spirits for Re-imagining Higher Education’ in Portugal, 20-26 August; Sarah and Mike are going; contact Kelly Teamey for details.
We will have a break over the summer and come back in the fall, to regroup about the aims of SSC work and make plans for new courses and activities; also to organise a new campaign to let people know what we do and make connections with other people and groups: who we are, what we are doing, where we are going?
Present: Mike, David, Wendy
Apologies: Peaceful, Joss, Andrew, Andrea, Laura, Gerard, Lucy,
Curriculum Planning Day
26th of July scheduled as curriculum planning day for next year’s programme Currently a number of apologies have been received. Mike to check that this event to go ahead on 26th of July or to reschedule.
Mike gave a report on progress of research project to establish a model for cooperative higher education funded by the Independent Social Research Fund. The work done so far has included a workshop on Pedagogy for Cooperative Higher Eduation, interviews with authorities on cooperative learning, as well as educational instittuions, e.g., Workers College in South Africa, as well as worker coops providing educational resources, e.g., Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA).
Trip to London
Mike to confirm names of those going to London to visit London Metropolitan University Library and London Mayday rooms and to buy train tickets.
Wendy would like to run a workshop on Marx’s social theory: not a presentation but to use her word: a ‘germinatis‘, (trans. ‘of sprouting’). This to be discussed at the curriculum planning day. It may be that the curriculum next year is organised around a series of workshops on matters of particular interest to participants and facilitated/taught by the participants themselves.