JLDHE Reading Club 12 April 2023 - Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education

JLDHE Reading Club 12 April 2023

Thank you to those who joined us for the Reading Club on 12th April 2023. We discussed Shannon Martin and Jim Lusted’s Critical Reflections on the Racialised Hierarchies of an Ethnically Diverse Staff-Student Scholarship Project Team from the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Special Edition. We were fortunate to have Jim join us to engage in the conversation and give direct insights into the topic of this paper.

The discussion opened with questions on the findings of the study itself and what key learnings Shannon and Jim had taken from their work. Jim highlighted that although it is important to recognise that black student experiences are widely diverse, their study did find some commonalities in how black students experienced higher education and/or were perceived by higher education. Jim explained that one of the key outputs was that black students often felt that they lacked shared spaces for peer-support and social interactions. This was exacerbated by the nature of the Open University, which can make it difficult for students to meet and interact meaningfully. Importantly, Jim and Shannon are working on a new project exploring how and where such a space for black students might be meaningful / effective.   

Next, we discussed student partnerships more generally, and how Shannon and Jim worked together to mitigate and/or reduce the inherent power imbalances that exist when staff and students collaborate, which have the potential to be exacerbated even further when racialised hierarchies also exist. Jim argued for the importance of partnerships being guided by principles of empowerment – to ensure students are supported to be full and equal collaborators in the project and that both the expertise they bring and the skills they can / want to develop are respected. Similarly, we discussed different forms of remuneration students receive for the work in staff-student partnerships (payment, certificates, badges etc.). The overall consensus was that payment seemed the best form of remuneration in helping to break down power-imbalances, respect the time and efforts of student partners and ensuring such posts were viable and attractive to all students.  

The next Reading Club will be held on Wednesday 14th June at 5:30pm.

Please book a free ticket via the ALDinHE website. You will be notified in advance of the meeting with a selection of JLDHE articles for you to choose from. We will then confirm the piece with the most votes. The zoom link, to access the meeting, is provided via your ticket. 

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