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Students' Role



What do we expect from students studying Contested Knowledges?

Studying Contested Knowledges is probably going to be different from studies that you have done previously. Because we are looking at the idea of contesting knowledge and investigating the contingent nature of knowledge production, it is important that we teach this unit in a way that is consistent with the philosophy of the unit itself. How can we teach a unit in ways that cut across the sorts of things that we aim to teach?

As such, the way in which we run this unit will mean that the way you approach your study is going to be different. By contesting the dominant knowledge systems, by making space for other knowledge systems to have a say, we are saying that your contribution to the construction of knowledge in this class is important.

This means that your role in this class is an active one. Your role in constructing knowledge about contesting and constructing knowledge is important and I encourage you to contribute to the discussions, share the insights you bring with you and be an active participant in your own learning.

Be prepared though, this doesn't mean that anything goes! To be active in this learning process means that you can say whatever you like but you need to be able to substantiate what you say. You need to respect other people's rights to speak and to have opinions that differ to your own. That doesn't mean you can't challenge them to support their ideas with evidence, but be prepared to be challenged yourself. Be open to change, but don't enforce change on others.

These are some of the rules that you need follow when you are investigating issues in an academic arena. Part of the process of learning in Contested Knowledges is becoming aware of these rules or conventions as we discuss and negotiate around the issues. No one is expecting you accept these rules uncritically, but they are a starting point and they do provide some structure within which to operate our discussion and contestation of knowledge.

Above all however, you need to make sure that you enjoy the learning experience in Contested Knowledges. Education is a serious business, which means that you need to make sure that you seriously enjoy your study in this unit. Have some fun!

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Last Modified:12 Feb 2016