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CLeaR Fellows 2014 – Dr Stephen Turner

Teacher-centricity, a collage

Dr Stephen TurnerStephen teaches in Writing Studies in the Department of English. He is interested in social scripts, writing technologies and programming, with particular reference to ‘public pedagogy’ and the settlement of new countries. Apart from on-going work in settler-indigenous studies, he has produced, with Sean Sturm of CLeaR, numerous talks and articles on the University, teaching writing and the econometrics of education.

Stephen’s theme is what he might call the ‘classroom of greater value’:

What place does the classroom have, or what role does it play, under new conditions of digital technologies (MOOCS etc)? He thinks of the classroom as an increasingly fractalised experience of pre-scripted education, wherein students are subject to a technical meta-body or meta-student, which is the construct of course programming (aims and goals, assessment and evaluation).  What then is the value of actually being in class – indeed what is a ‘class’− and how can the same technologies be turned or attuned to that value?

All classrooms cannot be the same. What is different about a classroom in the Arts Faculty? And how can the arts (as practices, materials, imaginings), be used more as method and not simply as object or content to inform teaching?

How does built pedagogy (my office/dept/building, the rooms I daily inhabit) shape learning as ethos, and how, differently configured, could learning be otherwise?

Rather than content delivery, Stephen is interested in the classroom as a ‘learning game’ (I am particularly interested in James Carse’s notion of finite and infinite games). He would like to design a series of learning games, drawing on various arts, for instructing teachers in the classroom of greater value.

He is keen to get a fuller picture of the affective classroom, utilising technologies that enable me to field, in class, what it is that the students are simultaneously experiencing and thinking, with a view to increasing interactivity, and upping the ‘noise’ floor.