I don’t really consider myself as an academic. Maybe I’m a ~cool~ academic. I consider myself an artist before anything else. I suppose that’s a bit poncey to say, innit? It’s alright, I’m gay so I can say it. But I guess I am considered an academic – I went to Uni a handful of times thanks to student finance (god bless – you’re NEVER getting that money back from me) fell in love with learning, and so… that’s that.
Some views from a retired Trade Unionist – and the question of Trade Union Education by Ian Gallagher
We got a tweet from the Blackburn and District Trades Union Council raising the issue of the proposed closure of Blackburn Trade Union/ Health and Safety Education Centre. We thought it might be interesting to ask the Trades Council if they wanted to submit a post to our Blog. We got this piece from former Trades Council Secretary, Ian Gallagher. It wanders a bit wider than we were anticipating, but we thought readers might be interested in his viewpoint. Now retired, Ian has been an undergraduate, a kitchen worker at Brockhall and Calderstones Hospitals and a clerical officer in the Civil Service. He was a lay Trade Union officer in NUPE, UNISON and PCS.
Our experience of being working class academics is important to our teaching and research by Dr Rachel Broady
I hesitated to write this blog. I want to be recognised as an academic not as the token or pet working class woman in the corner. No one wants to play prolier-than-thou. I realise, though, that our unique experiences matter, they need to be heard and respected and they’re often not. So, I write.
In recent times I have been the designated safeguarding lead in three educational settings, including an alternative provision attended (or more often not) by some extremely vulnerable young people. In the present pandemic I have been working in the guise of educator.
Nothing I have experienced in these roles has challenged my view that barriers to learning are neither purely educational concerns to be addressed by teachers nor problems to be solved by social workers. In almost all cases they existed and continue to exist on the cusp of education and social care.
The Trials of being a Working Class Academic in Social Work: the Spoils and the Apple Cart – the politics of compliance and complaint by Caroline Bald
I have a thing for words.
I struggle with the word ‘academic’. I have called myself by every other name I can think of and nothing feels quite right; lecturer, educator, researcher, teacher, social worker – my twitter profile is littered with labels. Academic sounds ‘other’ and ‘above’ to my ears. It is not simply another sorry case of imposter syndrome, it is an issue of positioning that takes me back to the origins of social work (Jane Addams and minimising the space between them/us) and critical pedagogy (Paulo Freire and learning as emancipatory). So for me, with my fourth year in academia under my belt, I continue to harbour both a feeling of sitting in the Prefect’s Room and an ethical value base that wills me to never forget it.