Keynote announcement: Dr Tai Peseta and student partners

The Enabling a Modern Curriculum Conference Project Team is delighted to announce the second keynote presentation for the online Conference, which will be delivered by Dr Tai Peseta and a team of student partners including Thilakshi Mallawa Arachchi, Brooke Mees, Kobi Newell, Lilly-Rose Saliba and Shivani Suresh. Tai and the team of student curriculum partners from Western Sydney University will be presenting a keynote titled Curriculum co-creation as boundary-breaking: expanding our horizons for partnership between students and the academic library.

Partnering to enable a modern curriculum is one of the four themes for the Conference, and we were delighted when Dr Peseta asked if she could partner in her keynote with a team of student partners – modelling partnership while presenting about partnership!

Here’s how they describe their presentation:

We are a team of students and staff at Western Sydney University who have been working together on a university-wide initiative called 21C– a 5-year curriculum transformation project. 21C advances the principles of Partnership Pedagogy – co-design, co-development, co-delivery and co-credentialling – and our stream of work has engaged us energetically in the acts of modern curriculum-making. We have learned how university curriculum gets made through making curriculum with others (academics and external partners), resulting in 10 transdisciplinary Minors – among them – Climate Justice, Equitable Technologies, Urban Evolution, Water for Life, Global Workplaces, and Personal Innovation, and 25 Curiosity Pods that aim to address big society and future of work challenges. Like much of the student-staff curriculum partnership literature suggests (Bovill & Woolmer, 2019; Lubicz-Nawrocka, 2017), the process has been puzzling, eye-opening, satisfying, often-times uncomfortable, and packed with realisations about how power circulates in the university. 

Yet, apart from seeing it as a place that collects, curates, and circulates knowledge and resources – books, articles, newspapers, videos, and that offers spaces for study, reflection, and retreat – as a team, we have engaged very little with our own university library. How does an institutional curriculum transformation project like 21C – with similar aims to CAUL’s statement on a modern curriculum – miss the potential and possibility for a more intentional curriculum partnership with the library? In what ways do the institutional boundaries and particularities of curriculum-making prevent us from engaging in a more purposeful, expansive, and productive partnership? 

In our presentation, we interrogate our student-staff curriculum practices. We share our experience and diagnosis of curriculum co-creation in the university; our interpretation of the scholarly literature about how libraries are already expanding their ways of working with students as partners; and we make suggestions that encourage all of us – students, academics, and librarians – to disrupt the boundaries of curriculum co-creation together.

Find out more about Dr Peseta and the team on the Conference website.

If you’re in Sydney, you can also catch Dr Peseta and co-facilitator Dr Amani Bell at a face-to-face workshop focused on student-staff partnerships on Thursday 13 September. Workshop places are limited, so register early! More information about the workshop is available on the Conference website.

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