Over the last few months there has been considerable debate regarding the establishment of ‘safe-space’ on university campuses around the world, with the anxiety expressed that they act to shut down free speech. In a world apparently dominated by post-factual political rhetoric the need for debate and the interrogation of diverse views seems more important than ever. This is well exemplified by the columnist Timothy Garton Ash. So, I guess putting the phrase ‘safe space’ in a blog post could be considered attention seeking. Actually it is not. It is a phrase which has emerged from a series of research projects in which I have been capturing views of a new and established teachers and lecturers, from primary, secondary, Further and Higher Education settings about practices and environments in which they experience professional learning.
The significance of ‘safe-space’ is evident in my last blog post, in which I concluded with the question, How do we create modern day collaborative learning experiences in which our student teachers will experience solidarity with each other and with the learners, will be given permission to be productively creative and do so in a safe space in which each of them can become the best teacher they can be? This post picks up the theme where I left off, and also draws on the keynote I gave at the UCET annual conference.
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published on: 14 November 2016