The Guild of Exception
some working notes for a HE framework by John Wood
see also our introductory essay Art School Futures
(N.B. this is a working title - subject to change)
- Team-oriented, creative, adaptive learning resources, tailored to the needs of each learner.
- A Higher Education system that sustains itself financially, yet is free at the point of learning.
- A world that values the unique and the special, rather than adhering to arbitrary standards.
- A life-long learning framework designed to make the planet wiser, safer and more hospitable.
Everything Must Change?
- Warnings about climate change and biodiversity losses suggest that we need lifestyles and habits to change.
- Mainstream politicians seem to be in denial. They focus on short-term issues at the expense of the big ones.
- It looks like grassroots activists and thinkers will be the ones to steer societies towards a paradigm change.
- Modern science searches for evidence of dependable laws and principles that make the Universe predictable.
- This is useful, but we need to combine this approach with new ecological, political, economic & lifestyle visions.
- However, exceptions can become more important when we see events within the full complexity of their context.
- Attuning oneself to exceptions, rather than rules, helps us to notice rare phenomena and/or hidden opportunities.
The Whole Person
- We aim to offer a comprehensive agenda that seeks to reconcile different modes of learning (see above).
- We aim to reconcile analytical, critical & evaluative thinking with creative, emotional & practical experience.
- Although this is inspired by art school methodologies we will use it across disciplines including STEM subjects.
- Humour helps us to embrace differences, inconsistencies and ambiguities that may reveal hidden opportunities.
- Our universities evolved from scholastic traditions in which literacy & numeracy are pre-requisites to learning.
- They created head-oriented pedagogies that tend to underestimate the intuitive & embodied basis of knowing.
- Moreover, learning is usually constrained within subject-based silos and disciplinary conventions.
- We will encourage learning-with, learning-for and other auto-didactic approaches.
- Each individual manages their own progress via our Integrated Relational Learning Framework.
- This unique 4D system was trialled in a Russell Group university and adopted in several countries.
- It enables us to prioritise open-ended and playful learning at the pace of the learner's curiosity and ambition.
- It encourages individuals to identify and share the different curiosities, creativities and neurodiversities of the group.
- Specialisation has led to the quantifying of standards rather than creating and exploring new synergies.
- By identifying synergy as an asset in its own right we are therefore more likely to value the extraordinary.
- Unit-based money obeys the logic of mining, therefore we expect everything to add up to 100%.
- However, when we work with synergies, an output will always be more than 100% of the inputs.
- Activities will therefore be ad hoc & opportunity-led, rather than driven by pre-determined curricula.
An Exceptional Funding Model
- We aim to make learning free for selected school leavers and mature applicants.
- Our students will be invited to enter into an entirely voluntary, lifetime, pay-it-forward agreement.
- Education systems responded to the rise of neo-liberal economic values by becoming more elitist and bureaucratic.
- Governments focus our attention onto league tables, business plans, pay grades, targets and algorithms.
- When this happens, grades, 'fairness' and 'value for money' become more important than 'wisdom'.
- Our first pilot programme will run at a venue in South East London - ...see more
- We will start this at a grass roots level - thanks to our volunteers - ...see more
- Please send your comments and suggestions to John Wood at maxrippleatgmail.com.
(also see our metadesign manifesto, our research and our recent book).
currently under development
- The Ruskin Mill Trust offers workshops for young people around the Morecambe and Lancaster area.
- Escape 2 Make works for young people (also in Morecambe and Lancaster).