Inspiration

...Gems from others on education, civil society and the demand for change.

If you have your own inspirations for designing a school for civil society, please share them with us!

Felix Bivens’ doctoral dissertation, Higher Education as Social Change: Seeking a Systemic Institutional Pedagogy for Social Change (2011), explores the development of social engagement (SE) programs at universities in the United Kingdom and United States.

A Vision of Students Today (2007)summarizes some of the most important characteristics of students today – how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.

An inspiring TED talk by Neil Turok (2008) about the wealth of bright and ambitious children in Africa and the development of the African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS).

Quest University, a non-profit and private university in British Columbia, presents a unique alternative to the current undergraduate system by having students develop a broad understanding of many topics while encouraging creative abilities.

University of Minnesota introduces Active Learning Classrooms, which use round table discussions and interactive technology to promote collaboration and interaction in the classroom.

Patricia Leavy’s thought-provoking article How Higher Education Fails Us All (2012) argues for the restructuring of universities to promote an interdisciplinary approach to solving the world’s problems.

The Globe and Mail article There’s No Online Substitute for a Real University Classroom presents some thought-provoking arguments for why the physical classroom remains the heart of real education.

John Bohannon and the Black Label Movement show us how to dance your PhD (2011) as an alternative to powerpoint.

Adam Sneyde teaches us about Perspectives on Civil Society, including how civil society has been defined and enacted. You can learn more about civil society by visiting the Conceptualizing Civil Society working group page.

University of British Columbia’s Science 101 and Humanities and Writing 101 courses offer an alternative way for community members to access education.

The 2012 article When your Surgeon has an Art-School Diploma on the Wall highlights the positive implications of creativity and art for science.

St. Mary’s University develops the “School of Global Learning” to connect local and global communities to the University.

Barry Schwartz’s stimulating TED talk on using practical wisdom, which addresses the difference between following the rules and truly choosing wisely.

Sir Ken Robinson’s classic Ted Talk about How Schools Kill Creativity (2006) presents an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Lisa Wenger outlines how a school for civil society is ideally positioned to take on the challenge of creating alternative career training and opportunities with Civil Society PhD Internships.

Universities Reshaping Education on the Web” introduces Coursera, an online eduction company, who, in collaboration with many colleges and universities, will be offering over 100 free online courses, creating access to higher education for millions of people around the world.

Dave Hudson addresses “information inequality” and the role of Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals in global justice in his 2012 article Unpacking “Information Inequality”: Toward a Critical Discourse of Global Justice in Library and Information Science

Re-imagining the role of the university bottom arrow

Dialogue goals

  • Broaden and deepen our and thinking on the meaning of civil society
  • Explore the linkages between the universities and civil society sectors
  • Engage university and civil society constituents in a process of imagining how the University of Guelph can move in a direction of greater engagement

Building Blocks of Civil Society