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Student as Producer by Mind Map: Student as Producer
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Student as Producer


Humboldt: ‘organic scholarship’ - directly involved in the speculative thinking of their tutors, close contact, Socratic/dialectical dialogue.

1. scholarship of discovery – research; 2. the scholarship of integration – interdisciplinary connections; 3. the scholarship of application and engagement – knowledge applied in the wider community; 4. and the scholarship of teaching – research and evaluation of ones own teaching (Boyer 1990).

Benjamin: "gigantic game of hide and seek" between teachers and students

The organisation of the university has ceased to be grounded in the productivity of its students, as its founders had envisaged. They thought of students as teachers and learners at the same time; as teachers because productivity implies complete autonomy, with their minds fixed on science instead of the instructors’ personality. (Benjamin 1915: 42)

Students as subjects rather than objects of history

The point of ZPD is to establish a space where students perform beyond themselves so as to make history, not simply knowledge.

Student as Producer, is by its very nature a ZPD.

1968: questioned the relationships between the student and the teacher, the relationship between intellectual and manual labour, the relationship between the student movement and other social movements and the relationship between the university and its external environment.

students refusal to speak about student issues, choosing only to speak about ‘common affairs’ ( Ross 118), raising the protest to the level of society (Ross 2002 25).

the concept of ‘everyday life’ as a critical and theoretical category, currently constituted by the ’bureaucratic society of controlled consumption’ and experienced as boredom and banality (Lefebvre 1984).

aimed to break with the tradition of academic elitism so as to produce knowledge in a populist and highly accessible style (Ross 2002 117). This radical way of producing knowledge and presenting information was to be a form of ‘direct communication’ providing ‘a new means of comprehension between different groups’ (Ross 2002 114) so as ‘to give a voice to those without voices’ and to contest ‘the domain of the experts’ (Ross 2002 116).

By making connections between the university and its own political history, and by developing a pedagogy that connects teaching and research at the undergraduate level, it is possible that a radical new pedagogy might emerge. It is the possibility of this new radical pedagogy that is described as a pedagogy of excess.


exemplifies a social constructivist view of learning

values of openness and creativity, engenders equity among academics and students

The educator is no longer a delivery vehicle and the institution becomes a landscape for the production and construction of a mass intellect in commons.

students are the subjects of the intellectual process of teaching and learning, and that a progressive pedagogy involves reinventing the politics of production from within, against and beyond the current social relations of capitalist production. The issue for them is not simply how do students learn, but how do radical intellectuals teach?

intellectual labour can be radicalised by including the student as the subject rather than the object of the teaching and learning process, i.e., the student as producer not consumer., means redesigning the process of academic production by connecting intellectual and manual labour in a form whereby the student recognises themselves within the total institutional process of the production of knowledge and meaning.


Working within this curriculum academics and students can develop networks of alternative research projects. A list for such projects has already been provided by Dyer Witheford ( 2004) and includes: the establishment of new indices of well -being beyond monetised measures; the new capacities for democratic planning afforded by new technology; systems of income allocation outside of wage – labour; the development of peer to peer open source communications networks; research projects that seek to enrich critical political economy with ecological and feminist knowledges, and the formation of aesthetics and imaginaries adequate to the scope of what a progressive and sustainable humanity might become ( 90 -91). In this way the pedagogy of excess becomes a learning process which promotes the creative capacity of people in accordance with their needs as social individuals (Kay and Mott 1989).

‘Education should be structured so that it is not the student that is educated, but that the student educates himself’ or, in other words, ‘...the real secret of education lies in not teaching’ (Vygotsky, 1997).

Action Committees: comprised of between ten – fifteen members, academics and students, initially for dialogue and discussion, promoting ‘constant criticism and self discovery’ so that ‘the movement was able to constantly radicalize itself’

negative dialectics: the positive power of negative thinking

The aim of the Action Committees was to abolish the current autocratic, non-democratic, industry-focused structure of universities with a system based on democracy and social justice

connect current pedagogies that link teaching and research with their own radical academic history, and to develop them in a form that is appropriate for the contemporary situation. Key to this issue of connectivity is the relationship between action and progressive political theory. It is the relationship between theory and action, linked to contemporary struggles within higher education, that provides a framework for the emergence of a pedagogy of excess.

Excess: Open Educational Resources. A counter to the economistic and market driven restrictive practices that increasingly dominate the activity of scientific enquiry.

Student as Producer-ZPD does not set the limits within which the student is expected to achieve at that outset of the learning process, but is open ended enough for the student to perform beyond what they thought they were capable of achieving.

designed to interrupt the current consensual discourse about teaching and learning in higher education.

these contestations and struggles might include course content, assessment strategies and student fees, but a fully developed pedagogy of excess would look beyond student issues, to matters of more general social concern, ‘common affairs’, in which the interests of students are not the main issue.


Ecological sustainability

sustainability of institutions

institutional change as the outcome of conflict and struggle, forming part of a much wider social, political and economic context beyond the institution.

social learning includes transforming the social context itself. i.e. the institution and the society out of which it is derived., challenge the organising principle of academic production and transmission, student as producer and academic as collaborator, radically democratize the process of knowledge production at the level of society, not incremental change but paradigm shifts

Fragmented disciplines promote a fragmented world

encourages students to construct knowledge through increasing participation within different communities of practice, inventing a new social universe for experimental enquiry with ‘countless centres’ and ‘a lot more room’., decentralised/distributed


student as consumer, The context for the new student as consumer is a system of higher education dominated by marketised and commercial imperatives (Higher Ambitions 2010, Willetts, 2010), involving the intensification of academic work as a key economic priority (De Anglis and Harvie, 2009)., modern university's organising function is market economics or neo-liberalism.

Intensification and casualisation of the graduate labour market

subsumption of the ‘Culture State’ by the ‘Commercial State’


Informed by social history of technology

the possibility for human intellectual development if the forces of technology and science can be reprogrammed to construct an alternative and sustainable social world within which humanity is the project rather than the resource.

Higher education is directly involved in the development of technology, science and the production of knowledge. The student-academic is the both the producer and personification of this form of knowledge, and, therefore, has a key role to play in re-engineering of the politics of production.

Internet is quintessential expression and institution of general social knowledge/mass intellect

the formation of a polycentric, communicatively-connected, collective intelligence, Downes/Siemens/Cormier online courses


critique not simply the politics of consumption but the politics of production.

Direct action should be informed in this curriculum by the lessons learned from the history of struggle inside and outside of the academy.

including critical pedagogy and popular education, as well as ideas that have sought to connect academic struggles with the worldwide movement of protest: ‘public sociology’, ‘participative pedagogy’, ‘mass intellectuality’ and ‘academic activism’.

the engagement of students in the design of curricula, including deciding on the content of courses as well as forms of assessment; and, through the proliferation of independent study programmes, a recognition that undergraduate students were capable of creating knowledge of real academic content and value