Mind Your Higher Ed 005 – Lectures, Policy & Engagement

Today’s Mind Your Higher Ed is a solo show. Just me invading your ears.

I tried to keep it under 20 minutes, so of course it’s actually 25 minutes…. Hopefully you don’t mind me lecturing for that long.

Speaking of lectures, that’s what today’s edition is about. It’s that time of the month when the death of the lecture has been discussed. This time on BBC News.

And I do my best to link (i.e. crowbar) policy and public outreach into the equation.

I name drop people’s work all over the place, including Steve Wheeler, Helen Perkins, and Tim Harford. All the links and descriptions are in the shownotes below.

Timestamps are below too, so you can fast forward to the bits you’re most interested in. Pick and choose as you see fit. I fast-forward some podcasts too. Keep that under your hats…

Enjoy the show.

Mind Your Higher Ed - MYHE

What You’ll Hear

  • False questions over the death of lectures.
  • Why lectures haven’t gone away.
  • The difficulties with ever-changing policy.
  • Why bias will always haunt you (and why that means you should embrace it).
  • And much more…

If you can’t see the embedded player, here’s the direct link to the show.

Shownotes & Timestamps


00:50 – The death of lectures (again…) – BBC News piece

01:45 – I quote Steve Wheeler Pt.1 (To lecture…).

02:45 – Don’t blame the lecturer.

03:30 – Should lectures be banned? My 2010 piece over at TheUniversityBlog. (tl;dr No.)

05:10 – Lectures shouldn’t be considered a default. Neither should anything else.

06:50 – What’s the best way to help students in their learning journey?

07:30 – Quoting more Steve Wheeler (…or not to lecture).


08:10 – The nature of policy is always changing.

08:55 – Michael Young presentation for the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) – The genesis of the concept of ‘powerful knowledge’ and what it means for the student university experience today.

10:40 – My conversation with Paul Greatrix, MYHE Episode 002.

11:50 – Helen Perkins presentation at SRHE – What role does (or should) higher education research play in higher education policy making?

12:15 – Policy wonk sites (such as Wonkhe) and other policy discussion aren’t vehicles to bypass academic research on policy. Rather, they are complementary. And there’s nothing wrong with creating further layers that speak to external stakeholders and the wider public.

13:50 – Less bias in a person with the more education they receive? Nope. At most, the biases may be different. But you cannot avoid them completely. Recognise it for what it is and challenge yourself every time you notice the possibility of bias in your thinking.

16:30 – David Runciman piece, How the education gap is tearing politics apart.

17:30 – Messy: How to Be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World, by Tim Harford.

18:00 – How do we speak the language of others, even when people don’t see eye to eye?

19:30 – The Democratic Disconnect (Foa & Mounk)
How Stable Are Democracies? (New York Times)
Washington Post replots graph to get less scary picture.

20:30 – Diversity doesn’t deserve a bad name. That’s not the problem.

21:25 – “The conversations we have on a day-to-day basis, are not always as simple as we might think they are.”


22:00 – Returning to lectures. False questions won’t help get to the bottom of what’s necessary.

24:30 – Higher education touches everyone. The wider university staff can reach with their conversations, the more likely the HE sector will be seen in a positive light. That’s not an easy feat, but it’s worth finding as many ways to engage positively as possible.

Music is by “From the Dust” and released under Creative Commons. Check out their music at soundcloud.com/ftdmusic/

Who Would You Like to Hear on the Show?

It’s not just solo shows like this one. I also interview great guests for Mind Your Higher Ed.

If there’s someone in particular you’d like to know more about in HE, let me know.

Give your suggestions by leaving a comment or by getting in touch via Twitter. Find me there @universityboy

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I am a writer, who also runs TheUniversityBlog. If that site isn't enough of a clue, I have a love of all things Higher Education. I'm also interested in learning about learning about learning about learning...let's get meta!

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