Gemma Moore, Marina Chang, Community Partner (Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering)

10 minute talk

This is a story of one online session, but behind it lies years of collaboration. One of our collaborations is a lecture about open space and food systems for the MSc module Health and Wellbeing in Cities. This lecture is usually delivered in a community garden, with one author in a Trustee. Rethinking our session we took an asset-based approach: considering the opportunities of students located in different geographies. Alongside asynchronous materials, we gave students a task to take a photo/find an image and write a story about a food in their city, encouraging them to get connected with their neighbourhood (if they could). In a synchronous session we ran a storytelling exercise, putting the students in small groups to share their stories. Their stories reflected issues including the impact of the pandemic, isolation, family, regeneration, to name a few. After the session, we created 2 issues of a magazine, a collective of the students’ stories. Students gave positive feedback on the magazine, read and commented on each others work. Through connecting, creativity and collaboration we adopted culturally relevant pedagogy, tapping into cultural, personal and socio-political issues.

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