Dismantling the curriculum in HE

The ability for academics and students to respond to crises from inside the university is constrained by the market... Video of a lecture by Professor Richard Hall posted originally on the Open Lectures in Teaching, Learning and Assessment from the University of Greenwich on Vimeo.

Every year, the University of Greenwich Educational Development Unit organises a series of open lectures addressing current issues in teaching, learning and assessment. They invite speakers from across the Higher Education sector and associated professions.

Dismantling the curriculum in higher education

Open Lecture 2017 Professor Richard Hall - Dismantling the curriculum from Educational Development Unit on Vimeo.

The higher education curriculum in the global North is increasingly co-opted for the production of measurable outcomes, framed by determinist narratives of employability and enterprise. Such co-option is immanent to processes of financialisation and marketisation, which encourage the production of quantifiable curriculum activities and tradable academic services. Yet the university is also affected by global socio-economic and socio-environmental crises, which can be expressed as a function of a broader crisis of social reproduction or sociability. As the labour of academics and students is increasingly driven by a commodity-valuation rooted in the measurement of performance, the ability for academics and students to respond to crises from inside the university is constrained by the market.

This discussion argues that in understanding the relationship between the university and society, and in responding to a crisis of sociability, revealing the commodification of the curriculum is central. This enables us to discuss the possibility that an open curriculum rooted in ideas of mass intellectuality might enable new forms of social wealth to emerge in opposition to a curriculum for private/positional gain. One possible way to reframe the curriculum is by re-imagining the university through the co-operative practices of groups like the Dismantling the Masters House community and the Social Science Centre. Such an exploration, rooted in the organising principles of the curriculum, asks educators to consider how their curriculum reproduces forms of colonisation. It is argued that such work enables a re-imagination of higher education that is rooted in an engaged and co-operative curriculum, with a focus on praxis.

Professor Richard Hall


Richard Hall works at De Montfort University in Leicester, where he is the Co-Director of the Institute for Education Futures, which focuses upon pedagogic and educational research in a range of settings and contexts. He is a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow and Professor of Education and Technology.

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