Nomadic University Meeting—November 12, 2011

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Follow up on the 4hour meeting on Sat re. creation of task forces. As I understand, it was agreed to set up groups to work on 1) drafting sample curricula on global social issues and 2) virtual education. I would be interested in working with either of these groups if anything is happening this week. If not, perhaps an item for Saturday’s agenda would be to establish these groups and times to meet?

Also, I understand there are current smaller groups on mapping spaces/outreach and definitions – please excuse my ignorance as a new member, but when do these groups meet?

Lastly, I know the meeting was recorded and thus we didn’t take minutes but I thought it might be perhaps useful to those who couldn’t make it to share my notes about what we talked about or agreed. Below is a very skeletal summary of 4 hour meeting (which was all recorded) – apologies if I have left out anything important/things people said about imagining NU. And again, I just thought some brief notes might be useful for people who weren’t there – please add to this if I have misrepresented anything.

Very Skeletal Summary of Discussion Topics:

 

-          discussion of ‘unlearning’ and ‘hospitality’ as terms

-          discussion of models of similar structures to consider – see Karen’s document (digest for NU email) which summarizes:

1)      Free Skool: www.freeskool.org

2)      The Public school: http://nyc.thepublicschool.org/

3)      Trade School: http://tradeschool.ourgoods.org/

4)      Copenhagen Free Uni: http://copenhagenfreeuniversity.dk/

5)      University of Openeness

6)      Free Uni of San Fran:  http://freeuniversitysf.org/about/

Other models considered: European Graduate School; Italy: http://uninomade.org/; Brasil: http://www.universidadenomade.org.br/; Centre for Urban Pedagogy (as resource to use?)

Things people liked about models: non-hierarchal structures; students involved in designing curricula. Gaps for NU to fill: no real empowerment goals for models; courses offered by these models similar to existing establishment.

-          discussion of what is Nomadic University? NU is a space where…(some different suggestions from group below)

  • privately owned public spaces used as meeting ground for learning – a way to ritualize hospitality
  • where revolutionary OWS ideas are central to curriculum
  • requests for courses filtered through OWS goals/ideas so that what is learnt is in keeping with OWS principles
  • curriculum designed around global social issues: e.g. environment, housing, finance
  • people are asked what knowledge would be valuable to them and a way to learn that knowledge is figured out by all participants
  • a space where the radical pedagogy is more important than the content taught: way we teach more important than what we teach
  • knowledge is bartered
  • start of construction of new society
  • involves a teacher training program
  • a partially virtual space with global members who can participate online

-          brief discussion of amended document prepared by group on ways to approach outreach, collaborate with other GAS – use of analyzers as way of focusing discussions & going deeper than asking what people want to learn.

-          discussion on Outreach and problems posed by NU coming in to work with communities (and with ‘communities’ as a term)- document will be worked on further to address concerns and then presented again next week. Suggestion that NU have workshop on race & neocolonialism.

 

Proposals (consensus on all):

1) to set up more task forces.

2) to have next meeting in a public space if possible.

3) to set up a task force to start work on draft curricula for global social issues/reach out to people already working in these areas.

4) to set up virtual task force to work on exploring online education etc.

5) to send email to Sunset Park GA (spoken to that morning) to invite them to participate in next NU meeting.

6) to postpone discussion of NU name to future meeting.

 

Next meeting, Sat Nov 19th, 2-4, location TBD, facilitator: David. Suggestion that future meetings alternate between 4 hr & 2 hr length.

 

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