Conference Papers

Two fingers to the administrivialisation of higher education: A radical approach to radical education

No module outline, no learning outcomes, no set assessment, and no teaching schedule. Conversely the module was founded on the precepts of anarchism: liberty, equality and solidarity (Mueller, 2012). Such an approach echoed the perspective discussed by Shantz (2012), that learning should help people to free themselves and in turn the world in which they operate, through challenging the standard programme delivery within the higher education context.

This paper will provide an overview of the way the module was structured, the learning activities inherent through the module, the types of negotiated assessment students negotiated, the empowerment of the student voice, the potential dilemmas for lecturers and students, and the feedback from students.

Through a concurrent nested, mixed-methodological approach (Cresswell and Plano-Clark, 2007), quantitative feedback indicated 100% satisfaction (n=24) with all areas, specifically student engagement through the relevance of the module which challenged thinking and stimulated learning. Qualitative thematic analysis highlighted a range of responses, specifically: the autonomy and flexibility of the module, and the chance to develop a personally meaningful assignment. However such an approach demonstrated limitations, specifically the polarised perspective between utilising more theory or more discussion, also that too much autonomy can be constraining. From the findings, such a module has the potential to be extended further as it enables students to appreciate the nature and purpose of education while challenging the processes inherent within higher education.

Buckler, S., King-Hill, S. and Dart, G. (2015) 'Two fingers to the administrivialisation of higher education: A radical approach to radical education', paper presented to The 11th Annual Conference of the British Education Studies Association (BESA), 25–26 June, viewed 08 August 2020, <>