TEL Events: DARE to Transform – Realising relational education 14th June 2022

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) were very happy to have external speaker Dr Emily McIntosh (Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience at Middlesex University) present for the DARE To Transform network on the topic of ‘Realising relational education: Integrated spaces to promote scholarly pedagogic enquiry and impact.’

The webinar discussed the importance of the third space (Whitchurch, 2012) in promoting the work of teaching professionals, pedagogic practice, scholarly enquiry and impact in higher education. In this talk Dr Emily McIntosh presented the third space as the place of crossed boundaries, where colleagues from professional services or industry experts undertake teaching and/or research, and overlap with the academic sphere. 

screenshot of Dr Emily McIntosh presenting her webinar.
Dr Emily McIntosh presenting her webinar.

This insightful talk considered how promoting a culture of third space working can impact positively on scholarly inquiry and help to explore, reflect upon and champion the scholarship of education. Colleagues found this a very rich and thought-provoking discussion, where McIntosh was able to give a contextual background with which to identify.

Dr Emily McIntosh unpacked what it meant to work within the third space by drawing on the works of traditional Freirean philosophies of pedagogy and other models of relational and relationship-rich education, which think about learning in contexts that extend beyond the boundaried nature of traditional disciplines and teaching spaces. The presenter then considered the occupation of this third space to the following four dimensions: (1) the relationships nurtured, (2) the space occupied, (3) legitimacies held, and (4) knowledges developed (based on Whitchurch, 2013).

While the growth of the third space brings challenges to secure identities, clear career trajectories and respect and understanding within HE community, it also provides exciting opportunities. McIntosh’s talk highlighted some of the opportunities that exist within the boundary-crossing third space as she promoted her new book The Impact of the Integrated Practitioner in Higher Education (Routledge 2022) and welcomed colleagues to contribute to her blog: Third Space Perspectives.

Further resources

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