There was an unusual flurry of activity in Shed Share last week. It followed this request from the student union at the London Institute of Education (IoE):
Hello. I am part of the Sustainability Network at the Institute of Education, a postgraduate university which teaches Primary and Secondary PGCE courses, taught Masters and PhD’s. We are exploring ESD and looking to embed sustainability across our courses but we are unsure of how to get started especially when it comes to the more prescriptive courses such as the PGCE’s. Any help appreciated. Thanks
This prompted 15 responses. Many of these were of the form: "Here are some resources you will find helpful".
These all proved useful to the Institute's students, or so we were told. Happily, in doing this, most respondents managed to promote their own work, so this was a double benefit. Only one person threatened to spoil this party, pointing out that the IoE actually already had relevant expertise amongst academic staff, and suggested that making contact with them might be a good idea.
This raises an issue about how much student union officers know about what academics in their institutions get up to – and, of course, vice versa. How understandable and reasonable it was for the Institute's students not to know about the Institute's academics is a question that only the Institute can comment on. Mind you, the IoE is such a behemoth that hardly anyone knows anything about anybody anyway.
But it's a pertinent question for all institutions. The need for academics and student unions to communicate on all this now seems very important. I've no doubt that the NUS will be encouraging this in its new Hefce-funded programme that so much is expected of.