SUSPLACE welcomes Alice Taherzadeh as researcher to the project

On August 1, 2018 Alice Taherzadeh started as a newly recruited ESR on the research project ‘Connected Learning Spaces‘. Alice will be joining us for the final 10 month of the project and we are pleased to welcome her in our network. Please find Alice’s introduction to her research plans below:

As a new ESR joining the project for the final ten months I aim to get stuck in straight away and make the most of my time here as well the rich knowledge and support available in this network. I have just returned to the UK after studying a masters in International and Comparative Education, first in Stockholm and then in Madrid. My research interests since my undergraduate in Mathematics have developed rather organically (though perhaps non-linearly) based on experiences from work, my studies, and activism. I now find myself specifically interested in social movement learning and non-formal/informal learning as well as how these cross over with the global food sovereignty movement and local food movements.

My research project is based in Cardiff and will focus on nurturing collaboration between the university and local community gardens. Whilst the previous ‘Connected Learning Spaces’ project looked more broadly at how university students learn about issues of sustainability, I plan to focus more specifically on food sustainability and the process of designing an educational program of experiential learning around this. I have already started engaging with different community gardens in Cardiff as well as with students and researchers interested in food sustainability. The aim is to run a series of workshops over the course of the ten months with the final goal of co-producing an educational program for students based on the needs and expertise of the local community gardens and students themselves. The focus of the empirical research will be to study the processes of co-production from more of a pedagogical perspective and gain insight into how various participatory methods play out in practice. The exact form or content of this educational program will be developed by participants through the workshops and could involve internships, a summer school, a series of workshops, design projects or any other ideas at all that happen to spring out of these interactions!

I am interested in exploring a variety of participatory methodologies, pedagogies and workshop activities and have started by investigating participatory mapping and Appreciative Inquiry. If there is anyone in the network who is also interested in different ways of approaching horizontal knowledge production and processes of co-production then please feel free to contact me and I would love to hear about your experiences, get some advice, or receive reading recommendations.

Thanks for the warm welcome I have already received from staff at PLACE and so many of those of you in the network!