Category: Learner voices

Restore fairness to Further Education

Now is the time to use the power of government to restore fairness for further education. As all who work in colleges know, since 2009 further education has been subjected to cut after cut –and these cuts have gone far beyond anything endured by other sectors of education. In effect,these cuts have hurt the communities…

Cauldrons of Change

Anya Cook sits on UCU’s National Executive and Further Education committee and is Branch Secretary at Newcastle College where she is employed as Higher Education Mentor.   Here she tells Transforming Lives why we should all rise up and support FE Fights Back, UCU’s national campaign on funding and pay. “Never before have I had a…

Its all about the cake!

I have been teaching since before the National Curriculum was introduced and I have supported hundreds of students apply for university both as a subject teacher at A level and head of sixth form, however I had never been invited to attend a university graduation by one of my ex students before until today and…

It’s time for joined up thinking in Adult Education

Research shows that parental education levels correlate with child development – from the earliest days. By the time children arrive at nursery, the disadvantage gap is already well established. And indeed a survey carried out by MORI (2001) revealed that more than two thirds of twelve to sixteen year olds consider that their parents are…

Transformative research about transforming lives through learning

I have been following for a long while the valuable project “Transformational Further Education: Empowering People & Communities”, the culmination of research based on the very many inspiring stories from learners and teachers, collated by Dr Vicky Duckworth and Dr Rob Smith. It was brought to life on the very first occasion I had the…

Senior Lecturer Computer Science Education

FE Transforming Lives I can honestly say FE has transformed my life. As I young person I went to sixth form and studied, but I had a very difficult and traumatic childhood, for a number of reasons. I did not complete my A level studies and therefore missed the opportunity to attend University. As a…

FE that made me a better person

At 16, I was buried under GCSE stress, not quite fitting in, and ready to get out of my small town. I was looking for colleges, and I, for whatever reason, may it be the location, the hot-spot of culture, or the people, decided that I was undeniably going to attend The Manchester College. That…

Jacqui

In this video, Jacqui speaks about how she left school labelled as ‘not bright’, then, following re-engagement in education at her local college her world opened up in so many empowering  ways. Her return to education was connected to a hope for more fulfilling work and a need to support her family. She outlines how…

FE and me

School was difficult for me. Painfully shy, withdrawn and generally fairly awkward, I was so unresponsive in class that my primary school teacher believed I was deaf and tried to move me to a school that could cope with my ‘special needs’. Later, at secondary school, I effectively dropped out, seemingly unnoticed, unable to cope…

Poetry and creativity as a tool for consciousness raising

Creativity and Transformation Poetry and art can be drawn upon to engage learners in a critical dialogue. Creativity opening a space for transformation. Using multimodal approaches which includes, poetry and images can be a tool for emotional expression and consciouness raising. The confidence that arises from creativity can be a source of hope and strength in the private and public domains learners enter.

Below are poems –  penned a number of years ago – I continue to draw upon them in my lessons to stimulate discussion and encourage learners to shape their ideas and emotions through language and creativity. The poems and the themes that arise from them still resonate as dialogic resources in the classes I teach. Creativity…