HeiNous Notebooks

Decolonisation and Boundaries

Scribbles in my HeiNous notebook, Friday 26th March 2021: observations and writing I have found interesting in the last week.

Happening, Reflecting

I’d strongly recommend everyone read this week’s HEPI blog post, “Blaming decolonisation for limiting free speech is a red herring“, by Sylvie Lomer, Parise Carmichael-Murphy and Jenna Mittelmeier: not just for a helpful discussion of some of the current issues surrounding decolonisation of the curriculum, but as an excellent example of how to critically deconstruct an argument and present an alternative case. I’ve bookmarked several of the references to read at a later date.

Maren Deepwell and Helen O’Sullivan’s blog post for Wonkhe, “What were learning technologists’ experiences of 2020?“, contains brief observations and some links to further reports following analysis of the results of the annual report for the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).

Another Wonkhe blog post: “Can libraries sustain a role in providing learning resources at scale?” I read this feeling that, though I don’t doubt Covid19 has had a significant effect on decisions relating to resources, perhaps it was not accurately reflecting the state of play before last March. There was mention of data and analytics, as if these hadn’t already been made use of across the sector for some time. Then I got to the end of the article and read, “this article is published in association with Kortext” and it all made sense. I’d gently suggest any affiliation like that should be prominent and up-front at the start of any article so readers can approach it with an informed view as to agenda and purpose.

Worth a read: “Making the Grade: Do International Branch Campuses and Their Home Campuses Differ in International Student Satisfaction With the Academic Experience?” Yes, apparently.

Leading, Managing

Rob Walker’s latest The Art of Noticing newsletter opens with him reflecting on flaws in his interview technique:

There’s always at least one moment when I miss a chance to pursue (or even step on or get in the way of) a source’s smart point or original observation by rushing to (try to) make my own.

It’s worth a read to consider when it might be appropriate to employ his suggested technique in order to expand a manager’s skillset. I have more to say from a personal perspective on “humility and its connection to attention and noticing”, but I’ll save that for another time.

Anna Codrea-Rado’s latest LANCE newsletter includes an excerpt from her book, “You’re The Business: How to Build a Successful Career When You Strike Out Alone”, focussing on boundaries. She quotes Brené Brown:

Good boundaries are a drawbridge to self-respect.

Though approaching the concept of boundaries from the perspective of life as a freelancer, it’s a helpful way of approaching defining and encouraging boundaries regardless of your field of work, and whether you are a manager or not. Interestingly, one of the examples given refers to management of email. I have Cal Newport’s “A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload” on my (admittedly massive and ever-growing) reading pile, and have bookmarked several of his comments from newsletters over the last few months. Expect more on this topic another time.

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