Studio for All – ecologically inclusive

I have met with a colleague today who comes from a studio-based discipline and is thinking through how she will engage her international students. Immediately I find two fascinating dimensions here – the studio as an inherently inclusive space i.e. one that is designed for student-led co-operation. Second, if we are talking about internationalisation, the need to explore its significance. For example, is our interest about,

  • international professional standards
  • internationalising the curriculum
  • inclusive curriculum
  • distance learning
  • student exchange and placement opportunities
  • collaborative provision
  • intercultural learning and experience

In this case I think we were talking about several aspects of internationalisation; however, we agreed that there is a danger of problematising the international student even where the ‘international dimension’ introduces specific experiential and practical matters. Instead, we noted that a more useful way of thinking about a learning space, in particular, the studio, is to adopt an ‘inclusivity for all’ outlook by adopting a learning ecologies philosophy. In this way, we appreciate that every student has their own history, present and future. and that a Studio for All philosophy is fundamentally inclusive. A studio space is one that is ideally co-operative and challenging, acknowledging that each student brings their experience and their aspirations to

While I have been thinking that a Studio for All philosophy is primarily interested in disciplinarity, the conversation this morning has made me aware that it needs to fundamentally consider inclusivity. This has led me to see an ideal studio space as being co-operative and challenging, one that acknowledges how each student brings their experience and their aspirations to the space and that, potentially, this brings benefits for all. Further, this reflects the social diversity they will experience in professional life beyond university.

About Andrew Middleton

NTF, PFHEA, committed to active learning, co-operative pedagogies, media-enhanced teaching and learning, authentic learning, postdigital learning spaces. Key publication: Middleton, A. (2018). Reimagining Spaces for Learning in Higher Education. Palgrave.
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