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Creating a vibrant and challenging curriculum for students

Guest post from Prof. Tansy Jessop

When Professor Julie Hall joined Solent in 2017, one of her first acts was to initiate a new curriculum framework for Solent, to ensure that all students experienced a vibrant and intellectually-stimulating curriculum that was grounded in real world learning.  

This triggered an exciting consultation and research process. Together we have devised a curriculum framework, which captures our USP and stretches the student learning experience. Solent’s curriculum framework builds on our unique, creative and applied approach to teaching. 

It challenges us all to see the acquisition of knowledge as a voyage of discovery. It involves social and personal growth and confident interactions with the local and global community. The framework calls on our university community to be intellectually curious, always developing our thinking and actions based on fresh insights, beyond the receipt of a degree certificate. The heart of the framework is the idea of personal knowing, through which students undergo a process of formation (rather than merely collecting information) and become owners and agents in their subjects. Personal knowing helps students to piece together the jigsaw of their disciplines and become creators of new knowledge. 

Over the next two academic years, both old and new courses at Solent will collaborate to think through their disciplines in relation to the framework. So far, academics have described SLTI’s curriculum workshops as engaging and fun, making space for creative and team-based curriculum design.  Curriculum transformation is a complex activity – as William Pinar observes, we should see curriculum as a verb rather than a noun, and as an “intellectual pursuit rather than an institutional or bureaucratic one”. 

We hope that Solent’s curriculum framework will help us all to get our thinking caps on, and that the outcome for students will be a more vibrant, challenging and coherent curriculum for all students.  Ready for a lift off?  We are! Contact  SLTI@solent.ac.ukto find out when your subject is scheduled.