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SR in the Curriculum

(8 February 2018)

In support of the priority to encourage socially responsible graduates, the Faculty of Humanities provides funding to course leaders through the annual Social Responsibility in the Curriculum competition. The aim is for Humanities students to be encouraged to think how their enthusiasm for their subject can communicate, connect or be relevant beyond the immediate demands of their course. The competition is currently open for applications for 2018-19 and the closing date for entries is 12 February 2018.

Dr Chris Godden, Senior Lecturer in Economic History in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures (SALC),  is using his grant to fund a two-hour workshop entitled ‘It’s not a lifestyle choice: understanding homelessness on the streets of Manchester’  that forms part of an existing MA module, ‘From Cottonopolis to Metropolis’.

The module explores a variety of contemporary national issues through the prism of Manchester’s political, economic, and social history, and students are provided with a broad understanding of the problems facing local communities and their wider, national implications. Students are encouraged to assess how taking a ‘long view’ helps contextualise and analyse current challenges. Funding secured through this grant will develop on this existing approach, and enable the teaching team to embed a key social inequality topic into the curriculum for the module.

The workshop will start with presentations from external partners including Shelter, the Big Issue, Mustard Tree, and Manchester City Council, along with colleagues from the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. This will be followed by group activities in which the students will work with partners to analyse key issues associated with understanding the issues and challenges linked with tackling homelessness in modern Britain. Through their work, they will develop the ability to synthesise and critically evaluate the themes associated with social inequalities.

A final year history undergraduate who has set up her own homelessness charity, Invisible Manchester, will also contribute to the workshop. Chris aims to record a conversation with her about her experience, and make it available to other undergraduates, showing them how they can engage with the social responsibility agenda.

Chris said: “Through group discussion in the workshop, the aim is for students to develop their awareness of the ongoing problems around homelessness in Manchester. The workshop will play a key role in their learning experience, and the input of our partners will be vital in helping students critically evaluate themes associated with social inequalities.”

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