After 18 months in preparation, the Masters in Professional Studies, with a specialism in Community Based Regeneration was launched last week. This new step is in cooperation with Middlesex University, who have a long history of practice based learning. The first cohort accepted onto the programme reflect the common ground that has always been the stuff of Global Generation. Participants bring with them a wealth of experience and diversity of age, culture and professional roles which they will be inquiring into and writing about. The group includes; teachers, gardeners, story tellers, play workers along with a former local authority deputy CEO, and a vicar. All of them committed to creative and meaningful ways of growing more inclusive communities. Over the next two years they will be learning to be reflective action researchers, while they explore and develop further the work they are doing in, and with, communities.
Twenty years ago, the possibility of offering people an opportunity to work on a Master’s degree was a million miles from where I thought I would be. I was a doer and a university drop out. I didn’t believe in what I perceived to be the disconnected, dry book style of academic learning. However late in life I embarked on an academic journey which has helped me shape the free writing, dialogue and story making dimensions of Global Generation’s work. I began to explore many forms of creative expression. This is actively encouraged in an action research approach. Very quickly I realised, not only was it fun but most importantly these ‘different ways of knowing’ helped bring about change for myself and others. In delivering this Masters programme, I feel privileged to be working alongside Drs Gill Coleman and David Adams, who are well seasoned in navigating the inevitable challenges of working within a large institution like a university. Many researchers focus on other people, from a remote so-called objective perspective. Consequently, all too often, reports and journal articles, sit on shelves read by few. In contrast, both Gill and Dave have many years of experience in supporting individuals to inquire into themselves and their own work, combined with theory. Whilst writing is an important component, the main objective is to be involved in bringing about positive practical consequences, in whatever form that may be.
Cultivating the conditions for what we are calling, community based regeneration, raises individual, organisational and societal questions for which there are no simple answers. There is a call for new and nuanced perspectives. I am thrilled the opportunity this programme is bringing, to inquire with others, to support great projects and to tell engaging stories about good practice.
“I am thrilled to be among the first intake for the new MProf. I wasn't sure what to expect when I signed up but after the introductory talk we were given by the MDX director of graduate research followed by our first weekend together, I was left in no doubt that the course offers a truly progressive approach to both the subject and personal transformation, echoing Ghandi's famous quote - 'Be the change you want to see in the world'." – Richard Crane, Quintain participant
"The beginning of this masters course for me was a little bit of magic. The journey to get here has taken many years and the pieces of the jigsaw all started to finally fall into place over the weekend as I found myself surrounded by inspirational participants and tutors." – Kate Hellard, Frome Town Council participant
“As I look back to a fortnight ago I see sparks. Sparks of story. Sparks of poems. Sparks of clay, plants, questions, answers. Sparks of connections, to each other, to our pasts, our lands, our work, and to what is to come. I await, hopefully with the patience of nature, for our next weekend, where sparks may glow brighter." - Emma Trueman, Global Generation participant
We are now accepting applications for our second cohort which begins in February 2019, in the first instance email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.