Our Projects and Research Officer Amanda gives her thoughts on the crucial role that research will play in a future co-operative university.

As the Co-operative College, along with partner Education Co-operatives continues its journey towards creating a federated Co-operative University, we are becoming increasingly excited by all of the opportunities this will offer, not just for us as institutions, but for students seeking a different, co-operative experience of higher education. 

The role research will play

As part of this, we’re keenly aware that co-operative pedagogy and research play a key role in creating this difference. In a Co-operative University students co-create knowledge as part of their responsibilities and engagement as students and co-operative members. Understanding and learning how to use co-operative research tools effectively ensures that their research and research practice is values driven and impactful.

The co-operative difference

That’s why we’re so pleased to be running our newly refreshed and timely ‘Introduction to Co-operative Research Methods’ course once again. The course is designed to help students plan and carry out research that’s inclusive and participatory. It also ensures that the ‘subjects’ of the research are given a voice and helped to shape the research and its overall findings. 

I love this type of research as it’s about being active in enabling the big messy realities and questions in life to be acknowledged and incorporated into the research process. It’s also about admitting that we all have different (and equally valuable) opinions, views and approaches and that there’s plenty of room for everyone to have their voice heard.

Naturally courses of this kind require us to unpack our assumptions, do some unlearning and challenge our beliefs. Opening our research up to different debate and perspectives can take us in some radically new directions. 

I’m looking forward to working with Cilla and a group of students once again to ponder all of this and to work together to learn about, develop and practice new and co-operative ways of doing research. Last time it was great to learn about each other’s research and how we could support each other. 

The blended approach we take, mixing together webinars, activities and a day school means that the course is accessible to anyone. We are looking forward to a co-operative research autumn!

Interested in learning more about co-operative research? Then why not take a look at our upcoming Introduction to Co-operative Research Methods Course via the link below.

Show me the course