Developing Sustainable Student Communities: Informal Learning and Becoming Peer
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We aimed to exploit opportunities arising from the merging of the faculties of Health and Education to explore ways of supporting students in the development of a network of sustainable communities.
While there is a substantial literature on how students engage and participate in the academic cultures of HEIs and on factors which affect student retention and quality of life, less research has been focused on the relationships between what might be called the formal curriculum and the informal learning opportunities afforded by participation in a student community.
In the context of the creation of the Faculty of Health, Education and Society, we are particularly interested in exploring ways in which the practice of care can become a significant feature of the life and ethos of students and tutors. While care is at the core of the curriculum in the majority of our programmes we recognise that there may be further opportunities to support students in the development of a network of sustainable communities which draw new entrants into a vibrant framework of opportunities to participate, contribute and engage and which provide powerful models of what is available to, and expected of, the Plymouth student. The new faculty will also provide a clear focus for the development, practice and study of multiprofessional discourse and this project will inform efforts to facilitate and support active engagement between students studying on different programmes.
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