Weekly schedule

Please note that classes and speakers for 2015 are yet to be confirmed.

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Lecture-Free Period
Wk
8
Wk
9

Wk 1: No classes in first week

Panel Overview

There are no panels in the first week. However, please complete your course pre-task ahead of next week.

For your first tutorial (week 2), you will be asked to prepare a half-page summary of a threshold concept that is a cornerstone of your discipline. This should be something that ‘everyone’ in your field of endeavour ‘knows’ (for example, an engineer knows that triangles are the strongest shape for building). The summary should explain what the knowledge is, and provide some background for someone who knows nothing about it.

Wk 2: Creating Knowledge

Panel Overview

In this first panel we’ll consider the nature of knowledge, and how universities and students interact with knowledge.

Focus Question:
Before coming to the first panel, please consider the following focus question:

Consider a course that you have previously taken at university. As a result of taking this course, what knowledge have you acquired? How did you acquire this knowledge?

Resources

This week your task is to find a resource that will help you establish a pattern of engaging with knowledge for the duration of the course. This could be listening to the morning or evening news, reading a daily newspaper, watching Question Time, building up a newsfeed, or any other activity that keeps you up to date on a topic or area of interest.

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Speaker notes..

Wk 3: Building Knowledge

Panel Overview

Many schools of thought acknowledge that learning is experiential and socially constructed (see Kolb, Dewey, Piaget). In this session we’re going to investigate the ‘constructionist’ learning approach, where we use concrete materials and building in groups to solve problems. This is the philosophy behind the ‘maker’ movement.

Creating knowledge through building has been a technique for community engagement, notably in the urban redesign of Christchurch after the 2011 earthquake. We’ll explore a scenario of urban renewal through building.

Focus Question
What preconceptions did you bring to the scenarios that we explored during the building exercise? Were your preconceptions different to your collaborators’? Were your preconceptions challenged?

Resources

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Wk
4

Nature of Knowledge

Panel Tue 16-Aug  
Guest speakers: Dr Amanda Laugesen, and Dr Alexander Cook.

Tutorial Thu 18-Aug Group Project roundtable

Wk 4: Nature of Knowledge

Panel Overview

What is knowledge and where does it come from? Do our perceptions and beliefs bias knowledge, and what we value as true? In this panel we’ll examine epistemology, and how knowledge is framed in our language.

Focus Question
Consider the disciplinary knowledge that you identified for the first tutorial. Your Learning Portfolio will be based around finding a Gap in this (or other) knowledge. Do you think that this knowledge a belief or a truth? What value set do you bring to this knowledge?

Speakers

Dr Amanda Laugesen (ANDC Website
Australian National Dictionary Centre

Dr Alexander Cook (ANU staff page
Director of Undergraduate Studies in History, School of History, ANU

Resources

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Speaker notes

Wk 5: Knowledge & Power

Panel Overview

The phrase Knowledge and Power is associated strongly with a capitalist paradigm, where power is often the goal. In this panel we are going to explore two contexts of knowledge as a tool for empowerment: in economics and in development. In economics, power (and considerable wealth) can be achieved through the closing knowledge, such as through patents; in a development context sharing a little bit of knowledge can significantly improve the quality of life.

Focus Question

Take a critical look at the knowledge in your portfolio. Consider a potential power structure within that knowledge (ie. who owns it, or controls it), and look at how it has been been used to open up (share) or close down (silo) that knowledge.

 

Speaker

Dr Patrick Kilby (ANU Researcher's Website
School of Archaeology & Anthropology

Resources

  • Amartya Sen, ‘Preface’ and ‘Introduction’, Development as Freedom, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, 1999, pp.xi-xiii and pp. 3-13 (PDF)
  • Wolfgang Sachs, ‘Introduction’, and Gustavo Esteva, ‘Development’ The Development Dictionary: a guide to knowledge as power, Wolfgang Sachs, ed., 2nd edition, Zed Books, London and New York, pp.xv-23 (PDF)
  • Ellen ‘t Hoen, Pool Medical Patents, Save Lives (TED talk, 11min)

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  • The Patent System and Access to Drugs and Health Care, World Health Organisation (PDF pamphlet)

Speaker notes…

Wk
6

Wk 6: Visualising Knowledge

Panel Overview

In this panel we will investigate visualisation of information, based on a collaboration between Vanessa Robins in Applied Mathematics and Erica Seccombe in the School of Art. We’ll explore how technologies have enhanced this interdisciplinary collaboration, enabled by the ANU Vice Chancellor’s College Artistic Resident Scheme.

Focus Question
Technology has a growing influence on how knowledge is visualised and in turn interpreted. Using whatever appropriate technology you have available to you, create a representation of the knowledge that you’re exploring in your portfolio. Give it a name and write a 20-word artist statement. 

Speakers

Dr Vanessa Robins (ANU Webpage
Department of Applied Mathematics

Erica Seccombe (ANU Webpage
School of Art

Resources

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Speaker notes…

Wk
7

Traditional Knowledge

Panel Tue 6-Sep  
Guest speakers: Professor Richard Baker, Bhiamie Williamson,

Tutorial Thu 8-Sep (student-run)

Wk 7: Traditional Knowledge

Panel Overview

Part of the arrogance of Western Science has been that it “sets itself within a hall of mirrors…mistakes its reflection for the world, sees its own reflections endlessly , talks endlessly to itself, and, not surprisingly, finds continual verification of itself and its world view”  – Debbie Bird Rose

This panel will explore different ways of seeing the world.  As Debbie Bird Rose’s quote above highlights western science has a poor record of acknowledging the existence let alone value of other world views.  Richard will be joined by some of ANU’s Indigenous students to explore this issue.

Focus Question

Consider your Portfolio knowledge. How is that knowledge handed down or passed on to the next generation (ie, conversations, publications, instruction manuals)? What limitations and/or opportunities does this format have on the knowledge?

Speakers

Professor Richard Baker
Pro-Vice Chancellor, Student Experience

Bhiamie Williamson

Resources

Please make sure you have a good read of Richard’s article before the panel.

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Lecture-Free Period
Wk
8

Cultural Knowledge

Panel Tue 27-Sep  
Guest speakers: Dr Roannie Ng Shiu, and Mr George Carter .

Tutorial Thu 29-Sep (student-run)

Wk 8: Cultural Knowledge

Panel Overview

Knowledge is always within a context. In this panel, we’ll explore how understanding and respecting cultural protocols can open up access to knowledge. Roannie Ng Shiu and George Carter will introduce you to some of the protocols used in the Pacific Islands.

Focus Question

This week there is an opportunity to reframe your knowledge. Briefly restate what you are going to explore, and list what sorts of protocols are required before this knowledge can be accessed (for example, what are the protocols/norms involved in accessing knowledge on the internet in Australia)

Speakers

Dr Roannie Ng Shiu
Research Fellow, State, Society & Governance in Melanesia Program (SSGM), School of International, Political & Strategic Studies Pacific Studies Outreach & Pacific Studies Fellow, School of Culture, History & Language

Mr George Carter
PhD candidate

Resources

  • Epeli Hau’ofa, 1994, “Our Sea of IslandsThe Contemporary Pacific, pp.148-161. [PDF, 14 pages]
  • Albert Wendt, 1999, ‘Afterword: Tatauing the Post-Colonial Body‘, in Vili Hereniko & Rob Wilson (eds), Inside Out, Literature, Cultural Politics and Identity in the new Pacific, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 399-412.

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Wk
9

Colour As Knowledge

Panel Tue 4-Oct  
Guest speakers: Ms Kirsten Farrell, and Prof. Stephen Hyde.

Tutorial Thu 6-Oct (student-run)

Wk 9: Colour As Knowledge

Panel Overview

Colour is all around us, but it’s something that we often take for granted without engaging in the knowledge behind it. In this hands-on session, we will immerse ourselves in colour, and explore our aversions or attractions to it through concepts such as chromophobia and synaesthesia.

Focus Question

Consider the way that you have constructed knowledge so far in this course. Synaesthesia maps one concept to another in a relationship (for example, colours to sound frequencies). Map your knowledge (or at least think about how this could be done) from someone else’s portfolio topic to your portfolio topic (see last week’s tickets). Are there similarities or differences?

Speakers

Ms Kirsten Farrell (ANU Website(Personal Webpage
PhD Candidate, Print Media and Drawing Workshop

Prof. Stephen Hyde (ANU Researcher Profile
Barry Ninham Chair of Natural Science, ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Resources

  • Chromophobes, Xenophobes and Lots of Textas, Kirsten Farrell in Artlink (web link)
  • Synaesthesia – Cross-overs in the Senses, by Mo Costandi in the Guardian (web link)
  • Neil Harbisson – I listen to colour (TED Talk)

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Wk 10: Truth, Knowledge & Discovery

Panel Overview

To conclude our weekly topics, we’ll conclude our journey through community, arts, and culture to explore how science uses knowledge to seek the objective truth, and in turn discover more knowledge. In this panel we’ll explore the science of climate change, and the disconnect between the scientific knowledge and political reality. We’ll also explore how connecting silos of scientific thinking can result in new discoveries.

Focus Question

How is a scientific truth constructed  differently to other knowledge? Could you ‘prove’ your Portfolio topic in a scientific frame? What evidence would you need to prove it? What knowledge would you build upon?

Speaker

Dr Charley Lineweaver (Charley's Homepage
Planetary Science Institute, ANU

Resources

  • the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) summary for policymakers (PDF, 30 pages to pick and choose from). Think about what knowledge somebody needs in order to make sense of this report
  • “Rethinking our approach to cancer” with Paul Davies, Radio National Science Show podcast [mp3, 53 minutes] (take the time to sit back and enjoy this podcast)

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Wk 11: Role Play

Panel Overview

Now that the topic weeks have finished, we’ll apply our knowledge to understanding a global sustainability challenge. Most importantly, we’ll examine how negotiation, communication and cooperation influence outcomes. There’s no pre-reading for this task – all you need to do is turn up, and be ready to make (responsible) decisions.

Wk 12: Portfolio Tune-Ups and Presentations

Panel Overview

This week we will tune-up your portfolios in the panel session, and give your oral presentation to your tutorial group.

Wk 13: Drawing Conclusions

Panel Overview

One of the important aspects of creating and discovering knowledge is reflecting on that process. Come along to this session to share your thoughts on the course and help Chris understand how the course in its entirety could be improved from your perspective.