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Simon Usherwood

Page history last edited by sceptrept 13 years, 10 months ago

Using negotiation-based learning as an element of a life-wide curriculum

Dr Simon Usherwood, Department of Politics, University of Surrey


Negotiation-based learning offers one way of developing the notion of a life-wide curriculum.  By creating a safe place for students to practice both the application of their substantive knowledge and the various transferable skills they have acquired, it helps them to see how their work within the classroom can be organically linked to the rest of their lives.  In particular, this paper highlights the benefits of such active learning, in both the short- and longer-terms.  At the time of the activity, students are guided through a process of converting ‘academic’ skills and knowledge into something with more general application, and are then supported in engaging in critical self-evaluation as an integral part of the activity.  These processes help to open up the model of achievement that is typically found within a University setting and, in the longer-term, encourages students to challenge the perceived boundary between ‘academic’ and ‘non-academic’ settings.  Within the particular example discussed here – a Level 2 compulsory module for Politics students at the University of Surrey – it is shown how negotiation-based learning, together with other elements of the degree programme, can act as a useful primer not only for life after a degree, but also a practice for those going on placement.


Key words: negotiation-based learning; life-wide curriculum; politics; active learning



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