Reflections on the TaLIC Away Day

image Deborah CustanceThe Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre (TaLIC) had our first Away Day in two years on Monday 17th September. Eight new staff have joined the team since January. The Away Day was a great opportunity to get to know each other better.  We didn’t actually go away or at least not very far. Rather than pay for a venue, we booked the Garden Room down through the archway beyond the back of the Whitehead Building. The Garden Room is such a lovely space. It is adjacent to an open green space that most people are not aware even exists.


“St James Hall Garden is a mindful space on campus where staff and students can take a break.” Source:


We completed a mixture of silly, fun and serious activities. For me the most inspiring discussion was raised by Suzan Koseoglu about Angela McRobbie’s characterisation of education as a public service rather than a customer service. It has made me think about what kind of service TaLIC is providing to Goldsmiths’ staff and, indirectly through our support of staff, students. It seems to me that our work with staff in some ways mirrors the most advanced methods of working with students. The most satisfying and advanced pedagogy involves a two-way process of co-creation with ‘student-researchers’ and ‘learning-professors’. TaLIC has certain skills and expertise, but we can’t simply deliver or impose this upon our colleagues. The only way that we can be of real use is enter a process of co-creation.

We all agreed that one of our most important functions is to create opportunities for thinking spaces for staff to come together from across the whole college and explore their practice. It can be so liberating to break out of the day-to-day routine and engage in blue sky thinking with one’s colleagues. The Away Day provided such an opportunity to the TaLIC team. We are now enthused to find ways of providing similar opportunities for our colleagues outside of TaLIC.

Dr Debbie Custance


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