WL6W50 - Empowering London: Working within the Community (2021/22)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2021/22|
|Module title||Empowering London: Working within the Community|
|Module level||Honours (06)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||London Metropolitan University|
|Total study hours||150|
|Running in 2021/22||
A new innovative module combining work based learning and a radical model of critical and transformative citizenship. This module has been developed to allow you to work intensively with a London community project/organisation in order to identify (in partnership with them) a challenge they are faced with and work towards positively addressing this challenge This innovative module is an exciting opportunity to work at a grass-roots level to effect change and to learn about the key issues currently affecting London and other large cities.
We live in the sixth wealthiest economy in the world, and London produces 22% of all Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, we also have a significant problem with inequalities and wealth distribution. The current poverty rate in the UK is 22% and in London this is even higher at 28%.
As of July 2020 there have been 79,437 violent crimes in the last year resulting in injury in London and 152 homicides. Included within this, there has been a steady increase in incidents of serious youth violence, with latest figures showing 8,151 young victims. This is despite concerted efforts to better support young people. The COVID-19 lockdown raised awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence, however, even before lockdown London was seeing a steady increase with reported cases rising from 75,159 in April 2016 to 91,226 in June 2020.
London's health inequalities are created by social, geographical and biological factors. The difference between highest and lowest healthy life expectancy in areas of London is 15.7 years based on Public Health England data. Contributing factors include infant mortality, excess weight, physical activity, smoking, homelessness and disease.
We are facing a global climate and ecological crisis, and London is a case in point. As the capital’s population grows to 11 million by 2050, addressing problems of polluted air, water stress, poor access to public greenspace, and the effects of climate change, such as overheating and flooding, will become increasingly urgent. London therefore has ambitious targets to meet WHO air quality guidelines by 2030, become carbon neutral by 2050, and become half greenspace and have 12% more tree cover by 2050.
However, at the same time the scope for local authorities to address these issues has been reduced by heavy pressures of austerity and a neo-liberal policy agenda. Many local community voluntary organisations are left with a vacuum to compensate for.
As a university and ‘anchor institution’ to the London economy, we believe it is our role to help ‘Empowering London’. This module has been designed to empower you as our student by learning about some of the challenges facing our city and to contribute to addressing this via work based learning. Our fundamental aim is to help you become a values driven graduate who can make a positive difference to society. This module will provide you with some of the tools to achieve this goal.
The module is designed to enhance your wider personal and professional development. It will facilitate application and progression of knowledge gained via your studies and wider life experience. The module includes values-driven, professional training and work experience to assist in preparing you for your individual future career. Through work based practice, you will positively contribute to a key part of the University’s Strategic agenda, addressing current social and economic issues facing London communities. This unique module allows you to be challenged by contributing to current, real world projects, working with the University and students from other professional disciplines to make a positive difference to society.
The initial stages of this 15 credit, year-long module will introduce you to a range of professional skills and techniques, including: reflective self-assessment; preparation for employment as a values-driven graduate within inclusive work environments; becoming an ethical leader; being a critical employee and developing approaches for co-operative and collaborative working.
You will then be introduced to employment experience opportunities supporting organisations and/or individuals in the local community. This could include working with communities and organisations towards programmes aiming to address collective identity and civic agency in neighbourhoods. You will work individually or in teams, in partnership with community institutions to support the activities of one of London Met’s strategic priorities - the Empowering London initiative. Your practice will positively contribute to addressing the challenges facing London which impact everyone’s lives.
The module has been co-created with students and ongoing feedback will be sought from a range of students on an ongoing basis.
The module aims to enable you to:
● Effectively express and understand your current skills and abilities in relation to your career values and goals
● Practically apply the knowledge gained through your course programme to a work/neighbourhood environment
● Make a positive contribution to the challenges of current social and economic issues facing the University’s local communities and consider these from national and global perspectives
● Gaining unique insight of current challenges facing cities in the areas of social wealth; the environment; discrimination; health; poverty and deprivation and crime and partner with community institution to design potential solutions
● Gain understanding and direct experience of the graduate level skills, knowledge and insights required for inclusive practice and problem resolution within institutions to enable you to become an inclusive leader in society
● Recognise your personal and professional development through your work based practice and how to apply the experience and knowledge gain to your future goals
Prior learning requirements
● The benefits of Work Based Learning practice to future career planning and realisation
● Analysing personal strengths and values and identifying areas requiring development and goal setting
● Application of prior academic and life-learning in a work environment
● Exploring work and professionalism from an inclusivity perspective including: workplace relationships; effective teamwork; communicating positively; work planning; problem solving; managing meetings; emotional intelligence; ethical leadership
● Understanding the relationships of power and methods of transforming power to empowerment
● Exploring how to effectively support community organisations to achieve address the Empowering London challenges of crime; discrimination; health improvement; social wealth, environment; poverty and deprivation.
● Understanding of contexts they have encountered with long term understanding of their duty of care. i.e. how and when do they leave communities.
● Supporting the economy, applying the principles of social justice and social inclusion
● Being a values-driven, critical citizen and becoming an inclusive leader
● Wider application of addressing social issues, by considering creative solutions to both local and global challenges
● Demonstration of confident self-presentation and critical reflection techniques for personal and professional development and resilience
● Formative and summative assessment and selecting final assessment form
Learning Outcomes LO1 - 3
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
This 15 credit module is delivered in a long format across the full academic year. This provides a more flexible approach for you to assimilate the preparation phase and to engage with the work based project to fit around your timetable and lifestyle needs. The module serves a number of diverse course programmes and therefore will be flexible for a range of subjects and interests. Your learning will be developed through individual or group-based activities and will include some one-to-one support within the work environment.
The module is structured into overlapping phases covering a) self-reflection on current skills, abilities, values and careers plans; b) class based practical preparation; c) work based experience with related critical analysis and self-reflection tasks and d) final assessment preparation and submission.
Class based interactive workshops will comprise problem-based learning, self-reflection and personal development planning. Group work will encourage discussion of self-reflections and analysis of work based challenge issues with peers and tutors. Feedback sessions allow you to discuss their own practice and learning. Blended learning will be via the Virtual Learning Environment and the University’s Career Portal and will include videos and online practical tasks.
During and up to the end of the module, you will be able to:
1. Design and explain your approach to a work based challenge, from a socially responsible perspective and reflecting your own professional values and ambitions.
2. Evaluate and reflect on your impact on the work based challenge to show understanding of your role as active, transformative citizen in society.
3. Critically reflect on the larger context and long term impact of the experience gained and how it can be used in the future, to assist you to achieve your career and academic ambitions.
At Level 6, the assessment will require you to demonstrate a high level synthesis of theory, critical analysis and self-reflection.
You will create a single portfolio for the summative assessment (with intermediate, formative deadlines for two elements). This will include:
● a learning contract for:
○ your personal and professional development
○ addressing the objective of your work based learning challenge
● a feedback questionnaire from the supervisor or beneficiary of your work based learning project.
The final element will be a critical analysis and reflection of what you have achieved through the challenge, their impact on the project and consideration of the next steps in your career and personal development.
Formative assessment will run throughout the module in the form of a self-reflective online journal which will focus on your objectives, observations and achievement of outcomes.
1. Key Milestones Journal: You will reflect on a number of identified key milestones through the project progression, including your approach to the work based project, outcomes of discussion with peers and work based supervisors and recommendations for the project. This online journal content will be utilised to assist you in completing the final assessment.
Summative graded assessments:
1. Empowering London Challenge Agreement: This first submission will include reflective self-assessment outlining personal and professional goals, your approach as a values led, inclusive practitioner, your goals for their proposed impact on the Empowering London work project and how you expect to apply relevant literature in the experience (template will be provided 500 words). 0%
2. Project Supervisor Feedback: completed by the Empowering London project lead or beneficiary of the activity, based on your contribution and impact. You will be given responsibility for ensuring your supervisor completes the feedback to include in your final portfolio. 0%
3. Final Project Portfolio: Your can choose to present this critical analysis and reflective summative assessment as either:
○ a report (1,500 words)
○ a video presentation 10 mins in total)
○ or by using another (pre-approved) digital tool.
This assessment will: reflect on the realisation of your initial agreement assessment; summarise your journey and professional and personal progression over the year; review the impact you have had on the work based project and challenges overcome; outline how theory was applied in your work project; provide any recommendations for the future of the initiative they have been working on; and demonstrate your understanding of ethical and socially inclusive work approaches and leadership with consideration of your future career goals.
Grading will be based on submission of i) the Empower London Challenge Agreement; ii) Project Supervisor Feedback and iii) Final Project critical analysis and reflection which make up the full portfolio 100%
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Employability and Job Recruitment Processes
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Resources relating to each of the the six Empowering London challenges
Poverty and Deprivation
Business in the Community (BITC): Employment https://www.bitc.org.uk/category/employment/
Dispatches: Born on the Breadline, 2018. [TV programme] Channel 4
Dispatches: Homeless and Working, 2015. [TV programme] Channel 4
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● Gender Pay Gap in the UK https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/genderpaygapintheuk/2019
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Sorry we missed you. 2020. [film] Directed by K. Loach. England: Zeitgeist Films.
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Joseph Rowntree Foundation Reports: https://www.jrf.org.uk/work
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Wright, K.A., Turanovic, J.J., O’Neal, E.N., Morse, S.J., Booth, E.T., 2016. The Cycle of Violence Revisited: Childhood Victimization, Resilience, and Future Violence. J Interpers Violence 34, 1261–1286. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260516651090
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DISCRIMINATION AND DISPROPORTIONALITY AND HATE CRIME
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Pitts, J. (2020). Black Young People and Gang Involvement in London. Youth Justice, 20(1-2), 146–158. http://doi.org/10.1177/1473225420912331
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Green, A., Preston, J., & Janmaat, J. (2006). Education, equality and social cohesion: A comparative analysis. Springer.
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Syed, J. and Ozbilgin, M., 2019. Managing diversity and inclusion: An international perspective. SAGE Publications Limited.
Unison Challenging Racism in the Workplace: https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2016/11/24073.pdf
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Clean Air in London: https://cleanair.london/
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Extinction Rebellion, 2019. This is not a drill: the Extinction Rebellion handbook. Penguin Books.
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Rewild My Street: www.rewildmystreet.org
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NICE. (2016) Community engagement: improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities. NICE, London
Public Health England. (2015) A guide to community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing. PHE, London
Empowering London Challenges wider relevant reading
Gilchrist, A. and Taylor, M. (2016) The Short Guide to Community Development 2nd Edition, Policy Press, Bristol
Employment/Sociology of work
Emerald Insight series https://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/acronym/RSW
Race, Culture and Identity
Appiah, K. A. (2017). Cosmopolitanisms. NYU Press.
Appiah, K. A. (2018). The lies that bind: Rethinking identity. Profile Books
Business in the Community (BITC):
● Race https://www.bitc.org.uk/category/race/
● Gender https://www.bitc.org.uk/category/gender/
Gundara, J. (2000). Social diversity, inclusiveness and citizenship education. Education for citizenship, 14-25.
Gundara, J. S. (2000). Interculturalism, education and inclusion. Sage.
Social Cohesion and London’s Diversity
Berg, M. L. (2019) ‘Super-diversity, austerity, and the production of precarity: Latin Americans in London’, Critical Social Policy, 39(2), pp. 184–204. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018318790744
Mintchev, N., & Moore, H. L. (2018) ‘Super-diversity and the prosperous society’, European Journal of Social Theory, 21(1), pp. 117–134. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368431016678629 [Open Access]
Oosterlynck, S., Verschraegen, G. and van Kempen, R. (eds.) (2020) Divercities: Understanding Super-Diversity in Deprived and Mixed Neighbourhoods. Bristol: Policy Press.
Sturgis, P., Brunton-Smith, I., Kuha, J. & Jackson, J. (2014) ‘Ethnic diversity, segregation and the social cohesion of neighbourhoods in London’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37(8), pp. 1286–1309. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01419870.2013.831932 [Open Access]
Wessendorf, S (2014) Commonplace Diversity: Social Relations in a Super-Diverse Context. Basingstoke: Palgrave.