TURNING WORDS INTO ACTIONS
City College Nottingham in partnership with Communities Inc. ran a series of dialogues (group discussions) over the spring/summer of 2013 with the aim of improving cohesion and interaction amongst students and staff in the College.
City College Nottingham is one of the most diverse in the city but we had observed that students mainly interacted with others from the same course. With the College growing and attracting students from all over Nottingham (and other countries), the project provided an ideal vehicle to improve relationships and cohesion.
The programme consisted of a series of small interactive sessions held in every department within the College and concluded with a large gathering of students, staff and board members. These sessions were supplemented by questionnaires which were filled in by over 60 students.
What is Dialogue?
Dialogue involves sharing ideas, information, experiences and assumptions for the purposes of personal and collective learning. ‘Dialogues for Change’ covered personal responsibility, personal empowerment, problem solving, identity and ideas for better interaction. During the programme we found that the first languages of some of the students included Pushto, Urdu, Farsi, Romanian, Portuguese, Polish and Spanish. All the more reason to use dialogue to bring people closer together!
What can be done to improve relationships?
This was one of the key questions we asked during the dialogues and listed below are the main responses that were endorsed by the wider group as actions they would like the college to implement:
- Continue the process of dialogues beyond the life of the project
- Develop a regular programme of social activities for students from across the college
- Provide greater discounts for students who wish to use the sports and leisure centre, as it’s a good place to make new friends
- Hold and annual ‘Diversity Day’ in the college (organised by Students) and invite the local community to attend
- Improve facilities in the cafeteria – to create a ‘space for dialogue’
- Take some time out to look through the prospectus and walk around the college to find out about the wide range of courses and qualifications the college offers.
- Make an effort to talk to people from other backgrounds/countries in the reception and canteen areas.
- Familiarise yourself with different members of staff,all of whom are willing to answer any questions you may have?
City College Nottingham is pleased to announce that as a result of this project it plans to implement all of the above points! Check out the Student Notice Board for details of activities and updates.
For more information on City College Nottingham, please visit www.citycollegenottingham.com