EU Marie Curie International Fellow - SUSPLACE
Alice Taherzadeh is an Early Stage Researcher in the SUSPLACE programme, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network. Alongside concurrent projects in six European countries she is exploring the potential of place-shaping practices and looking at how this applies specifically to her research project on ‘Connected Learning Spaces’. Her interests in relation to this project are participatory methods and methodologies, co-production, food sustainability, and experiential learning.
My background is varied and interdisciplinary and I consider the experience I have gained through various jobs, activism and volunteering just as vital to the development of my research interests, skills, and knowledge as my formal education.
After completing a combined undergraduate and masters in Mathematics at the University of Warwick, I worked for the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre (AIMSSEC) in South Africa assisting with teacher training programmes. From this I went on to complete my teacher training in secondary school Mathematics at the University of Warwick and then spent a year running a community café in Coventry and some months travelling in Mexico. Reflecting on my experiences of international development initiatives and the formal educational system, I decided to learn more about the global educational landscape and studied a Masters in International and Comparative Education at the University of Stockholm. Through the Erasmus programme, I spent the second year of my masters at the Autonomous University of Madrid and completed my thesis on learning practices within Time Banks in Madrid.
The aim of the ‘Connected Learning Spaces’ project is to bring together those involved in local food sustainability (in particular, community gardens), students, and university staff members in the process of co-producing a programme of experiential learning around sustainable food and agriculture.
The output of this research is to construct a programme of experiential learning for university students which draws upon the knowledge of local everyday experts in food sustainability and at the same time works to benefit and support community garden projects. This process will be carried out as a reflexive participatory research project with the final output of the project reached collectively through the effort of all research participants. Throughout this academic year, the key focus of the research itself and the data collection is to study the process of co-production and collaboration. This involves implementing various participatory methods in workshops and reflecting on the benefits and challenges of using them in this context.
Other Research Interests:
-Agroecology, Food Sovereignty and global peasant movements.
-Critical pedagogy and horizontal learning practices.
-Indigenous and local knowledge and cosmovisions.
-Radical adult education, social movement learning, Deschooling, and informal and non-formal education.