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Creative Lab Residency
POOL

Mon 5 June — Fri 30 June 2017

POOL (The Peer Organisation for Open Learning) was founded by Glasgow-based artists and arts organisers. It is a pilot alternative creative education programme, initiated in response to the limitations encountered in institutional further education and life post-education.

POOLing resources: when education flounders, how to stay afloat!
The P.O.O.L (Peer Organisation for Open Learning) steering group invites both the public and guest speakers to attend a series of discussions and workshops, as we attempt to figure out how to navigate the muddied waters of education.

Internationally we can see that debt, competition and the corporatisation of education is drowning students in a whirlpool of ‘employability’, rather than ensuring the facilitation of learning as an end in itself. Universities and art schools, for example, increasingly resemble advanced factory assembly-lines, producing cascades of ‘professionals’ while flaunting their successfully employed alumni, and attempting to quantify ‘student satisfaction’ in the form of vague statistics, like supermarket customer surveys. But for many, the post-graduation experience is not paved with the kinds of success recognised by these institutions. Indeed, we are not entirely sure what this word means.

Financial difficulties and class barriers are also preventing swathes of students from continuing or even entering education, obscuring their ability to see learning as an extra-economic, lifelong process. We believe that collective learning can and should exist outside of these institutional confines, and that pedagogical models can be built to accommodate a mongrel mixture of autodidacts, students, graduates and postgraduates. Therefore P.O.O.L will not only exist as a refuge for the institutionally jaded, but will be open to those who simply want to chase an idea, experiment, or converse and critique with a group of peers.

In response to, or running parallel with, the institutional dive to the bottom outlined above, hundreds of alternative educational models, independent free schools, open schools and peer learning groups have emerged. In full acknowledgement of and respect for this new wave of pedagogical experimentation, P.O.O.L will seek to root itself within the rich cultural ecology of Glasgow, and use the city itself as its curriculum. By forming circles of peers with a thirst and enthusiasm for learning, P.O.O.L will create sustainable ‘flotation devices’, which enable mutual, cross-cultural flourishing.

With long-term ambitions to develop and secure communal resources such as a physical meeting space, a library and a workshop, we first need to ensure the establishment of a clear and sustainable framework. We would therefore like to invite you to participate in our planned discussions and workshops, which will take place as part of our Creative Lab Residency at the CCA. Intended as an experimental pooling of ideas, methods and expertise, the residency will not be the ‘official launch’ of P.O.O.L, but rather the primordial soup from which we will rapidly evolve!

P.O.O.L is a pilot alternative creative education programme, initiated in response to the limitations encountered in institutional further education and life ‘post-education’. It is currently in its developmental stages - and will be structured as a peer-led, studio based course, run part-time over the duration of six months to a year. The project takes inspiration from models of contemporary and historic anti-capitalist self education programmes and considers how these could work in the context of Glasgow. Fundamentally, we will be looking to collectively generate the conditions for self-cultivation and critical thinking in the age of the neoliberal educational institution.

Keep up-to-date with the additional events happening around this residency here