Scott Lucas’ Trump Talk – A Guide to Critical Thinking

The Trump Talk held at Fircroft College on 4th July was a great success and our thanks goes to Professor Scott Lucas for a stimulating and thought provoking session.  

 

You can find out more about Scott’s work through his journalism at EA WorldView (www.eaworldview.com), covering US politics and foreign policy and also international affairs, notably in Iran, Syria, and the wider Middle East, or by following him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ScottLucas_EA).

In this era of ‘Fake News’ and an ‘Age of Uncertainty’, the talk and discussion highlighted the ongoing and increasing importance for students and citizens to develop critical thinking and critical reading skills in order to navigate the ‘mediascape’ and mountains of misinformation.  

The importance of triangulation, ie getting at least 3 reliable and different sources of information, was highlighted by Scott and discussed in reference to the current American and Global political landscape with the audience. 

Staff and students were buzzing at the end of the evening, one student said ‘It was fantastic, I could have carried on for hours!’ 

Here are a couple of resources that Scott finds valuable for his work.

On US politics: FiveThirtyEight (www.fivethirtyeight.com), RealClearPolitics (https://www.realclearpolitics.com/), and individual journalists like Maggie Haberman of The New York TImes or David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post.

On checking some of the stories in the media, BellingCat (www.bellingcat.com).

On Syria and Iran (with apologies for a lack of modesty), EA WorldView!

And the day always starts with a review of some of the most reliable outlets, such as The New York Times and The Guardian.

Perhaps most importantly, talk to each other and compare your thoughts. Scott says, “Please get in touch with me to discuss ideas!”

Student Contributors Needed!

Are you a writer at heart who would like to see their work featured on the Fircroft blog and social media accounts?

Or maybe you’re a photographer/artist who would like the opportunity to have their work displayed on our digital platforms as well as around the college?

Or perhaps you’re a budding musician who would relish the chance to perform at one of the college’s many events?

Whatever your talent, we would love to work with you. Get in touch with naomi.minto@fircroft.ac.uk for more information.

Fircroft Colleges’ Trump Talk with Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas became Professor of International Politics in 2014, having been on the staff of the University of Birmingham since 1989 and a Professor of American Studies since 1997.

He began his career as a specialist in US and British foreign policy, but his research interests now also cover current international affairs — especially North Africa, the Middle East, and Iran — New Media, and Intelligence Services.

A professional journalist since 1979, Professor Lucas is the founder and editor of EA WorldView, a leading website in daily news and analysis of Iran, Turkey, Syria, and the wider Middle East, as well as US foreign policy.

Scott Lucas will be hosting the Donald Trump Talk at Fircroft College on Tuesday 4th July from 7:30pm onwards. Join us for what promises to be a fascinating insight into the leader of the free world.

 

Birmingham Conversations: Faith in the Public Sphere

The third ‘Birmingham Conversations’ took place recently on the theme of ‘Faith in the Public Sphere’ and explored the issue of how faith communities engage in all areas of public life.

The Conversations were attended by Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Humanists, Muslims and Sikhs as well as people involved in local politics, business and education.

The group met once a month for six months which enabled friendships to grow and for trust to be built up so that difficult or controversial topics could be considered.

Under the heading of ‘Faith in the Public Sphere’ they discussed what it would mean for faith communities, and by extension all communities, to flourish in the public sphere. Can everyone flourish or does the flourishing of one community necessitate the diminishing or restricting of another?

They then went on to consider how what this flourishing might look like at work, in places of education, in political life, in the media and in the street during festivals or demonstrations.

A Policy Report of the findings was written by Dr Andrew Davies from the University of Birmingham which includes specific recommendations and can be downloaded here faith-in-the-public-sphere-policy-recommendations

A Summary of the conversations was produced which includes questions for discussion and is written with members of the public in mind to enable different groups to join in the conversation. A copy of the summary can be downloaded here. map-of-birmingham-conversationland

They invited two local artists, Jake Lever and Mandy Ross, to be artists in residence and reflect on what they heard during the conversations. As well as creatively facilitating conversations they produced artworks at the end as a response to the conversations.

Eid Mubarak!

Join us at Fircroft College to celebrate the diversity in our community on Monday 3rd July. With a number of workshops and exhibitions as well as deliciously authentic food,  it promises to be an event not to be missed.

Break bread with us as we get to know each other and find ways to better understand the differences and similarities in our cultures.

 

Black Feminist Protest – Mary Prince’s Slave Narrative by Ifemu Omari-Webber

Mary Prince’s autobiography – The History of Mary Prince (1831), was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published.

On Thursday 22nd June at the John Lewis Community Hub, Ifemu aims to share some of these stories in her seminar, and argues that Mary Prince is indeed one of the first black feminists to actively resist the dehumanisation process of West Indian slavery, ensuring that her life experiences continues to be passed on almost two centuries later.

We hope you can join us for this interesting and informative event.

Fircroft Great Get Together

Fircroft will be hosting a Great Get Together Lunch on Friday 16th June.  This will be one of over 100,000 community events to take place as part of The Great Get Together in commemoration of the murder of Jo Cox on 16th June 2016.

Placards show Jo Cox’s picture during a commemorative event in Trafalgar Square

Placards show Jo Cox’s picture during a commemorative event in Trafalgar Square, London, last year. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

More than 100,000 events are expected to be held across the UK as part of The Great Get Together, organised by the Jo Cox Foundation. Organisers hope it will be the biggest number of community events since the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

The weekend of events will take place between 16 and 18 June, with picnics, street parties and iftar, the meal eaten by Muslims to break their fast during Ramadan.

Open Day 9th May

Whether you’re interested in our programme of short courses, or our Access to Higher Education Diploma, coming to an Open Day is a great way to get a feel for what it’s like to study at Fircroft College.

You will have the opportunity to speak to our friendly and helpful tutors, get advice and guidance, have a tour of the college and apply for courses on the day.

For more information please call 0121 472 0116 or email us at opendays@fircroft.ac.uk

Address
Fircroft College of Adult Education, 1018 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6LH

Open Day Dates
We ask that all Open Day visitors arrive at the College between 1pm and 1.15pm ready for a 1.30pm start. The events then run until approximately 4pm. Free refreshments are provided.

Tuesday 9 May 2017
Tuesday 13 June 2017
Tuesday 18 July 2017
Tuesday 15 August 2017

We look forward to meeting you soon!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

fcol033-still

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… by Chantelle Maguraushe

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, you can visibly see the thirst for a reprieve on many a student’s face. For some, life at college has been a breeze, but for others, a struggle. As mature students, the return to education has taken some adjustment. The work has undeniably reached a new level of difficulty with the progression from ungraded to graded units. We are being tested, yet prepared for university study.

Since my last post, we have cultivated our intellectual minds, broadened our knowledge and received our grades for several assignments as well as feedback for improvement in future projects. Socially, we went to the Glee Club and had a Christmas party. The opportunity to relax and unwind was greatly appreciated by all the students and attending staff.

Living away from home, meeting new people, or learning something new does not come easy for all and unfortunately, some students have succumbed to these struggles of college life and have left us for other projects. Change is indeed an acquired taste and sometimes the unsuccessful outcome of a task or goal can leave us disheartened and despondent. Even so, there is hope. If we only stop stumbling in the dark and turn on the light, we may just find that path that leads us to our goal. So to those students, I/we wish you good luck and great success in the future.

Aspirations are not always easy to attain and if we keep this in mind, then the struggle will be worth it. With that in mind, I leave you with the following quote:

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” (Napoleon Hill)

To all, warm greetings. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Make 2017 your year of personal and professional fulfilment

ILM-Level-3-Award-in-Leadership-and-Management

As 2016 draws to a close, the dark Winter nights provide the ideal opportunity to plan your personal and professional goals for 2017.

For many people, choosing goals that will enhance both their professional and personal lives is high on their agenda.

Leadership and management are two of the most sought-after skills in employment across the private, public and third sectors.

As well as equipping you with valuable skills for the workplace, a qualification in leadership and management can help increase confidence and assertiveness outside of work.

At Fircroft College in Birmingham, we offer the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management qualification which provides the skills and knowledge to lead, organise and motivate teams.

The ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management is ideal if you have management responsibilities but no formal training and want to develop your abilities further, or if you aspire to work in management and are preparing to make the step up. It has a particularly successful track record in training public sector and third sector employees.

Getting the right mix of inspirational leadership and effective management skills and practices can have a significant impact on organisational performance in terms of profit, sales, growth and survival. 93% of employers see tangible increase in their managers’ capability after an ILM qualification.

This nationally recognised qualification consists of two taught day-long sessions delivered on 16th January and 13th February 2017 at Fircroft College, together with online resource learning.

Benefits to the learner:

  • Gain a range of key management skills
  • Put new skills into practice in your own role
  • Build your leadership capabilities
  • Motivate and engage teams, manage relationships confidently
  • Develop your leadership skills using your own knowledge, values and motivations.

Benefits to the employer:

  • Effective and confident first-line managers
  • Better relationships and communication in teams
  • Measurable results: workplace-based assessment ensures new skills are effectively transferred to your organisation
  • A broad range of optional units – qualification can be tailored to your organisation’s learning and development needs

 

Matt Lloyd a former student of the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management gives his feedback on the course:

“My time at Fircroft College on the ILM course was invaluable to my professional development and helped enhance my management skills. Having recently been promoted to a more senior managerial position, I enrolled at Fircroft in order to learn new exciting leadership techniques and theories to assist me my new role. The tutors were incredibly engaging and were always prepared to go the extra mile. I have benefitted so much from achieving my ILM Award courtesy of Fircroft”. 

To learn more about the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management at Fircroft College, course cost and the entry requirements, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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