Chapter 5: Partnership as a Civic Process

Isabella Lenihan-Ikin, Brad Olsen, Kathryn A. Sutherland, Emma Tennent, and Marc Wilson

Read the chapter [PDF]

A team of students and academics at Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa New Zealand set out to investigate and demonstrate the potential of partnership as a civic process in research and in teaching. In this chapter, we offer a poetic summary of our project’s research findings, and we treat the university as a civic realm and community with its own intrinsic power dynamics. Through a narrative case study, we reflect on how our project challenged, unraveled, and got caught up in those power relations. We offer some celebrations of and warnings about growing partnerships in curricula and in research.

Reflection Questions for Readers

  • Collective reflections can be side-lined in a rush to get to the “real” business. How have you carved out time for reflection?
  • Team leaders may struggle with the challenges of making decisions and the fear of railroading other team members. What might be the benefits and drawbacks of nominating a leader to manage group time?
  • How will you tackle power dynamics?