Blackburn Pioneer Of Digital Community Learning Recognised With National Learning Award

Blackburn Pioneer Of Digital Community Learning Recognised With National Learning Award

Peter Shukie’s passionate belief in the importance of education led him to create an innovative online platform for community learning

An inspirational tutor from Blackburn has won a national learning award. Dr Peter Shukie was chosen from hundreds of nominations to win the Festival of Learning 2019 Social Impact award, which is sponsored by the WEA.

Peter teaches education studies at the University Centre at Blackburn College with a focus on technology, enhanced learning and educational practice in a digital age. His passion for accessible education led him to create Community Open Online Courses (COOCs), a non-profit, community focused organisation that works with individuals and groups to engage more adults in learning and deliver new and different learning opportunities for people from all walks of life.

Peter has worked with 50 community project creators in the last twelve months alone. Examples of COOCs include ‘A Parent's Reading Guide’ which enables parents to access teaching materials and approaches from their child’s school and ‘Smart Phone Thinking’ which has been designed to help older people buying smart phones.

Organised by Learning and Work Institute, and supported by the Department for Education, Festival of Learning is an annual campaign which aims both to celebrate the power of learning to transform lives, and to encourage more adults to take part. It has been running for nearly 30 years, giving awards to over 2,000 outstanding learners, tutors, employers and providers.

Peter said, “We are all agents of change and my role is to allow each of us that realisation, we can all make a difference. Teaching is my way of being part of something that is larger than myself.”

Former student, Sandie Delafield said, “Peter encourages learners to find a purpose through their studies which can make a positive difference to both the learner and the world around them, far beyond the borders of a classroom.”

Stephen Evans, chief executive, Learning and Work Institute said, “Peter is a creative and innovative educator whose passion for empowering individuals and communities through adult learning is outstanding. His collaborative approach to teaching inspires and motivates his students to make a difference in their own communities and his creation of COOCs provides an invaluable platform for others to share knowledge and learn from each other.

"Festival of Learning is all about the inspirational stories of people like Peter, which show that everyone can benefit from learning. Lifelong learning is vital for all of us as jobs and society change around us. We encourage everyone to give learning a try and if you want to find out how learning could benefit you, get in touch your local college, community learning provider or the National Careers Service.”

3 Jul 2019, 16:09 PM