Education, Agency, and Change

Transformations in society, culture, economy, politics, employment, and knowledge require us to fundamentally rethink how we perceive and organise education. Additionally, phenomena and trends like MOOCs, adaptive learning, and virtual reality are changing the conversation around what education is and has always been.

Drawing on the works of Paulo Freire, Maxine Greene, bell hooks, among others, and using techniques of Open Space Learning, Contemplative Pedagogy, and Open Space Technology, the course will take as its starting point Marshall McLuhen’s assertion that the medium is the message. Participants will work together to co-create a collegiate, reflective and critical space in which we can support each other in asking questions of our assumptions, experiences and practices as educators and the systems in which we work.

This track will focus on:

  • Considering a range of radical critiques and alternative theorisations of education
  • Examining real alternatives to traditional state models of education, and practices of teaching
  • Considering recent sociocultural, economic and political changes impact on the educational structures and practices
  • Thinking about what education could and should be

Participants in this track will gather together to imagine possibilities for a new educational model. The praxis of the track will be reflective and generative, and will respond to the interests, experiences, and expertise of the cohort. Together, we will offer stimuli, resources, and opportunities to ask questions of ourselves, each other and education itself. And we’ll explore imaginative, pragmatic, ambitious and fantastical possibilities for education, engaging with the (creative) tensions within which we work.


Naomi de la Tour
Naomi de la Tour is an interdisciplinary scholar and educator whose work explores the ways we imagine our worlds, the reinvention of education, and making change.
Elena Riva
Elena Riva is a Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of Studies at the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) at the University of Warwick (UK), and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
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