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Past event

Learning differently: new frontiers for community collaboration, agency and identity


This event is now fully booked. Please email if you would like to receive notice of changes in availability or similar events.

Please join us for an interactive and dynamic one day learning exchange event on alternative approaches to learning in the vibrant cityscape of Camden Town in London. The event aims to provide a platform for challenging some of the taken for granted assumptions about learning as means to labour market ends and to consider alternative models and applications/practices used for the development of creativity, critical thinking and problem solving in a socially situated and empowering way. The topical themes of alternative learning approaches, assessment, learning communities and alternative education spaces will guide avenues for sharing practice and ideas.

The event will cater to a diverse audience of BERA members, PhD students, early career and experienced researchers’ professionals as well as those engaged in the practice advocacy or educational difference. All come together with a common interest. Our dynamic collection of speakers include: Professor Peter Twinning (Open University), Dr Ian Cunningham (Self-Managed Learning College, Sussex) and Professor Peter Kraftl (University of Birmingham).


10:30 Registrations, refreshments and networking
11:15 Welcome and introductions
Dr Amber Fensham-Smith, University of Bedfordshire
and Dr Harriet Pattison,
Liverpool Hope University

Alternative assessment and reflective practice
Professor Peter Twining, Open University


Micro presentations:
new project development in alternative education

Pedagogies of Hope: Dr Darren Webb, University of Sheffield


Innovating spaces for change:
Sophie Christophy, Phoenix Education Trust

Curriouser & Co.:
Nikki O’Rouke, The Institute of Imagination;


Luke Freedman, Phoenix Education


The Light on Education Researcher Network:
Peter Humphreys, Centre for Personalised Education


13:10 Lunch

Self-managed learning
Dr Ian Cunningham, Self-Managed College, Sussex



Alternative education spaces
Professor Peter Kraftl, University of Birmingham



Citizenship and democratic education
Mike Berrill & Neil Hopkins, University of Bedfordshire


16:30 Refreshments and networking
17:00 Panel discussion: reflections and new pathways
Chairs: Dr Amber Fensham-Smith & Dr Harriet Pattison
17:55 Completion of evaluation forms
18:00 Close of event


The BERA Early Career Researcher Network offers a limited amount of bursaries to the value of £75 towards travel for BERA Student Members only.

To apply for one of these bursaries, please email with a 250 word statement on why you want to attend this event and why you need the financial assistance. Bursaries are offered on a first come, first served basis. Travel expenses will be reimbursed after the event in accordance with our travel policies. You must not have previously received bursary funding from BERA.