Oxford Brookes University International Teaching and Learning Conference 2023

Pedagogies of Possibility: tales of transformation and HE hope

We are delighted to announce that the Oxford Brookes University International Learning and Teaching Conference, will be held online on Wednesday 14 June 2023.

‘Education is always a vocation rooted in hopefulness’ (hooks, 2003, p XIV). 

By challenging past orthodoxies and opening our critical imaginations to the promise of progress higher education can:

  • create more democratic and ethical ways of knowing, being and doing in the world;
  • find solutions to the social, economic and environmental challenges we face;
  • and transform the lives of those in our learning communities and regions in which our institutions reside.

These pedagogies of possibility tap into our transformative powers. It is here that ‘educational gain’ might truly lie – where students come to understand and embrace their graduate potential to become agents of change and ‘remake the world’ (Freire, 2017, pg185). 

Oxford Brookes’ inaugural international teaching, learning and assessment conference will explore the promise of transformation that the socially responsible and connected university represents. It will be an opportunity to remind ourselves of the important roles educators and students play in the co-creation of our hopeful future. By celebrating transformation we have the opportunity to re-connect with the joy, love and passion that brought us to HE, and that might sustain us as we proceed.

Together we can ‘recognise reality…recognise the obstacles, but … refuse to resign in silence.’ (Freire, 2021, p. 23). We invite staff, students and stakeholders involved in higher education to write with ‘rage and love’ (Freire, 2017, p5), to offer impassioned reflections on the pursuit of thoughtful, compassionate, critical HE pedagogies.  

Tell us how and why you have created a ‘classroom that is life-sustaining and mind expanding, a place of liberating mutuality where teacher and student work together‘ (hooks, 2003, XV) to make the world a better, fairer place. 

Conference themes

Democratic education

Democratic and ethical ways of knowing, being and doing in the world realised through a course of study. For example, this might be students, staff and stakeholders working together in enhancing teaching, conducting research or practising knowledge exchange.

Education without boundaries

Studying beyond the bounds of a discipline or an institution to find solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges. For example, this could be multi-disciplinary projects, embodied/experiential learning furthering ecological goals, or working in partnership with local charities, national bodies or on international progressive projects.

Educational gain

Students coming to understand their graduate potential as agents of change. For example, this might be as students apply disciplinary knowledge to a specific context and in so doing transform the lives of their learning communities and/or the region in which their institution resides, or the navigation of the ‘distance travelled’ from aspiring undergraduate to entrepreneur, activist, scholar or employee.

Anyone involved in teaching and supporting learning in higher education, including Higher Technical Education and Higher Apprenticeships are welcome to submit a proposal. We will be happy to hear from individuals, teams and staff-student-stakeholder partnerships in all forms of HE provision, and those brokering positive change through the teaching of all disciplines from the UK and beyond.

Types of submission

400 word abstracts, excluding references. Please note: Some submissions lend themselves to being pre recorded, we indicate where submissions are pre-recorded only. 

  • Academic papers: a scholarly account of a teaching and learning innovation. 20 minutes
  • Tales of transformation: personal testimonies to inspire hope and galvanise energies. 10 minutes
  • Practical wisdom workshops: participatory sessions applying effective practice/innovation to the delegates practice/context. 50 mins
  • Round table discussions: a panel of students and staff share expertise, reflect on experience and engage the audience in deep conversation, 50 mins. 
  • Recipes for success: practical teaching and learning insights presented 'PechaKucha' style, 10 minutes (pre-recorded)
  • Infographic: A visual representation of work, to be curated into an online exhibition.
  • Free form: Surprise and delight us with a novel submission, work on the basis of 20, or 50 minute time slots.

Publishing opportunity

Contributors are invited to have their submissions considered for publication in Brookes’ open access scholarly magazine Teaching Insights. Deadline for final copy is September 2023, publication January 2024.

Selection criteria

1. Relevance to the conference themes.

2. Evident transformation: what changed for the better? How do you know it changed? Use evidence such as student academic awards/attainment, feedback from students and partners, engagement data. 

3. Scholarly foundations: who inspired the work? What research or change management method was used? Please use simple Harvard Referencing

4. Inspiration and hope: What will others learn that they might adopt in or be useful to their HE teaching practice?

Submission process and timeline

Please submit your proposal.

The deadline has now been extended to 14 February 2023 12.00pm.

We aim to confirm selection by 14 March 2023.

Registration will formally open in the spring when the programme is finalised.


Freire, P (2017) Pedagogy of hope: reliving pedagogy of the oppressed. Routledge: UK

Freire, P. (2021) Pedagogy of the heart. London: Bloomsbury

Hooks, b (2003) Teaching community: a pedagogy of hope. Routledge: UK

For Oxford Brookes University Staff only

During the week of the 12 June 2023 the People Directorate will host a number of events and activities as part of an on-campus learning and development week. ‘Building Brookes Learning Community’ aims to Inspire academic, professional and personal ambition across the Brookes’ learning community and build connection and community. Details will be published in Semester 2.