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Practicing Inclusive Education: Co-creating Open Spaces for Learning

Project Context & Aims

This project will bring together teaching and learning communities at University College Birmingham and Warwick to share practice in inclusive education, with a specific focus on co-creative and experiential learning. Through a series of hybrid workshops, staff will be invited to learn from each other’s approaches to inclusive learning, practical teaching and co-created curricula. By the end of the project, the team will have facilitated at least three workshops for colleagues across the two institutions and offered practical examples (through online case-studies) in relation to inclusive education. Professor Jonathan Heron (UoW) will co-facilitate the workshops with Dr Devinder Rana-Rai (UCB) and a mixed group of students to ensure that each workshop is participatory and collaborative.

The project team aims to connect teaching and learning staff from each institution to share educational innovations with each other and open opportunities for peer dialogue between the HEIs. The project will be necessarily interdisciplinary, and the workshops will be open to a range of pedagogic approaches and subject areas, but the clear focus will be inclusive education, involving students as co-creators.

A selection of projects will be drawn from a list of shared interests and educational priorities including:

•Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Practice/ Race equity training

•Embedding Inclusivity in T&L/ Wellbeing in the classroom

•Community Values Education/ Inclusivity in student engagement

•Inclusive assessment / Diversification of assessment methods

•Open-space Learning / Co-creating inclusive environments

Project Impact

By the end of the project, the team will have facilitated at least three workshops for around 50 T&L colleagues across the two institutions and offered practical examples (through online case studies) in relation to inclusive education.

The collaborative pairings between teaching staff/student co-creators across both HEIS will be a key support for developing new initiatives and proposals for transferable practice. The workshop series, as an ‘open-space’ for collaborative practice between the University of Warwick and University College Birmingham, will lead to an annual series of events or workshops on other strategic themes - for example, blended learning and/or interdisciplinary teaching.

Learning Outcomes

The outcomes will be practice-based at the local level, but these outcomes can be measured by: changes in NSS performance of individual departments around metrics such as ‘learning community or ‘student voice’, new practices within individual departments and programmes, and finally improved CPD outcomes for teaching staff.

Internally for both institutions, online webpages will be created and the final project report will be disseminated online at both HEIs. Furthermore, for external dissemination, the project team will seek to share their work in external conferences, academic journals and perhaps sector-level media (e.g. THES or WONKHE).

Project Team

Universities in Collaboration: University of Warwick and University of Birmingham

Dr Jonathan Heron (IATL, Warwick)

Project Lead

Dan Derricott (EPQ, Warwick)

Project Lead


Prof Elaine Penn, PVC (Curriculum, Learning & Teaching), University College Birmingham

Dr Devinder Rana-Rai, Director of Inclusive Curriculum and Higher Education Quality, UCB


Two UCB student co-creators (to be appointed)

Two UoW student co-creators (to be appointed)