Event details

Courageous and compassionate pedagogy

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

In this webinar workshop, we are interested in exploring courageous (Gibbs, 2017) and compassionate (Vandeyar, 2013) pedagogies. These pedagogies both invite and support students to enter pedagogic borderlands (Hill et al., 2016), unfamiliar physical or metaphorical spaces whose novelty and ambiguity challenge faculty and students to disrupt taken for granted ways of knowing, acknowledge new perspectives, and disrupt dynamics of power and authority. Courageous and compassionate pedagogies undertaken in borderland spaces of learning acknowledge students and faculty as whole people with lived embodied experiences and emotional, moral, as well as cognitive agendas. These pedagogies link to the notion of slow scholarship (Mountz et al., 2015), which acknowledges the quality of relationships, thinking through ideas and recognising the importance of subjectivities. Acknowledging ourselves as ‘whole’ people requires a willingness to explore and share excitement, insight and passion, alongside vulnerability and fear.

Adopting a geographical metaphor: In this webinar workshop participants will be encouraged to share moral ‘compasses’ in exploring the values we bring to our pedagogy and facilitate our ‘mapping’ of pedagogic borders and the way we plan to ‘navigate’ our practice. We wholeheartedly believe in the importance of collegiality and taking time to reflect and strategise. We will be doing all three. Our hope is that we all leave the workshop with a renewed sense of possibility and an expanded network of colleagues.


Prof Helen Walkington (Co-convenor of the Academic Practice Network), Geographer and Professor in Higher Education Pedagogy, Oxford Brookes University; 

Prof Jennifer Hill, Head of Learning and Teaching innovation, University of Gloucestershire; 

Dr Sarah Dyer, Director of the Exeter Education Incubator and Associate Professor in Human Geography, Exeter University, UK.

The three facilitators are the co-Editors of the recently published Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Geography.The principles underpinning this webinar workshop arose from a synthesis of the discussion, evidence, and debate in the preceding 32 thematic chapters of the volume. The full closing chapter is open access and can be found here. The chapter was summarised in this blog post. Then Covid -19 happened, and our latest blogpost  asks: What does courageous and compassionate pedagogy look like now?


Anticipated format:

1. Prereading – Please read What does courageous and compassionate pedagogy look like now?

2. Register for the workshop and you will be invited to contribute an individual Mural post to prepare a group response to the article (we will use this during the workshop when we move into smaller groups)

3. At the workshop we will start by introducing some key concepts: borderland space, compassionate pedagogy and hospitality, courageous pedagogy, slow scholarship…

4. Starting the conversation – Sarah and Jenny will have a conversation about their thoughts guided by a series of questions from Helen

5. In three groups we will consider values, identities and navigational aids through conversation and co-writing.



Gibbs, P. (Ed) (2017) The Pedagogy of Compassion at the Heart of Higher Education. Cham, Springer. 

Hill, J., Thomas, G., Diaz, A. & Simm, D. (2016) Borderland spaces for learning partnership: opportunities, benefits and challenges Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 40, 375-393.

Mountz, A et al. (2015) For Slow Scholarship: A Feminist Politics of Resistance through Collective Action in the Neoliberal University. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 14, 1235-1259.

Vandeyar, S. (2013) Teaching a class act of human compassion. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5, 57-61.

Walkington, H., Hill, J. & Dyer, S. (Eds) (2019) The Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Geography. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK.


Network: Academic Practice
Date(s): Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Times: 11:00 - 13.00
Signup Deadline: Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Location: Online event, link will be provided
Lunch Provided: No
Spaces Left: No Spaces Left
Prices: Members: Free, Guests: Free
There are no spaces left for this event
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