Registration is closed for this event


The webinar will take the form of a series of panel discussions with invited guests, with opportunity for questions and comments from the audience. These conversations will explore the concept of relational pedagogies in higher education, and the implications for educational policy and practice. Themes will include:

•             Relational pedagogies

•             Authenticity, vulnerability, and trust in teaching and learning

•             Students as partners and co-creation

•             Mattering and connection

•             Engaging theory

•             Care and connection in HE

The session will be chaired by Professor Naomi Winstone, facilitated by Dr Patrick Baughan, Professor Ian Kinchin and Dr Namrata Rao, the conveners for this network, and managed by colleagues at SRHE. Guest speakers will include: A/Prof Rola Ajjawi; Prof Margaret Bearman; Prof Cathy Bovill; A/Prof Tim Fawns; Dr Nikki Fairchild and Prof Carol Taylor.

The session builds on the work undertaken for a book entitled, Relational Pedagogies: Connections and Mattering in Higher Education, authored by Karen Gravett and recently published by Bloomsbury.




Speaker / Panel


Introduction and welcome

Sinéad Murphy; Naomi Winstone


Panel 1.

Relational pedagogies: what are they and why do we need them?

(Patrick Baughan)

Catherine Bovill; Margaret Bearman; Rola Ajjawi; Karen Gravett


Panel 2.

Mattering, care and connection in HE

(Ian Kinchin/Namrata Rao)

Carol Taylor; Nikki Fairchild; Tim Fawns


Summary and wind-down

Naomi Winstone; SRHE convenors



Prof Catherine Bovill is Professor of Student Engagement in Higher Education in the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh. Cathy leads a range of strategic student engagement and curriculum design work at the University. Cathy’s research focuses on co-created curriculum and student-staff partnership in learning and teaching. She has published extensively and given keynote presentations in over 15 countries. She is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Bergen, Norway, and a Visiting Fellow (Knowledge Exchange) at the University of Winchester and Fulbright Scholar (2019-20). She is a National Teaching Fellow, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association and a member of the Society for Research in Higher Education. She is a member of the UK National Teaching Excellence Awards Panel.  She is also currently an Editorial Board member for Teaching in Higher Education.

Prof Margaret Bearman is a Professor within the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE), Deakin University. She holds a first class honours degree in computer science and a PhD in medical education. Margaret’s interests  are broad ranging and include: assessment in university education, feedback in healthcare contexts, simulation and learning in a digital world. Recognition for her work includes Program Innovation awards from the Australian Office of Learning and Teaching and Simulation Australasia.  

Prof Rola Ajjawi is Associate Professor of Educational Research at the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) at Deakin University, Australia. She has a Bachelor's Honours Degree in Physiotherapy and worked as a physiotherapist and clinical educator before moving into academia full-time with the completion of her PhD in 2007. Since then she has led a programme of research centred on work-integrated learning with an interest in inclusion, assessment and feedback in the workplace. She has over 140 publications including peer-review journal articles, book chapters and books. Her research has shed light on social, relational and cultural influences on learning to promote student success. Rola is Deputy Editor of the journal Medical Education, on the editorial board of Teaching in Higher Education and is lead editor of an edited book Assessment for Inclusion in Higher Education: Promoting Equity and Social Justice (Routledge; due for publication 2023).

Prof Carol Taylor is Professor of Higher Education and Gender in the Department of Education at the University of Bath where she is Director of Research and leads the Learning, Pedagogy and Diversity Research cluster. Her research focuses on the entangled relations of knowledge, power, gender, space and ethics in higher education and utilizes trans- and interdisciplinary posthumanist and feminist new materialist theories and methodologies. She is co-editor of the journal Gender and Education. She serves on the Editorial Boards of Teaching in Higher Education, Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning and Journal of Posthumanism. Her latest books are: Fairchild, N., Taylor, C.A., Benozzo, A., Carey, N., Koro, M., & Elmenhorst, C. (2022). Knowledge Production in Material Spaces: Disturbing Conferences and Composing Events. Taylor, C. A., Ulmer, J., and Hughes, C. (Eds.) (2020) Transdisciplinary Feminist Research: Innovations in Theory, Method and Practice, and Taylor, C. A. and Bayley, A. (Eds.) (2019) Posthumanism and Higher Education: Reimagining Pedagogy, Practice and Research.

Dr Nikki Fairchild is Associate Head (Research and Innovation) in the School of Education and Sociology at the University of Portsmouth. Her research interests include posthuman and new material feminist theorising and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) subjectivities and professional identity; as well as challenging normative views of method/ology and knowledge production working with posthuman and post-qualitative modes of conference workshops. Her work seeks to broaden current views and aims to produce a more generative, vital, connected, ethical and political way to enact ECEC research. Her research is theoretical but has been empirically applied in her articles on curriculum, leadership, emotional labour, gender and teacher training. It includes and ongoing project which has given her the opportunity to explore posthuman subjectivity and places/spaces in ECEC classrooms and gardens. She is a founder member and actively part of an international research group exploring post-qualitative method/ology and knowledge production at/in conference spaces. She also engages in post-qualitative research into gender positioning in both higher education and ECEC.

A/Prof Tim Fawns is Associate Professor at the Monash Education Academy, Monash University, Australia. He has previously been a graphic designer, learning technologist and Co-Director of the online MSc Clinical Education at the University of Edinburgh. Tim’s research interests are at the intersection between digital, clinical and higher education, with a particular focus on the relationship between technology and educational practice. He has recently published an edited volume with Gill Aitken and Derek Jones titled Online Postgraduate Education in a Postdigital World Beyond Technology.

Prof Naomi Winstone (Chair) is Professor of Educational Psychology and Director of the Surrey Institute of Education. Naomi is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded National Teaching Fellowship in 2016. Naomi’s research focuses on the processing and implementation of feedback, educational transitions, and educational identities. Her work has been published in leading journals including Educational Psychologist, Studies in Higher Education, and Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, as well as the Times Higher. Her work has been funded by the Higher Education Academy, the Medical Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the Society for Research into Higher Education. Naomi is Director of the Surrey Assessment and Learning Lab.

Dr Karen Gravett is Senior Lecturer at the Surrey Institute of Education where her research explores the areas of student engagement, belonging, transition, and relational pedagogies. She is Director of the Language, Literacies and Learning research group, Co-convenor of the SRHE Learning, Teaching and Assessment network, and a member of the editorial board for Teaching in Higher Education. Her work has been funded by the Society for Research in Higher Education, the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education, the British Association for Applied Linguistics, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Karen’s work is published in leading journals including Studies in Higher Education, Teaching in Higher Education, Higher Education, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, and the International Journal of Qualitative Methods.


March 7th, 2023 from  9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Online event - link will be provided
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