Editorial Team (alphabetical order): 
Sandra Abegglen, sandra.abegglen[at]ucalgary.ca
Tom Burns, t.burns[at]londonmet.ac.uk
Upasana Gitanjali Singh, singhup[at]ukzn.ac.za
Richard Heller, rfheller4[at]gmail.com
Rajan Madhok, madhokrajan[at]gmail.com
John Sandars, john.sandars[at]edgehill.ac.uk
Sandra Sinfield, s.sinfield[at]londonmet.ac.uk

Main Contact:
Richard Heller, rfheller[at]gmail.com


The call for papers - NOW CLOSED

Theme: Recreating education to make a difference

There is something fundamentally ‘wrong’ with contemporary education: students are stressed and/or disengaged, lecturers are burned out, technology is taking over human interactions, and universities are more concerned with their income, ‘ranking’ and reputation than the generation and transmission of knowledge. This situation must change - but what the solution is, is unclear, at least, to us, the editors. So, as a group of educators with varying levels of experience with varied aspects of education, we have come together to start a conversation which may lead to positive changes. Our aim is not to rehearse the well known problems in detail nor create a space for collective complaining and helplessness. Rather it is to promote discussion about how we can learn from the best examples of inspirational practice and imagine a new model for education, together.

There is no one-stop-shop for solutions despite many brilliant initiatives from very impressive and established organizations and individuals. We support this work and feel we can add value by showcasing and disseminating those on-the-ground examples - the things people ‘do’ in the in-between spaces of learning and teaching to make education more empowering, inclusive and creative. We feel there is a need to showcase innovative examples and ideas to re-imagine the future.

Photo by Andy Hermawan on Unsplash

What we are looking for

We are looking for short papers (1500-2500 words) that approach education from a fundamental human and humane perspective, recognising the need to reimagine education. We want examples that offer insights and practical solutions from a range of perspectives which could include complexity theory and design thinking. Whilst we are situated in the tertiary sector, we are not limiting ourselves to a particular level or area of education, whether school, further or higher. The call is open to all practitioners, disciplines and subject areas, established and new lecturers and teachers, and those in student support positions. Neither are we focussing on any particular type of solutions. So, whilst for example, some of us might be enthusiastic about technology, we are also cautious about putting faith in any single intervention without understanding the whole system. This means, we want contributions that are critically-reflexive of themselves, papers or case studies that engage with the topic on a deeper level.

In essence, we want to showcase the emergent ecosystem of what is possible in education - in our practice, our institutions, our courses - to create a positive vision for the future - and seed collective action for change. So, we are keen to engage with like minded individuals, academics or practitioners, interested in education and from across the globe - seeking examples from a wide number of settings, including the Global North and South.

What is in it for you

We are clear about making sure that whatever we produce should be shared widely and hence we will explore the range of communication methods, both traditional like book/conference presentations and innovative like blog series, graphic novels and radical theatre. If you know of any creative means to publicise the final output, please let us know. We are open to ideas! And most importantly we want the output to be used and useable.

While we are looking for creative and innovative submissions, the collection will be ‘ethical’ and ‘up to’ standard of (academic) publishing, so you can get, at least some, recognition for your work. So, if you think there is another and better way to explain what you do, or the vision you have, than a case study or essay, then highlight that in your proposal. We hope to showcase a broad range of styles so please tell us about your alternative ideas.

All contributions will be peer-reviewed - and we will ask all contributors to review work and be open to take part in the publishing process beyond the writing of your own contribution.

We also want to support exchange - and networking. Thus we want you to engage with the ideas of other contributors - to discuss, to provide feedback, and to learn from each other. If there is interest, we are open to organise a symposium based on the accepted submissions to showcase work further - and to spark a broader debate about the future of education based on examples.

What else?

We, the editors, will develop a framework which will help achieve clarity on the purpose of education, which seems to us to have been lost with close links between education and employment and hence making it largely an economic activity rather than an opportunity to meet personal and societal needs. We might argue that the increasing emphasis on ‘skills for business’ has narrowed our views of what is possible and desirable in education - and it starts from a young age in schools and continues with its most acute expression in universities where learning has become a ‘big business’, and at worse leads to a ‘dumbing down’ of anything that might be an aspirational education - with more and more emphasis on learning by rote and for short term gains for ‘success’ rather than engendering creativity, imagination and preparation for lifelong learning. 

The bulk of our work will focus on two themes central to our aim:

(1) to develop a new vision for education by taking a ‘Person from Mars’ perspective, highlighting the positives of what is happening, on the ground, with a view to identifying what should be the ‘Organising Principle’ for education this coming century; and

(2) to engage with the whole system of education, from a humanistic perspective providing examples and ideas on how those involved in education navigate the challenging terrain of education - and how they can instigate positive change from childhood to the formal and informal education systems in which we engage throughout our lives - individually and collectively – institutionally - and at system level, nationally and globally. 

Photo by Andy Hermawan on Unsplash

In a nutshell
If the above is of interest to you then we want to hear from you! It will not be onerous work, we promise. The final contributions will be in the form of short essays, between  1500-2500 words, that crystallize or tell the story of ‘how we are putting right’ ‘what is wrong with education’ at the micro (individual - practice) - meso (institutional - course, modules etc.) - macro (bigger systems - emerging ecologies of innovative practice nationally and internationally) levels.

But first: However, before you embark on the essay or case study itself, we suggest you write an abstract of 200 words, sharing your immediate reaction to what you have read and where your interest lies - and which may become the topic of your piece.

All proposals to be submitted here. [call for papers closed]

01 April 2023        Call for papers
15 May        Deadline for submission of abstracts (200 words)
15 June 2023        Decision on abstracts
15 August 2023        Submission of manuscripts to editors
15 September 2023        Circulation of chapters to authors for peer review
15 October 2023        Peer review feedback to contributors
15 November 2023        Revised chapters for Editorial review
01 December 2023        Editor feedback to authors
15 January 2024        Final date to submit with feedback changes
30 January 2024        Decision about final dissemination methods including a book.             
February 2024, onwards        Publication process by Publishers
Mid-late 2024        Expected Publication

For questions and correspondence, please contact Richard Heller: rfheller4[at]gmail.com


Abegglen, S., Burns, T. & Sinfield, S. (Eds.) (2023, forthcoming). Higher education collaboration: A new ecology of practice. Bloomsbury.

Abegglen, S., Neuhaus, F. & Wilson, K. (Eds.) (2022). Voices from the digital classroom: 25 interviews about teaching and learning in the face of a global pandemic. University of Calgary Press. https://press.ucalgary.ca/books/9781773852782/

Abegglen, S., Burns, T., Maier, S. & Sinfield, S. (2020). Global university, local issues: Taking a creative and humane approach to learning and teaching. In: E. Sengupta, P. Blessinger & M. Makhanya (Eds.), Improving classroom engagement and international development programs: International perspectives on humanizing higher education(Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 27) (pp. 75-91). Emerald Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120200000027007

Carrigan, M.A., Moscovitz, H., Martini, M.& Robertson, S.L. (2023). Building the post-pandemic university. Imagining, contesting and materializing higher education futures. Edward Elgar.

Dewey, J. (2004). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. Dover Publications.

Dewey, J. (2007). Experience and education. Free Press.

Giroux, H. A. (2021). Education, Politics, and the Crisis of Democracy in the Age of Pandemics. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 21(4). https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v21i4.33792

Hall, R. (2021). The hopeless university: Intellectual work at the end of the End of history. MayFly.

Hall, R. (2018). The alienated academic: The struggle for autonomy inside the university. Palgrave Macmillan.

Heller, R. F. (2022). The distributed university for sustainable higher education. Springer. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-16-6506-6

Heller, R. F. (2022). A new bloom – adding ‘collaborate’ to Bloom’s taxonomy. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 24. https://doi.org/10.47408/jldhe.vi24.906

Houlden, S. & Veletsianos, V. (2022). Impossible dreaming: On speculative education fiction and hopeful learning futures. Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00348-7

Kuykendall, K. (2022). New report from global Google research project considers the 'Future of Education'. The Journal. https://thejournal.com/articles/2022/11/29/new-report-from-global-google-research-project-considers-the-future-of-education.aspx

Madhok, R. (2021, March). Escaping the cave: Homage to my teachers. Ramareflections. https://www.ramareflections.com/pdfs/Homage%20to%20my%20teachers%20%20by%20Rajan%20Madhok.pdf

Madhok, R., Frank, E., & Heller, R. F. (2018). Building public health capacity through online global learning. Open Praxis, 10(1), 91–97. http://doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.10.1.746

The University of Edinburgh, Centre for Research in Digital Education: Re-thinking Education Prompts: https://www.de.ed.ac.uk/news/higher-education-futures-8-scenarios-8-tarot-cards-and-8-short-stories (accessed 22.02.23)

Wasafiri, Volume 37, Issue 4 (2022): Reimagining education. https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rwas20/current

Quinn, L. (Ed.) (2019). Re-imagining the curriculum: Spaces for disruption. African Sun Media.

Editor Bios

Abegglen, Sandra is a Researcher in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at the University of Calgary where she explores online education, and learning and teaching in the design studio. Sandra has a MSc in Social Research and a MA in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. She has extensive experience both as a social researcher and lecturer/programme leader. She has published widely on emancipatory learning and teaching practice, creative and playful pedagogy, and remote education. She has been awarded for her work with the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) 2022 by Advance HE, and the Team Teaching Award 2020 by the University of Calgary. Find her personal website at: https://sandra-abegglen.com/

Burns, Tom is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Professional and Educational Development at London Metropolitan University, developing innovations with a special focus on praxes that ignites student curiosity, and develop power and voice.  Always interested in theatre and the arts, and their role in teaching and learning, Tom has set up adventure playgrounds, community events and festivals for his local community, and feeds arts-based practice into his learning, teaching and assessment practices. He is co-author of Teaching, Learning and Study Skills: A Guide for Tutors and Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University (5th Edition, 2022).

Heller, Richard, Emeritus Professor, has a medical degree and doctorate from the University of London, United Kingdom. He was Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Community Medicine at the University of Newcastle, Australia and Professor of Public Health at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Richard was also the founder and coordinator of the People's Open Access Education Initiative (Peoples-uni), which aimed to provide Public Health capacity building in developing countries at low cost, through e-learning using open access resources on the Internet, and leading to an MPH degree. He is the author of The Distributed University for Sustainable Higher Education.

Sinfield, Sandra is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Learning Development in the Centre for Professional and Educational Development at London Metropolitan University and a co-founder of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education. She has co-authored Teaching, Learning and Study Skills: A Guide for Tutors and Essential Study Skills: The complete Guide to Success at University (5th Edition, 2022). Sandra is interested in creativity as liberatory and holistic practice in Higher Education; she has developed theatre and film in unusual places - and inhabited SecondLife as a learning space.

Madhok, Rajan. Rajan is a public health doctor who worked in senior medical management positions in the NHS. Alongside his service work he took a major interest in capacity building throughout his career. He is retired and lives in North Wales and is keen to share his  own learning. Rajan was Chair of the Trustees of Peoples-uni, holds honorary academic appointments at University of Salford,UK  and Indian Institute of Public Health, Shillong, India and is a member of the Board of Directors of two NHS Trusts. He is the author of RaMa Reflections.

Sanders, John. After training in hospital medicine, John entered the world of General Practice. John was also a GP trainer, GP tutor, Macmillan GP Facilitator in Palliative Medicine and part-time lecturer in general practice at the University of Manchester. He developed his academic career in medical education as Associate Professor in the Leeds Institute of Medical Education, University of Leeds and was appointed Professor in Medical Education at the University of Sheffield before moving to Edge Hill University in 2016 as Professor of Medical Education. John is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators and Higher Education Academy. He has received major funding for national and international projects and has over 130 peer-reviewed publications as well as being a Visiting Professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is an Associate Editor for  Medical Teacher and a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Medical Education.

Singh, Upasana Gitanjali is the Academic Leader and a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Information Systems and Technology at the University of KwaZulu Natal, Westville Campus, in Durban South Africa. She is also appointed as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Victorian Institute of Technology, Australia. She has a keen interest in Educational Technologies and has served as the lead researcher in a number of international research projects on Digital Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. Her research profile includes 4 Edited books, 24  Journal Papers, 12 Book Chapters, and 26 Peer-revieweed Conference Papers in internationally accredited conferences. She is the convener and Chair of the International Conference on Digital Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (digiTAL2K), which has successfully completed 3 editions, attracting high-quality academic papers from over 45 authors, across 8 to 10 countries, in each edition. Dr. Upasana Singh completed her Fellowship in “Teaching Advancement in Universities” (TAU), from the CHE in 2019. Since 2018, she has championed over 1500 academics in South Africa, Mauritius, India, and Malaysia, in the adoption and design of digital teaching and assessment. She was nominated for the Distinguished Teachers Award in 2021, the Future Professors Program in 2022, the MISQ Scholarly Development Academy in 2023, and the Women in Academic Leadership initiative in 2023-2024 by the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE).