Heutagogy and the Digital Future of Education

Presentation at DTCE Manchester University

This is an overview of my work on digital projects since 1995 and how it might inform us about the future.

If you want to ask questions or have some of the points expanded please post questions below;

Fred Garnett 24 May 2018


April 2018 Bucharest, Romania
This week I ran a workshop with Corina Anghelscu at Universitate Alternativea in Bucharest. She invited UA members to submit questions for me to discuss and, because most questions were on Creativity & Learning we built the workshop around the World Heutagogy Day 2016 workshop resource Creativity in Learning which I curated. The Curated Conversation format is an expression of Heutagogy, I think, and we posed the organising question “Is Heutagogy the Pedagogy of Creativity?” And this resource is based on the replies, along with some photos contributed by Tony Hall to illustrate the themes.
Questions from Universitate Alternativea

1. What is creativity?

2. What are the characteristics of the creative process

3. How to bring social learning into Learning design

4. How to trigger creativity, innovation and self-decisions for learners?

5. How to develop digital tools?

1.  What is creativity?

Big question, which we discussed well. It’s doing something original, for yourself. People often say “we shouldn’t reinvent the wheel” My answer is,  Continue Reading »

World Heutagogy Day Agenda

Tuesday 26th September 2017

The Monastery Manchester

Timings 10.00 – 17.00 BST 

10.00 – Introduction to World Heutagogy Day & its history (Fred)

10.30 – Introduction to iSphere Navigation (David)

11.00 – Curated Conversation on Heutagogy & Healthcare (Live)

12.00 – Local recommendations published online (updated slides)

15.00 – online Tweetup & Storify discussion of Heutagogy & Healthcare #whday17

16.00 – International recommendations published online

17.00 Close


World Heutagogy Day 2017

Heutagogy, Meaning-making and Wellbeing

September 26th The Monastery Manchester

World Heutagogy Day 2017 #wHday17 This year we will be celebrating the 5th World Heutagogy Day, this year in partnership with the Monastery. We will be discussing how the practice of heutagogy might help in developing our meaning making and perhaps help our wellbeing.


Here is an overview of previous World Heutagogy Days, from 2013-2017;

As in previous years we will produce a curated conversation from our discussion, as with the original What is Heutagogy?

Taking Part This blog will track and pull together the resources identified. We ask you to contribute your ideas and point to your work in this area. Discussion will be online on Twitter using the #hashtag #wHday17 and on Facebook in the #myheutagogy group. 

World Heutagogy Day is used to support the idea of Self-Determined Learning, developed around the ideas first expressed by Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon in the paper From Andragogy to Heutagogy. They argue that in the 21st Century we need to think about learning beyond the ideas of pedagogy, teaching subjects to children, and the adult education model of andragogy (Knowles)  and move towards self-determined learning. “The concept of truly self-determined learning, called heutagogy, builds on humanistic theory and approaches to learning described in the 1950s.”

World Heutagogy Day 2016; Last year we discussed whether “Heutagogy is the pedagogy of creativity?”. We produced a workshop  resource for discussing and developing heutagogy as educational practice called Creativity in Learning;



Some Ideas about making Universities Open to communities

The University of the Highlands and Islands has organised a fascinating event this week; The Porous University. I had planned to go but now cannot, for health and financial reasons. Instead I will try to support the event (a discursive workshop) online through this blog post (please comment below) and through Twitter. I’ve also been distracted by the UK #GE2017 and our Learning in the Age of Anger project, where we are trying to find out what new educational policies might help address our current rage of populism.

Folksonomy not Taxonomy

Our key observation is that universities have to respond to the motto Folksonomy not Taxonomy, opening themselves out to how learners think, and Trust the Learner.

7 Questions from The Porous University

1. What does open mean beyond releasing content?

In the Learner Generated Contexts Research Group we developed the motto “From Access to Content to Context” and argued for an “Open Context Model of Learning“. So the short answer is, allow students to shape their learning contexts and purposes.

A way of achieving that is by becoming a Participative Institution – an institution that positively enables open learning, by which I mean self-directed learning, by its students… Stewart Hase would call this implementing Heutagogy

2 What is the role of open academics in dealing with problems ‘in the world’

Since 2008 I have tried to operate as an Open Sqolar. Continue Reading »

The Beatles Creativity

In 2007 I was part of the Learner-generated Contexts team that presented the Open Context Model of Learning at the launch of the OU’s Open Learn initiative. Our view was that if OER’s we being offered in a post-Web 2.0 world we also needed a new pedagogy. We believed that various approaches that existed to learning had developed with the limitations that came from the sector or institution in which they originated. However Open Learning means more than just “open access” which it seems to be limited to in the University sector, but means learning that is open to all and emergent. So we, the joint authors (from every sector of education) proposed a new “pedagogy” that was open to context. 

The Open Context Model of Learning was the result, fusing pedagogy, andragogy and heutagogy, and it is what this blog is about. The Learner-Generated Contexts presentation at OpenLearn was successful and loved by John Seely Brown. We were first asked to write that up for the Conference proceedings, which we did collaboratively as the Open Context Model of Learning  but that was rejected. We re-structured it as book chapter but I argued that we needed a more accessible form of publicising this work and wrote a novel 63/68 A Visceral History which I subsequently publicised by writing about The Beatles. At the request of Russell Francis I applied the Open Context Model of Learning to The Beatles recording career and found that they developed their recording craft in line with the PAH Continuum. All You Need is Heutagogy captures that and is, perhaps, an easy way into understanding Heutagogy;

I think the Beatles Career went through 6 phases;

1. Live 1957-1963 This was the period from the Woolton Fete in July 1957 when Paul McCartney was introduced to John Lennon after he played with The Quarrymen skiffle group, who played a Buddy Holly track that became their first recording –  That’ll Be The Day;

Until Love Me Do

During this time John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison they evolved into The Beatles who, with Pete Best on drums, became a great live rock n roll group. They were finding their identity together with help from their mates, hangers-on and admirers, and learning from the context they were in. Managed by Brian Epstein they got a recording contract and evolved, with the addition of Ringo Starr on drums, into a potential recording group.

2. Singles 1963-1964 Determined to make a hit record during their “pedagogic” phase they did as instructed by the music industry professionals they worked with, especially George Martin, in order to learn how to make hit records. They first achieved that with Please Please Me;  ;

They continued to develop as hit recording artists, the Pop Mop Tops, until Hard Days Night

Although by She Loves You they were stating what they, as a group, thought was a hit record as opposed to being directed towards a hit by George Martin, who was describing himself as their “school teacher” at this time. They disagreed on the ending & The Beatles prevailed over Martin; She loves You was the biggest selling single of the 60s.

Continue Reading »

What is Heutagogy?

Self-Determined Learning

Edited by Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon; the book Self-Determined Learning – Heutagogy in Action is published by @BloomsburyAcad on September 26th 2013 and we are calling September 26th World Heutagogy Day to promote the book, heutagogy and heutagogic practice. There will be a second World Heutagogy Day on September 26th 2014

The book is more than just a primer on heutagogy, in a way that was achieved with their “From Andragogy to Heutagogy“. The book has been written more than 10 years later and captures a range of ideas and practice that build on those original ideas from a range of practitioners and educationalists, all of whom add to the theory of heutagogy directly or indirectly. They are pulling this together on the Heutagogy Community of Practice blog

What is Heutagogy? on Slideshare is a “curated conversation” introducing the book chapter by chapter…

Twitter Hashtag #wHday13 more Twitter @HeutagogyCop and Continue Reading »