Liberal Education Talk: Destabilizing “Co-Creation as a Competitive Edge” Rhetoric in Higher Education

30. Jun

On Wednesday, June 30th, a talk from Dr. Gavin Schwartz-Leeper, Lily Rose Fitzmaurice, Ceara Webster about following topic will be held from 4pm until 5.30pm via Zoom.

There is a problem in higher education that many staff and students alike recognize but feel powerless to address. Feel-good statements about equality, collaboration, and student-led learning sit uncomfortably next to highly competitive and individualistic structures linked to employability and graduate success: how can we reconcile the educational and professional importance of working together with the reality that most of us were raised, trained, and operate in a world built on individual competition?
In this talk, we will share some developing work on our efforts to build a pedagogy that seeks to destabilize hypercompetitive and individualistic use of co-creation rhetoric in higher education in favor of more genuine co-creation. We will take a broad approach and discuss what we mean by ‘co-creation’ (an often slippery concept); provide an introduction to power structures in higher education and their impact on co-creation activities; provide a conceptual framework for a pedagogy that blends anarchist and dialogic co-creation education concepts; and make suggestions for practical applications especially in a liberal education setting. In so doing, we want to demonstrate the potential for a holistic ontology of learning through co-creation that actively supplants traditional and neoliberal models of education and the measurement of success in higher education.
Dr Gavin Schwartz-Leeper is Deputy Head of the School for Cross-faculty Studies (Liberal Arts) at the University of Warwick. Originally a Renaissance literary historian, Gavin has wide-ranging interests in liberal education pedagogy, university governance, apocalyptic studies, and game studies.
Lily Rose Fitzmaurice graduated with a First Class Honours in Liberal Arts from the University of Warwick in 2020 and will soon begin her MPhil in Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. During her time at Warwick, Lily worked as an IATL Co-Creation Officer, in which she advocated for co-creative teaching methods at the University.
Ceara Webster graduated from the University of Warwick in 2020 in Liberal Arts with Intercalated Year and is now studying towards an MSc in Society and Space at the University of Bristol. Her key interests lie where ecology, nature connection, and race intersect. She uses decolonial and standpoint feminist approaches and creative methodologies in her research to co-create deeper connection and wairua with human and more-than-human kin.

The talk will be held in english.
If you’re interested to attend the talk, please register via