Institute of Education


In search of utopian pedagogy

10 January 2018, 5:30 pm–7:15 pm

Man in a mountain landscape

Event Information

Open to



Room 731, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

This talk offers some critical reflections on the theory and (potential) practice of utopian pedagogy. Utopian pedagogy is concerned with creating spaces for the exploration of desires, longings and hopes, and for drawing out utopian possibilities within concrete experience.

Freire termed this the "archaeology of consciousness," the pedagogical process of digging beneath the surface layer of experience in search of utopian fragments, traces and remnants.

But what does it mean to excavate the affective landscape for buried utopian imaginaries? What are the tools we need for digging? How do we identify a "utopian" find? Is a utopian pedagogy even possible?

About the speaker

Dr Darren Webb is a senior lecturer in Education at the University of Sheffield. He is an academic functionary and a political utopian and has become increasingly concerned with how one navigates this position.

What does one do and how does one act as a "utopian" educator operating within the confines of education-as-such? How does a committed utopist bring this commitment to bear on their role as an educator? This talk is part of an ongoing process of grappling with these questions.

Hosted by the centre for Philosophy at the Institute of Education, this talk is free to attend and open to everyone; no registration required.



Alison Brady