Given this orientation towards practice, the conference will emphasise structured reflective activity. There will of course be plenary presentations, but the conference will also create a dialogue between presentation and practical ‘hands on’ exploration in smaller groups. Evening readings and performances will complement the daytime programme.
The Conference will begin at lunchtime on Thursday 5 July, and close shortly after midday on Saturday 7 July.
Our guiding belief in designing the Conference was that as far as possible participants should have the opportunity to be involved in and experiment with forms of learning. We wanted those who have developed new ways of teaching or supporting learning to share them not solely discursively but through worked example. So where feasible, we have urged presenters to design their sessions so as to maximise participation and interaction between presenters and audience. But we do not wish to be prescriptive about this. We recognise that more conventional papers may sometimes be the appropriate format.
Participants in the Conference will find a mixed diet of forms of activity, and we hope that this mixture will be found fruitful and thought-provoking. There will be opportunities throughout the conference for private writing (the Royal Literary Fund is generously sponsoring writers in residence who will be available for individual consultation), and for other reflective activities, social or individual. We are aware that in some ways such an approach makes the Conference more risky. But we dare to hope that it will also make it more productive – even perhaps, more fun.