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This is the blog for the Higher Education and Theory (HEAT) Network, which was established in October 2013 at the University of Westminster.

HEAT is a university-wide network of individuals reading, researching and writing on the theory of education, open to all staff and research students at the University of Westminster. The reading group supports and supplements the university’s general focus on pedagogical research, with particular relevance to its research interests in critical reflection, transdisciplinary knowledge, and the integration of practice and theory. The intention is to foster an increased awareness of the contributions of major critical thinkers to pedagogic debate and practice, supplementing the sociological, psychological, and empirical focus of current educational discourse with a broader transdisciplinary emphasis on the importance of philosophical and historical contributions to educational theory. The idea is that a productive critical perspective will be opened up on contemporary pedagogical practice through such theoretical and historical viewpoints, one that will also allow researchers to make connections between their research and their own practice as teachers by re-reading theoretical texts pedagogically.

Members of the network are particularly interested in modern, postmodern and contemporary theories of education associated with critical theory and performativity; texts discussed include Hannah Arendt, Herbert Marcuse, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Eve Kosofsky ​Sedgwick, Basil Bernstein and David Blacker.

There will be a minimum of 3 reading groups per year. The group will initially meet once a term, with the possibility of meeting more frequently if time and interest permit. The hope is that the Higher Education and Theory network will stimulate new conversations and connections across the university, encouraging pedagogical reflection but also fostering further research and writing.

For more information about when and where the group meets, please click on the relevant pages, or contact one of the organizers of the network, by adding @westminster.ac.uk to the name in brackets:

Matthew Charles (M.Charles1) – English Literature, Linguistics and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

Steven Cranfield (S.Cranfield) – Leadership and Professional Development, Westminster Business School

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Allan Parsons (A.Parsons) – Academic Liaison Librarian for Art and Design, Journalism and Mass Communications

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