Freedom to Learn Conference

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


What is Freedom to Learn? It’s a rallying cry, an inquiry, and a goal all rolled into one. It encapsulates a movement towards a more authentic, joyful, and humane education system, one that treasures the pursuit of knowledge, the exploration of the unknown, and the growth of the individual and the community they are part of. At the heart of this ethos is an understanding that learning is a practice of freedom, capable of transcending boundaries and transforming lives. Colleagues from King’s and UCL have been engaging in conversations and events under this banner and the Freedom to Learn conference is both the culmination, and a celebration, of some of our work and thinking.

On Friday 5 April 2024, at King’s College London Strand Campus, and in partnership with its neighbour UCL, we will host the first F2L conference, delving into this ethos in all its diversity and with all its nuance. We aim to foster a conversation that will help us navigate the challenges faced by contemporary educational institutions, while also exploring the boundless opportunities that might lie ahead if we were free to learn. The conference will critically examine the current state of Higher Education and envision a roadmap towards more freedom, more joy and more learning.

The agenda will be shared with you nearer the time, but will consist of keynote speakers and parallel sessions focussing on the following themes:

1. Rekindling a Joy of Learning (and Teaching):

- Explore the historical and potential value of learning for its own sake.

- Investigate the role of joy in higher education in the context of teaching and the undergraduate mental health crisis

- Foster innovation for a joyful learning and teaching experience.

2. Decentring Grades:

- Discuss the resistance and barriers to moving beyond traditional grading systems.

- Explore scalable solutions from individual classes to entire institutions.

- Debate the necessity of a grading revolution versus gradual change.

3. Promoting Caring and Compassionate Pedagogies:

- Assess the impact of an overemphasis on content versus a compassionate and caring pedagogical approach.

- Evaluate current efforts in integrating care and compassion in learning designs, teaching, and assessments.

- Identify potential pitfalls and further actions that could be taken to promote a more humane education system.

4. Myth Busting the Modern Academy:

- Challenge conventional arguments that resist change in academia.

- Discuss whether traditional pedagogies favour economies of scale over quality education.

- Explore real-world examples of how structures either impede or foster innovation and transformation in higher education.

Period5 Apr 2024
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • hope
  • creativity
  • active learning
  • empowerment
  • Gestalt
  • education
  • festival