Relational Pedagogy and Whole-class Engagement – Can it Really be Done?!

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The Teaching and Learning Unit are to host a seminar Relational Pedagogy and Whole-class Engagement – Can it Really be Done?! on Thursday, 14th January from 09:30 – 12:30.

Dr Catherine Bovill, Senior Lecturer in Student Engagement, Institute for Academic Development, University of Edinburgh will present an exploration of the concept of relational pedagogy using the classroom as a focus for curriculum co-creation.

“When the first day of class comes around, you’ve reflected on your course goals and structure, gathered your syllabus together, shared materials in Canvas, and prepared your first day of class presentation. How do you then establish a relationship with your students? How do you talk with them on the first day? How do you set the tone?”

(Cathy Bovill, January 2020, Georgetown University)

Drawing on her most recent work, ‘Co-creating Learning and Teaching: Towards relational pedagogy in higher education’ (April 2020), Cathy Bovill explores the concept of relational pedagogy using the classroom as a focus for curriculum co-creation.

We can often think that co-creation might only be available to small groups of students working closely with a member of staff, as might also be suggested of many student partnership activities. However, this seminar will challenge this idea and explore how co-creation has the potential in both classroom and online class teaching settings to include all students in developing relationships and shared decision making. The seminar will suggest that in the pivot to online delivery these opportunities should be maximised.

Using her current research and time as a Fulbright Scholar (based at Elon University), Cathy will share examples from university and school settings, to set the challenge to participants to identify ways in which their presence in the classroom (online or otherwise) might be used to positively shape their learning and teaching practice in a way that demonstrates a care for their students thus building a more positive student learning experience.


This seminar will enable participants to:

  • Understand and explore the concept of relational pedagogy in a face-to-face and online environment
  • Reflect on how their own experience in ‘whole-class’ engagement practices contribute to an engaged learning environment
  • Consider how their own understandings and definitions of student engagement, partnership and co-creation impact their professional practice
  • Identify and plan the practical/impactful methods/approaches that could be implemented in learning environments to support a whole-class resulting in a more inclusive experience for all students.

Register here. is Ireland’s largest independent for courses in Ireland. We list full-time and part-time courses of all types so that you can find the best course for you.


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