Open to people, places, methods and Ideas?

Open to people, places, methods and Ideas?

Developing the pedagogy of the Open University

Event Recording


In addition to chapters and articles on a range of subjects, Dan Weinbren has written a dozen books. These include ones about the membership of the Labour Party, the Independent Order of Oddfellows, the impact of the First World War and the history of the Open University.

Available to students from January 1971, the UK-based Open University (OU), by being open to part-time adult learners regardless of their prior qualifications or disabilities, challenged the pre-Second World War status quo. This was when a very small minority of the population in Western societies, often men from the social elite, attended universities. The OU modelled how a central state could seek to direct technological, educational, cultural and economic developments and, through the use of short-term, teaching–only contracts and student fees, normalise a quasi-market within the university sector. At the same time its social democratic ethos, embodied in its Royal Charter objective, ‘to promote the educational well-being of the community generally’, informed its development of learner-centred collaborative engagement. This enabled it to support learners in Britain, in Ireland, including in the H Blocks and in many other countries. Its pedagogies will be illuminated through an assessment of its precedents, personalities and politics.

FAST 45 – Learning Platform