CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - Critical perspectives on professional learning: Sixth Annual Conference (June, 2013 Leeds UK)

Critical perspectives on professional learning: Sixth Annual Conference

Date: Monday 17th June 2013 (10:00 - 16:30)

Venue: The University of Leeds

Keynote speakers

  • Dr Ann Reich - Practice theory perspectives on professional learning - University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
  • Professor Linda Lundgaard Andersen - Intersectional learning: new venues for professional learning in collaborative and transformative formats - Roskilde University, Denmark


This one-day conference is the sixth in a series of professional learning, organised by the University of Leeds, and Birkbeck University of London. We define professional learning in broad terms.  The conference will be of interest and relevance to those concerned with initial and ongoing professional learning, both in work and in educational contexts.  This is reflected in our focus on professional learning in universities, workplaces and in continuing professional development and education.

The theme Critical perspectives on professional learning, signals that we are seeking papers which are critical of received ideas pertaining to professional learning.  Papers will probably focus on a specific profession or context but, as we encourage participants to engage in cross-professional debate, argument and theoretical and empirical development, all proposals should reflect issues which relate more broadly to other arenas.  Papers will draw on research, theory and critical analysis.

Participants come from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds such as education, medicine, health and social care, law, engineering and management.  The conference brings together academics and practitioners concerned with the training and development of professionals.

Papers from the first conference were recently published by Routledge in a book, Beyond Reflective Practice, edited by the founding organisers of this conference, Helen Bradbury, Nick Frost, Sue Kilminster and Miriam Zukas.  Papers from the fourth conference have appeared in a special edition of Studies in Continuing Education.  All papers from previous conferences can be found at

Call for abstracts

We have structured the day so that we are also able to offer participants the opportunity to contribute papers on the conference theme.  We would like to encourage contributions which: take a critical approach to professional learning; suggest new conceptualisations of professionalism and professional learning; theorise learning; critique practices relating to professional learning and suggest new ways forward.

If you would like to contribute a paper, please submit your abstract to us by Monday 4th February 2013.  Abstracts must be written in English; be approximately 500 words; include a summary of the main topic of the proposed paper.

Each abstract should:

  • Have a critical and/or analytical perspective;
  • Show how it will relate to the conference theme;
  • Give an indication of the key theoretical ideas and/or policy and/or research to which the contribution will relate;
  • Outline whether or not it will draw on new and/or existing empirical data
  • At this stage, you do not need to include references.

The planning group (Helen Bradbury, Sue Kilminster, Rebecca O'Rourke at the University of Leeds, and Miriam Zukas at Birkbeck, University of London) will make the selection based on the criteria.

Proposers will be notified of the outcome of their proposal by Monday 18th February 2013, and sent guidelines for publication.  If your paper is accepted, we will need to receive your paper and registration by Monday 6th May 2013.  Papers will be published on the conference website by Monday 20th May 2013, giving participants a month to read them.

Please send your abstracts by email to Shelley Fielden ( no later than Monday 4th February 2013.

The Conference venue

University House, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT

Costs and registration

The conference will cost £95 for the day.  A reduced fee may be available for un-waged PhD students (please enquire).  Registration forms are available from Shelley Fielden at

Participating organisations

Centre for Research in Professional Education

The Centre is housed in the Leeds Institute of Medical Education at the University of Leeds.  It provides a focus for research and teaching in the field of professional education.

Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck is a world-class research and teaching institution, a vibrant centre for academic excellence and London's only specialist provider of evening higher education.

Learning, Leadership and Policy - School of Education, University of Leeds

We research professional learning and 'learning in the professions': the ways in which education professionals are trained and practise lifelong learning.  This spans primary and secondary schooling, further and higher education and interprofessional clinical education.

Further information

Further information is available from Shelley Fielden, LIME, 7.09 Worsley Building, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9NL.  Tel +4 (0)113 3437602, email
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