Educational Utopias and Dystopias: Reinventing Education in an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Module


  • Will Curtis University of Warwick


Educational alternatives, progressive education, alternative education, undergraduate teaching


Reinventing Education is a module that ran for the first time at the University of Warwick in 2013/4. Offered through the university’s Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL), it provides students from any undergraduate degree with the opportunity to study in an innovative and interdisciplinary manner. In its first year, students from a wide range of subject areas—including Maths, Politics, Theatre Studies, Philosophy, English, Physics and Sociology—came together to explore questions about what education is and what it might be. The module began by introducing students to the ideas of children and young people...


(Including work by students: Education for Sustainability by Charlotte Thomas and A Zombie Apocalypse by Alizée Moreau)


In Education for Sustainability

by Charlotte Thomas

Burke, C. & Grosvenor, I. (2003). The school I'd like: Children and young peoples' reflections on an education for the 21st Century. London: Routledge Falmer.

Birkett, D. (2011, 3 May). The children's manifesto. The Guardian. From:

In A Zombie Apocalypse

by Alizée Moreau

Abbasi, K. (2011). A riot of divergent thinking. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 104(10).

Benjamin, W. (2009). On the concept of history. New York: Classic America Print.

Blishen, E. (1969). The school that I'd like. Baltimore: Penguin Books.

Panorama. (2013, 6 June). Cash for questions undercover. [Television special]. London: British Broadcasting Corporation.

Fisher, T. (2012). The myth of school autonomy: Centralisation as the determinant of English educational politics. Forum, 54(2), pp. 231-45.

Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. New York: Pantheon.

Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Gatto, J. T. (1991, 25 July). Take back your education. The Wall Street Journal. From:

Ginsberg, A. (1956). Howl, Kaddish and other poems. London: Penguin Classics, pp. 1-11.

Gove, M. (2013, 23 March). I refuse to surrender to the Marxist teachers hell-bent on destroying our schools: Education Secretary berates ‘the new enemies of promise’ for opposing his plans. The Daily Mail. Available from:

Horkheimer, M. & Adorno, T. W. (2002) Dialectic of enlightenment: Philosophical fragments. (G. Schmid Noerr, Ed.), Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Leadbeater, C. (2000). The weightless society: Living in the new economy bubble. New York: Texere.

Sternberg, R. J. (1999). Handbook of creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Watt, N. (2013, 27 Nov). Boris Johnson invokes Thatcher spirit with greed is good speech. The Guardian. Available from:






Other Contributions