Hallways to learning: creating brave spaces inside contemporary Higher Education

Fatema Khatun, Gary Poynton, Josh Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last two decades, two contradictory processes have been notable within the development of Higher Education. The marketisation of the sector has advanced steadily at the same time as professed policies of widening participation, and this has left universities stuck between a rock and a hard place. The datafication of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) policies has rendered invisible the minoritised experience in HE, and the needs of non-traditional student identities. As early career researchers and casualised members of staff, the authors are expected to fulfil dual roles in the institution, and operate under conditions of 'in-extremis'. Drawing on Wenger's ideas of identity as a negotiated experience, and the notion of Communities of Practice, they show how different senses of achievement have been framed for non-traditional students and staff, through both policy and practice. Because of the precarity of their posts, the authors are expected to edgewalk their way through conditions of crisis. To address some of these issues they have introduced the concept of hallway teaching - a practice that exists within a liminal space - to highlight their sense of transience between the position of student and staff. This transience affects their ability to create long-term engagement, while they are simultaneously expected to be the most likely people to create bridges between EDI policy, staff and students
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-102
Early online date1 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2023


  • Pedagogy
  • critical pedagogy
  • student engagement
  • academic
  • identity work


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