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Learners Re-conceptualising Education: Widening Participation through Creative Engagement.
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This paper will argue that engaging imaginatively with ways in which statutory and further education is provided and expanding the repertoire of possible transitions into higher education, is necessary for providers both in higher education and in the contexts and phases which precede study at this level. Fostering dispositions for creativity in dynamic engagement with educational technology together with the consideration of pedagogy, learning objects, inclusion, policy and the management of change, requires innovative provision to span the spaces between school, home, work and higher education learning. Reporting on The ASPIRE Pilot, a NESTA-funded initiative at The Open University, the paper will offer a theoretical frame for considering learning, learners and learning systems in the information age prioritizing learner agency. It will report emergent empirical findings from this inter-disciplinary project, with a significant e-dimension, which seeks to foster the creativity of 13-19 year olds in considering future learning systems, developing provocations for others to explore creative but grounded possibilities. It will explore implications arising from this project for pedagogy, learning and other practices and approaches that may facilitate imaginative approaches to widening participation in higher education.