Towards an ecology of participation: Process philosophy and co-creation of higher education curricula

Carol A. Taylor, Catherine Bovill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article brings together the authors’ previous work on co-created curricula (Bovill, 2013a, 2014; Bovill et al., 2011) and on partnership and ethics (Taylor, 2015; Taylor and Robinson, 2014), to develop the concept of co-created curricula as an ecology of participation. In doing so, it deploys Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy to formulate a new way of considering co-creation in the curriculum and co-creation of the curriculum in higher education. Two empirical examples are used to illuminate what such an approach offers. From this, we outline three dimensions of an ecology of participation: a process of becoming which recasts subjectivity; acting well in relation which enacts concern; and an orientation to harmony in which difference in equality is valued. The contribution of the article is twofold: first, the concept of an ecology of participation takes forward current thinking on higher education curricula and partnership ethics; second, its use of process philosophy provides a new lens to consider co-creation in the curriculum and co-creation of the curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-128
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Educational Research Journal
Issue number1
Early online date19 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • AN Whitehead
  • co-creation
  • curriculum
  • ecology of participation
  • higher education
  • process philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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