Closing keynote

A learning culture – more about how than about what

Presented by: Torgny Roxå

Room: Peer Gynt – Level 2

Time: Saturday, 12.10-13.30


Learning is different from teaching. Teaching can be planned, foreseen, and even budgeted. Learning is transcendental; it offers new horizons, a new world. In dramatic forms it takes us through portals previously unseen and changes who we are. Once I have learnt my agency is enriched. The experience can be dramatic or go unnoticed.

Culture is constructed and maintained by people, continuously. Culture is always in the making. It influences members as they influence the culture. These entangled processes makes it less interesting to talk about what is a culture and more interesting to focus on how is it constructed. Arguably: Cultural change is an outcome of new things being talked about, new experiences being shared with new people, and new ways to see things appear. After a change process meaning is constructed in different ways.

ISSOTL is a culture, but is it a learning culture? Does it inspire other cultures to learn? Is it a culture of learners? Does ISSOTL change?

Through examining how things are done at this conference in Bergen, Norway, in October 2018, this closing keynote strives to challenge participants and organisers to think about how we together form what is the culture of our conference.


Torgny Roxå is an Associate professor at Lund University, Faculty of Engineering. He has 30 years of experience in academic development with a focus on developing quality cultures in higher education organisations. He developed the first pedagogical academy, the Lund ETP, which now runs on its 17th year and inspired both Swedish and international institutions. He has taught engineering teachers for the last 25 years. And, he is currently engaged in the implementation of a new quality assurance system based on the experiences gained from the ETP-system. His research is focused upon strategic change in teaching cultures within higher education organisations, especially significant networks and microcultures. He is also appointed Distinguished Scholar in Educational Leadership at McMaster University in Canada.

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