Hybrid Pedagogy: From Blogpost to Webinar – the discussion goes on


Back in December 2019, we wrote a blog about ‘Hybrid Pedagogy’ which has garnered a lot of interest from around the world.

In summary Prof Chris Pascal summarised the approach as follows:

[Literature] reviews indicated, for us, a tension between child-led, play-based pedagogic approaches and adult-led or directed, formal pedagogic approaches and evidence which suggested that a ‘balanced approach’ between these two alternative pedagogies might be more effective in the EYFS. However, our own work had suggested to us that rather than ‘balance’, a ‘fusion’ in pedagogic approaches was more effective.

For us, the term 'balanced' seems to convey that the practitioner offers the child experiences of both adult-led and child-initiated/play-based activity separately, albeit fluidly, giving children experience of both approaches but as distinct entities.

In what we are calling a ‘Hybrid Pedagogy’, the approach is more blended so that the two approaches are offered more seamlessly and often within one activity or teaching episode, with sometimes the adult leading the learning and sometimes the child, so they are not experienced by either child or adult as two distinct and separate ways of teaching and learning.

In response, Prof Julie Fisher constructively critiqued this stance by stating that:

“…[whilst] in the best of early years practice — exemplified by the nursery schools — there is fluidity between the two types of learning situations and that the approach is…more 'blended'. However, she argued that with increased regulation for (particularly) Reception classes, and certainly for KS1 classes, the two learning scenarios must be thought of separately.

… adult-led has, in many cases, become adult-insisted and in these situations, the role of the adult is quite different than the traditional adult-led (inspired/initiated) role.…When adults 'insist' then children have no choice but to comply and adults have an agenda usually imposed from outside, and they must comply. So if teachers are not clear about the difference in their role when they leave the phonics session (say) and move to the sand-pit, … they are going to try and lead, direct and interfere too much in children's play.

… [T]he ideal is [a hybrid pedagogy], but …that reality requires a clear distinction between the two approaches or teachers will continue to interfere with, dominate, and interrupt play.

Due to the huge interest in these ideas, we decided to bring these discussions to life and hosted a webinar version of our monthly Learning Circle event on Thursday 18th June, attended by an international audience of over 200 people.

Our Learning Circle is a ‘community of practice’ (Wenger 2002) and we believe that communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better by interacting regularly.

We also, however, firmly believe that these are safe spaces to share different views and approaches and to listen, reflect, question and critique so as to support each other and to understand our own positionality better. Chris Pascal often speaks of the importance of ‘contested spaces’ and advocates a dialogic approach to support this, and this was how we set out to construct the discussion.

Whilst we knew that the webinar would allow the three contributors: Professors Chris Pascal; Tony Bertram; and Julie Fisher, to have this dialogic interaction, we were concerned that hosting the event in this way would cut off the attendees from the process in a way that wouldn’t have happened in a face-to-face Learning Circle.

We need not have worried, however, as the engagement through the Q&A and chat functions was phenomenal and whilst views differed in relation to the topic of discussion, the tone and approach used by all was always considered, constructive and respectful, just as we would have hoped!

For those who were unable to join us live, we are delighted to make the recording available to you here:

Access Password: 4A*afOB3
We've received some fabulous feedback from those that attended live and we hope to continue the conversation online and offline (in-person) as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow us to do so!

Here are just a handful of quotes that gave us the warm and fuzzies:

If you enjoyed this special online event we will be holding a similar event at 4:00 PM on Weds 8th July:


Please register via Zoom.

You can find out more information about the CREC Learning Circle,and to be the first to find out dates for the 2020/21 academic year, here:                  

You can also request to join the CREC Learning Circle Facebook group, here (please note: you must answer the questions to access the group. Those that do not will not be admitted):                 


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