Calling Students to Adventure: Using the hero’s journey as a tool for curriculum planning and reviewing course design

  • Alke Gröppel-Wegener (Speaker)
  • Farmer, R. (Speaker)

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsConference Presentation


This is an interactive, participative session (part presentation, part discussion, part scavenger hunt) in which delegates will be introduced to the stages of the Hero’s Journey and to the resources available on our ‘Calling Students to Adventure’ website: We will explore the ways that this storytelling archetype can be applied to delegates’ previous learning experiences, and also can be used as a framework to structure and design university modules and courses. During the session, a series of diagnostic questions will be posed to the delegates, each of which will prompt them to consider the position and momentum of students on their individual journeys; from leaving their ordinary world behind and entering the special world of Higher Education, to their return to the ordinary world at the end of each year - and finally their return at the end of the degree. This session will pay particular attention to the early stages of the Hero’s Journey, in which students are prepared for their academic journeys through their courses and modules.

“Looking at teaching and learning as an archetypal Hero’s Journey is a good way of talking about education in its psychological and spiritual depths because the Hero’s Journey is fundamentally an educative one” (Mayes, 2010, p.11). Education is not simply a process of dispassionately acquiring and filing away discrete packets of knowledge, but is a journey during which characters are formed and in which individuals come to gain greater understanding of their subject and themselves. Students’ educational journeys are rich, complex and multi-layered experiences in which mental models of reality are challenged and changed, and where new ways of thinking become new ways of being.

References: Mayes, C. (2010) The Archetypal Hero’s Journey in Teaching and Learning: A Study in Jungian Pedagogy. Madison: Atwood Publishing.
Period15 Jun 2021
Event titleLearning and Teaching Conference 2021
Event typeConference
LocationNorthamptonShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • hero's journey
  • course design
  • curriculum design
  • module design