Passion: Engine of Creative Teaching in an English University?
Thinking Skills and Creativity
Literature suggests that whilst creativity is frequently seen as ubiquitous and taken for granted (Dawson, Tan, & McWilliam, 2011; Livingston, 2010) there is evidence that creative approaches in higher education can be seen as unnecessary work (Chao, 2009; Clouder et al., 2008; Gibson, 2010; McWilliam et al., 2008), and creative teaching is not always recognised or valued (Clouder et al., 2008; Dawson et al., 2011; Gibson, 2010). Forming part of a cross-cultural study of creative teaching (although reporting on only one part of it), the research explored student and lecturer perspectives in four universities in England, Malaysia and Thailand, using mixed methods within an interpretive frame. This paper reports on findings from the English University site. Key elements of creative teaching in this site were having a passion for the subject and for using sensitised pedagogical strategies, driven by an awareness of student perspective and relationship. Crucial goals were fostering independent thinking; striving for equality through conversation and collaboration; and orchestrating for knowledge-building. The lecturers’ passion for the subject was a powerful engine for creative teaching across all academic disciplines spanning the arts, the humanities, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
Issue 13, pp.91-105.