A/R/Tography and managing uncertainty through creative learning

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    The current climate of assessment and performativity works against opportunities for students in higher education to explore their creativity, an essential element of education, not only for engaging students in their learning but also, as evidenced by the literature, in preparing graduates for complexity. This paper will present research findings from projects conducted over the last two years exploring different approaches to creative pedagogies, involving alternative, imaginative ways, to challenge, evoke, provoke and capture learners’ attention, whilst equipping graduates to manage uncertainty. Specifically I will present A/R/Tography (Springgay, Irwin et al., 2005)[1] whereby Artist, Researcher and Teacher perspectives weave together in partnership with students, through problem-posing, curiosity, exploration and artistic creativity. Four projects will be shared, their overarching aims being: i) Engaging with students as active learners, to understand and make sense of complex disciplinary subject material through artistic and creative processes, to heighten self-esteem and skills for living and working in complex, messy, real-world situations. ii) Encouraging academics out-with the arts disciplines, to explore creative inter-disciplinary pedagogy alongside their subject expertise. Projects: ‘Shakespeare Disrupted’ involved staff and students from Occupational Therapy and Law working with an artist/educator from the RSC, exploring how Shakespeare could be used to examine complex course concepts to harness creativity through stepping outside disciplinary comfort zones. 1. ‘Curious Oddities’ involved students from Motor Sports and Health, working with a Coventry graduate and artist, during induction week, to create curious forms, using materials, scratch-built, from found objects, to stir their imagination and represent perspectives about the start of their higher education learner journey 2. The Geese Theatre and problem-based-learning project involved nursing tutors sharing content with a Theatre company who performed a complex family scenario to 200+ nursing students. The performed content was then used in seminar groups interpreted through an evidence-based practice lens. 3. We Have A Situation, Coventry! involved humanities students and an artist-in-residence, in dialogue with community residents and academics, exploring the relationships between the university and city and new models for active citizenship through creative praxis. 4. The presentation will discuss resource and confidence issues in implementing creative pedagogy (and with large cohorts). It will share how such practice offers a means for realizing self-learning, connection and the animation of difference. It will explore A/R/Tography for actively engaged inter-disciplinary learning, willing to take risks. [1] S. Springgay, R. L. Irwin, C. Leggo & P. Gouzouasis (2005) (Eds.) Being with A/r/tography. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages(in press)
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Mar 2017
    EventBERA Annual Conference - University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
    Duration: 5 Sept 20177 Sept 2017


    ConferenceBERA Annual Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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