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Embedding creativity into a research methods module Debbie Holley and Linda Cooper Department of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Embedding creativity into a research methods module Debbie Holley and Linda Cooper Department of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Embedding creativity into a research methods module Debbie Holley and Linda Cooper Department of Education

2 Workshop Format 5 minutes project overview & key principles 15 minutes creative writing activity, discussion 25 minutes creativity activity (no creative/art skills needed!) discussion 10 minutes presentation of design, operation and evaluation of project 5 minutes – concluding comments and discussion

3 Drawing is a tool for learning & research Recording & description Representing processes (eg through diagrams) A tool for thinking about ideas and visualising abstract concepts Access to ‘hard to verbalise’ experiences – useful as an elicitation tool in social research Reflecting on experience Evidence shows that the physical act of drawing also helps to reinforce your learning

4 Introduction: A cohort of BA Primary trainee teachers anticipated difficulty and struggle in their forthcoming ‘Preparation for Research’ module, and were fearful and hostile to the tutor in the first session. The students identified three areas of concern: Identifying and overcoming potential barriers to completion ‘I can’t write’ the ‘blank page scenario’ Understanding methodological terms This presentation reports on the design, operation and evaluation of the series of creative writing workshops, and their transformative effect on the student learning. ‘the problem’

5 Solution: creative writing workshops PhD students working alongside Debbie to support BA students A focused and fun workshop activity, providing BA students with an opportunity to explore for themselves their strengths and barriers to their studies

6 Creativity – a contested pedagogic area Jackson (2006:5] notes, although academic staff might recognise the value of creativity in student learning, they may be reluctant to take on the extra work that is perceived to be associated with more creative approaches to teaching and …..there are institutional barriers that might also frustrate such attempts. Q: for participants – what are your own/ departmental/ institutional barriers?

7 Creativity Briefing The fish and the rock Instructions: In small groups, create a collage that illustrates the barriers to implementing a creative approach in your class successful project (Boulders) and the strategies you may consider for overcoming them for overcoming them (Fish) Time allowed 15 minutes

8 Workshop (1) Identifying and overcoming potential barriers to completion com/creativity Collaborative drawing and image making activities - can develop communication skills, encourage reflection on experience, professional and personal development planning. (Ridley and Rogers 2010:1) Collaborative drawing and image making activities - can develop communication skills, encourage reflection on experience, professional and personal development planning (Ridley and Rogers 2010:1)

9 Workshop 2 ‘I can’t write’ Speedwriting and speed dating – –www.WriteNow.ac.uk focuses on the act of writing

10 Workshop 3 ‘Methodological Monsters ‘Collage seems to work best when we move from the intuitive to the conceptual…..an iterative approach helps students review their thinking over time and reflect on their learning’ Ridley and Rogers 2010:6

11 Evaluation All the sessions were photographed (with the students permission) and the photos uploaded onto the Virtual Learning Environment, as well as loaded onto youtube as a short video. It is interesting to note that the students then ‘tagged’ the relevant images for their on facebook accounts, and also for evidence for their QTS (team work) and to share the ideas across the whole group. (1) “Helped raise issues that may need to be considered before they become a problem” (2) “This session has really helped me through communication with other students. I have been able to talk to others who I wouldn’t usually communicate with and given useful ideas and help!” (3) “Loved the hands on work, makes something very confusing approachable” for full report & lesson plans

12 References: Elbow, Peter. (1998)Writing without teachers. Oxford University Press, USA Jackson, H. (2006) Cited in Johnston, G. and Ridley, P.(2007) "What Counts as Creativity?" Creativity or Conformity? Building Cultures of Creativity in Higher Education Cardiff 8/10 January available electronically from: [accessed 06/01/2013] Reid, M; Frith, L; Hill, P; Holley, D; Ridley, P, Sinfield, S; Sentito, E (2010) Engaging subject academics in Learning Development: Different partnerships enabled by different models of LD Panel presentation at the ALDinHE conference, University of Nottingham 29/31 March Ridley, P. and Rogers, A.(2010) Drawing to learn: Business, Education, Management & Social Science Available electronically from 12/8048/4869/D2L_BusinessEd_LOW.pdf Visual learning CETL Write Now CETL 12/8048/4869/D2L_BusinessEd_LOW.pdf Scan QR Code to access website with students images and work (scroll down to creative writing)


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