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Creative Arts Pedagogy & Arts-Related Educational Research

Author: Katherine Wimpenny

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As well as sharing with others the contribution that Arts Related Research (ARR) as a form of inquiry offers when examining human experience and action, another strand of ARR I am developing at Coventry University (CU) is creative pedagogy as educational practice in higher education (HE). The use of arts-based approaches in professional education in health and social care, and in STEM subjects, has gathered momentum in the last decade.

However, further inquiry and cross-disciplinary analysis is needed to guide arts-based pedagogy including robust evaluation of its use in UK HE. I am interested in exploring how creative pedagogy can be used as a means of transforming any subject (discipline, course, and programme) into a creative teaching process, to ‘produce’ creative learners.

Such pedagogical design and teaching practices seek to engage students as active learners through use of an aesthetic interaction as art forms are integrated to inspire making, doing, critical reflection and praxis. Praxis is present in the learning process through the potential of art to, ‘change habits of expression; to provide for openness in the complexity of relations amongst things and people’ (Carson & Sumara, 1997: xv).

As the arts are an expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, a wide range of forms can be considered, such as web-based and digital media, writing, sculpture, theatre performance, music, poetry. The contribution of the aesthetic dimension is to encourage learners to take notice, to see afresh and to revisit the world from a different direction (Barone & Eisner, 2012). This bringing together of the self and other, inside and outside influences, inter and intra relationships through the experiential, the visceral, the artistic, draws on ideas around relational learning, where learning is not based on predictive, linear or deterministic models, but, ‘from the associative relations amongst complex interactions’ (Sumara & Carson, 1997:xix)…

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