Developing creative teaching and learning approaches in your discipline


Mike Wride


Currently, Assistant Professor, Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, TCD. Visiting lecturer at Schumacher College, Totnes, Devon, UK. BSc Physiology and Biochemistry, Southampton University, UK (1990), PhD Physiology, University of Alberta, Canada (1996), MEd Higher Education Teaching & Learning, TCD (2014). Interests include eye development and disease, and perceptions of creativity in nature and science by scientists and science students. Goethen Science and phenomenology.

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Deborah Greenaway


Trinity College Dublin: Special Purpose Certificate in Academic Practice 2015-16

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Developing creative teaching and learning approaches in your discipline​

Dr Mike Wride


This module is aimed at academics or academic-related professionals who teach and support student learning and who may be at different stages of their career: both those looking to start out teaching in a creative way and those intending to develop their own practice in a more creative direction.  Creativity, including imagination, insight, and intuition are all involved in research, but are not necessarily acknowledged when teaching. This emphasis on ‘facts’ tends to ‘fix’ knowledge in place and denies the creative dynamism associated with the processes of learning. There is also a challenge to overcome the ‘fear’ of both students and lecturers of ‘letting go’ sufficiently to allow the creative process to unfold, to step into a place of ‘not knowing’ how things might develop. This module will enable teachers in higher education to clarify and reflect on their own conceptions of, and approaches to, creativity in teaching and learning. Through both individual and collaborative enquiry, it will enable them to reflect on the extent to which they are being creative in both their personal and teaching roles, and enable them to apply theories and philosophies of creativity to the principles of teaching and learning and curriculum development in their discipline. It will introduce practical creative strategies for stimulating more creative thinking in both small and large group teaching, and explore opportunities for more creative assignments and assessments that involve and engage students in creative learning processes. The role of social media and virtual learning environments (VLEs) in teaching and learning creatively will also be explored.



On completing this module, participants should be able to:

• Discuss theories and philosophies of creativity and their applicability to Higher Education, and consider how creative teaching and learning strategies can contribute towards the development of a more ‘imaginative curriculum’ in their discipline. 

• Articulate their conceptions of creativity in teaching and learning in Higher Education.

• Inform their teaching through critical awareness of the literature of creativity in teaching and learning.

• Reflect on their own personal creative interests and skills and how these might be aligned with and feed in to their professional practice

• Reflect on their teaching practice and make actionable changes to their practice, which enhance creative teaching and learning.  

• Engage with other teachers in Higher Education in critical discussion about the role of creativity in teaching and learning in the disciplines.



The module will be assessed by submission of a self-reflection by the participant on their creative teaching and learning practice, including how creative teaching and learning is already being integrated into teaching practice (for example, as a case study) and/or a rationale for, and a reflection on, the creative design and/or further creative development of the curriculum for a module that the participant is already teaching or planning to teach. 

This assignment should be informed by engagement with the literature i.e. integration of creative teaching and learning practice with the literature on creativity and creativity in education. There should also be evidence of constructive alignment in teaching and assessment 

(2,000 words or word equivalent). 

As part of the assessment for this module, there will be a creative component, which enables creative expression beyond traditional modes of assessment. This could, for example, be a piece of creative writing, poem, movie, drawing, cartoon, or painting related to any component of the "Developing creative teaching and learning approaches in your discipline" module (including self-reflection) or related to the participant's own creative teaching practice. 


Participants can also choose to submit a professional teaching portfolio for assessment consideration upon completion of any 3 modules (7,500 words or word equivalent). 



•Class 1: 14th October: Philosophical and theoretical background to creativity.

•Class 2:  4th November: Developing and enhancing student and staff creativity in teaching and learning I.

•Class 3: 18th November: Developing and enhancing student and staff creativity in teaching and learning II.

•Class 4:  2nd December:  Creativity, the curriculum and assessment in higher Education.

•Class 5:  16th December: Creative micro-teaching sessions.


Deadline for hand in of assignment Monday February 1st!


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