decorative blue band

Back to the list of presented papers

Back to the list of abstracts

On Trial: teaching without talking

Kirsten Hardie

download the paper

This session provides a critical consideration of a case study example – On Trial - that is successful in facilitating, promoting and celebrating creativity in learning and teaching.
     This presentation aims to consider critically the concepts of student-centred, experiential, problem-based and enquiry-based learning through the exploration and interrogation of a creative and highly successful approach to learning that celebrates what Finkel (2000) calls ‘teaching with your mouth shut’.
     The session explores how the format, language and dynamics of the courtroom drama, as made popular and familiar to students through the media, are used as the context and vehicle to secure deep learning through dynamic role play where the tutor is the silent witness. The ‘On Trial’ approach encourages a community of enquiry where students question, defend and judge an idea or problem; it provides a creative learning experience that facilitates and celebrates students at the centre of all activity.
     The presentation considers how this learning experience harnesses popular culture in a creative fashion to help students engage with tough academic issues and wider ethical concerns relevant to their specialist discipline. It explores the challenges and nuances of such learning and considers the reasons for its success and popularity with both learners and fellow tutors.
     The session considers the nuances of the creative ‘reflective practitioner’ who ‘learns by doing’ ‘(Schön,1987) and how the teacher as coach (Schön,1987) can employ dynamic and creative approaches to secure creative learning that has unique and innovative outcomes.
     The presentation is positioned within the context of current debates regarding creativity and it aims to reconsider key views such as ‘… higher education has widely been regarded as indifferent or even hostile to creativity’ (Cropley, 2001 : 159) and that creativity is ‘… generally unrecognised or undervalued in undergraduate disciplinary learning in UK higher education’ (Jackson and Shaw.(2002). Imaginative Curriculum Study: HE Academy).
     Whilst the On Trial learning and teaching approach is illustrated through a specific art and design focus, its potential for wider cross discipline dissemination, adoption and adaption is recognised.
     This session will provide a dynamic hybrid presentation that will include critical consideration of this highly successful creative learning and teaching approach - lavishly illustrated with imagery and footage throughout. The session will incorporate critical and reflective commentary from learners and observers and will be presented jointly by the tutor and Graphic Design undergraduate students who have experienced and developed this innovative learning extravaganza.

Author Bio(s)

Kirsten Hardie is Principal Lecturer in Design History and Theoretical Studies at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth (AIB). Specialising in Graphic Design history and theory, she has extensive teaching experience across a range of levels and courses within art, design and media.
     In 2004 Kirsten was awarded National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) by the HE Academy. Her NTF international project that aims to create a range of unique learning and teaching case studies and materials which can be used across disciplines - focusing upon how museums and design objects can be utilised creatively and innovatively to inspire and enhance learning and teaching.
     Kirsten created and continues to work with the AIB Design Collection Museum, and recently led its international collaborative AHRC funded project. She is an active member of a number of international organisations and societies and a popular conference speaker. She is currently completing her PhD.