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aparrAlison Parr, Head of Blackfriars Academy, recently joined colleagues from Keele University to deliver sessions on the Postgraduate Certificate in International Education at the Keele Management Centre on 9/10 April 2015.

Students had flown in from many different locations in South East Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to take part in a residential course to help them to gain a deeper understanding of how to teach creatively and teach for creativity. Working alongside Graeme Easdown, Senior Lecturer in Education, they helped the teachers to reflect critically on definitions of creativity that are applied to classroom practice, the perspective from which it is defined and the criteria that are used as the basis for the definition. They explored the practical implications of teaching creatively and teaching for creativity and examined alternative models of learning and teaching and how they can be incorporated into classroom practice. During a fascinating two days, where teachers from many different countries as well as school settings came together to share their experiences, the learning became a two way process with Alison and Graeme learning as much from the students as they did from their tutors.

Participants evaluated the contributions of the course tutors and were particularly positive about working with someone who had the background of being a university lecturer but the more recent experience of being in school:

‘Wonderful introduction to creative teaching / teaching for creativity – you provided tasks to demonstrate it / them so well. I felt / feel very inspired and want to get back to school to put it into action (or at least try)! Thank you

‘Great to work with someone in a school – you provided examples which help understanding’

‘I really like how you struck a nice balance of theory and practical examples. And presenting much of the theory through activities we can use in our classrooms’

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