Reimagining professional learning for teaching in higher education through a mandala of creative pedagogies

Year: 2021

Author: Eka Putri, I Gusti Agung Paramitha, Selkrig, Mark, Widdop Quinton, Helen

Type of paper: Individual Paper

Higher Education continues to undergo profound changes around the globe. These changes are not only in response to the widespread disruption from the global pandemic, they are also shaped by factors such as increasing social and economic inequalities and the impacts of climate change. Along with research into these issues, universities in recent times have also begun to place a greater emphasis on quality and innovative teaching to prepare graduates to thrive in a world of uncertainty that was well established even prior to this current COVID era. Accordingly, education sectors in many parts of the world are not only teaching traditional disciplines and ways of thinking they are also recognising the importance of Indigenous, local knowledges and skills.      Linked to this broadening of curriculum, there is also a priority to prepare graduates for an uncertain world in which they need to be equipped with particular capabilities, skills and dispositions. Graduate capabilities/attributes identified by many higher education settings include promoting skills such as sustainability leadership, creative thinking, complex decision making, global citizenship, self-reliance and being an effective collaborator. These shifts in both curriculum content and pedagogical approaches in higher education to enable graduates to demonstrate these capabilities can pose challenges for those who teach within these institutions.     In this presentation, we explore how extending the dimensions of creative pedagogies (teaching for creativity, creative learning, and creative teaching) can assist professional learning approaches to teaching in higher education by broadening the remit for creativity while also encompassing diverse knowledge systems. Our report is based on a study in a Balinese university with a group of university teachers, in which a critical participatory action research methodology was implemented to consider how they could improve their pedagogical practice in teaching environmental learning. This group was involved in a series of professional learning activities, including a workshop and focus group discussions, to transform their perspective on creativity and pedagogical practice. The participants also discovered how innovative and creative approaches to teaching and learning connect with local knowledges that deal with big issues of climate change and grappling with unknowns. We pose a new creative pedagogies mandala as a framework that can enhance teachers’ professional learning, allowing space for risk taking and repositioning of teachers’ agency to explore, understand and foreground their own Indigenous knowledge in higher education.