Celebrating our first anniversary!
I can't believe that my book came out a year ago! To celebrate this milestone I have worked with some great colleagues to record two podcast episodes. In this post I reflect on all that has happened over the past year and on what's to come.
And what a year it has been. I launched my book and this website, gave over 10 book talks to universities in the UK, Denmark and Australia, wrote features and participated in roundtable discussions. I also designed a 'What is your challenge?" workshop that introduces participants to my critical-creative pedagogy and guides them through the process of applying it to their own teaching, which I conducted at a conference in the US and here at Sussex. I have discovered the use of my ideas at other universities and am working with several educators on redesigning courses to make them more creative. Two very positive book reviews have already been published and there are more to come. While I will be slowing down this year to focus on two spin-off projects, the CAPPCollab at Sussex and working with the university's student housing cooperative, I will continue to give some talks. The next one will take place on November 17, as part of the Future of Education Forum. To stay up-to-date with all upcoming events, go to @DrAnkeSchwittay.
But back to the podcasts .... The first recording is for Between the Lines, the podcast series of IDS (Institute for Development Studies), which followed my talk there earlier in 2022. I talked with Peter Taylor, Head of Research at IDS, about the story behind my book and my writing process. The second recording is for the Exquisite Education: Creativity, Play and Space in Learning and Teaching podcast. Hosted by Beatriz Acevedo and Andrew Middleton from Anglia Rukin University, the podcast uses a surreal format of the exquisite corpse game, where co-creation, uncertainty and serendipity lead to a discussion about pedagogical practice and questions in a playful and creative manner.
Our conversation was no exception, as we build an exquisite corpse around this season's theme of engagement. Starting with a provocative head that teaching that is only relentlessly critical can lead to student dis-engagment, we explored various ways in which complementing critical with creative teaching can help students move beyond feelings of cynicism, disillusionment and hopelessness towards imagining and working towards alternatives. Arms were strengthened by bell hooks' call for transgressive teaching and Paolo Freire's reminder that without critical hope social struggles will not succeed. We talked about the importance of messiness and care and possibility at the core of the corpse and about educators' role in giving students confidence and courage to be critically hopefully. And to the legs that ground this way of teaching, we considered the importance of making, of activism and of collective learning and action that connects classrooms with the world. If that sounds interesting, have a listen!