Creativity: Teaching the Teachers

A Sydney Ideas and Seymour Centre presentation as part of Vivid Ideas 2014

3 June 2014

Find out how leading researchers are making a contribution to our understanding of creativity, while at the same time inspiring the next generation through their teaching.

If the transformative potential of creativity in the education process is now acknowledged, how are our trainee teachers taught to teach creativity themselves? What are the realities of implementing creative practices in the classroom, and what is the latest research telling us about what teaching methods work and why?

A panel of researchers and practitioners from a range of art disciplines explore how they teach creativity to their students and give practical examples of what works when they get into the classroom.


Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson, (participating chair) is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. His research and teaching concentrates on how arts educators begin, then evolve and achieve growth in their careers and how students engage with arts and technology to learn and create in arts education. This work has evolved into a program of research and publication that engages with arts classrooms directly. His recent publications explore how aesthetic education is changing in the twenty first century; these include artnerships in Education Research: Creating Knowledge that Matters (with Kelly Freebody , 2014) and Masterclass in Drama Education (2011).

Julie Dunn

Dr Julie Dunn is an associate professor and member of Griffith University's Applied Theatre team. She co-ordinates the Master of Applied Theatre and Drama Education program, both locally and in Hong Kong whilst also supervising a large number of doctoral students across a broad range of Applied Theatre topics. Her undergraduate teaching is mainly focused on participatory forms of drama including process drama, improvisation and play. Julie's research interests also relate to these forms, and include a special focus on the role of emotion as a stimulator for meaning making. The research work Julie is currently engaged in involves participants as diverse as newly arrived refugee children and elderly people living with dementia. Julie is widely published, with her most recent book beingHow Drama Activates Learning (co-edited with Michael Anderson).

Professor Robyn Ewing

Initially a primary teacher, Robyn Ewing is currently Professor of Teacher Education and the Arts and Acting ProDean, Faculty of Education and Social Work. She is passionate about the role that the Arts can play in transforming learning and has a commitment to creative teaching and learning at all levels of education. She particularly enjoys working with educators interested in transforming their curriculum practices. Robyn’s teaching, research and extensive publications include a focus on the use of drama strategies with literature to enhance students’ English and literacy learning. Teacher education, especially the experiences of early career teachers and the role of mentoring, sustaining curriculum innovation and evaluation, inquiry and case based learning and the use of arts informed, particularly narrative, inquiry in educational research are also current research interests. She is currently working in partnership with Sydney Theatre Company on the School Drama project to develop primary teachers' expertise and confidence in using drama with literary texts.

Kelly Freebody

Dr Kelly Freebody is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney. Her research interests include educational drama, creative and performing arts, social justice issues in education, and qualitative research methods, particularly conversation analysis and membership categorisation analysis. Her recent publications include Partnerships in Education Research: Creating Knowledge that Matters (with Michael Anderson, 2014). She is Director of Research at Drama Australia, the peak national body that represents and advocates on behalf of all state and territory drama education associations in Australia.

Miranda Jefferson

Dr Miranda Jefferson is a Teaching Educator in challenging pedagogy with the Catholic Education Office Parramatta Diocese. She is involved in programs, initiatives and research in arts pedagogy, literacy and teacher professional learning in primary and secondary schools across the western suburbs of Sydney. Miranda has taught drama and media arts learning and teacher professional practice in the Education Faculty at the University of Sydney and been on the Arts Curriculum advisory board for ACARA. Her PhD in education (University of Sydney, 2011) examines teachers’ experiences with drama and film learning, processes in teacher professional learning and the development of arts pedagogy in the curriculum.