Some of the thinking behind this conference seems muddled to me, although its aims are also laudable.
Education news & jobs at the Times Higher Education Supplement: “Creativity campaign to attack red tape (Tony Tysome Published: 12 January 2007)
They called on academics to resist feelings of helplessness in the face of overzealous managers and the requirements of audits, performance indicators and the research assessment exercise. Staff should be prepared to ‘push back the boundaries’ of their working environment and take creative risks in teaching and research.”
Cliff Allan, HEA deputy chief executive, said there was ‘a great opportunity to embed creativity into HE policy, institutional portfolios and what academics do’.
He said: ‘Academics need to demonstrate the evidence of how creativity enhances the curriculum. They need to be more proactive and assertive by providing the evidence to back a creativity movement.’
My experience is that:
- University administrators are mostly only interested in the bottom line – income verses expenditure
- Creative approaches to learning and teaching tend to require more effort and resource
- Many academics aren’t all that interested in teaching and learning
- QA processes around learning and teaching and, indeed, the HEA have come about as a means of tackling apathy displayed towards teaching and learning
Don’t pretend that the academics would be able to make a good job of learning and teaching if it weren’t for “overzealous managers and the requirements of audits, performance indicators”. Instead we need to identify good practice in teaching and learning and those who are prepared to take risks and reward them. This will require measurement of some kind or another.