|Published online: June 13, 2014||$US5.00|
This article identifies an intrinsic paradox in creative practice-based degree programmes that use outcome-led curricula and summative assessment in their first-year undergraduate practical modules. Offering a personal reflection by two teacher-practitioners, this article is not a comprehensive study of current practices but rather is informed by specific teaching experiences in the United Kingdom higher education setting. It will argue that it is detrimental to have specific learning outcomes at such an early stage of students' development where trial and error should be part of an organic and experiential learning process. It will also question more broadly the usefulness of summative assessment in process-led subjects such as acting and creative writing, and suggest that this kind of assessment may be in tension with the methodologies of these disciplines. It will develop the argument by using an experiential descriptive case study to propose an example of an alternative, “utopian blueprint,” practical, process-led first-year acting module. This utopian module proposes pedagogical principles which are interchangeable with other practice-led subjects such as creative writing. This blueprint design favours the process-led curriculum, and thus lends itself to formative assessment. Not only does formative assessment thereby offer a better fit with first-year students’ learning experiences, but it also mirrors professional relationships such as actor-director/writer-editor associations in the creative industries, thus preparing students for life outside the academy. Finally, the article foregrounds the importance of utilising the benefits of the “practice as research” methodology for practitioner-lecturers in higher education.
|Keywords:||Pedagogy, Creativity, Higher Education, Practice-based|
Lecturer in Drama, School of Humanities, Languages, and Social Sciences, English Subject Directorate, University of Salford, Manchester, Lancashire, UK
Lecturer in English and Creative Writing, School of Humanities, Languages, and Social Sciences, English Subject Directorate, University of Salford, Manchester, Lancashire, UK