Creative Ideas

Communal notebooks

Contributor: Chrissi Nerantzi @chrissinerantzi

Idea: Usually notebooks are personal spaces. What about turning them into communal spaces where groups of individuals can capture their thoughts, ideas and questions linked to a series of learning experiences within a module, academic year and/or programme? Could such a resource become useful for small and large-group teaching, to reflect collectively, share ideas and problem solve? The wandering communal notebook? Creating the notebook itself could be considered as it may increase group ownership.

Topic Mediated Dialogue

Contributor: Sandra Sinfield @Danceswithcloud

Idea: When starting dialogue/discussion between students/participants, set up a structure for engagement – and the building of trust, using TMD. With TMD you give people about three contentious statements about the topic – and ask them to talk about those statements in as free and uncensored way as possible, for a set amount of time (7-20 mins). At the end of that time – you can draw thoughts back from the whole group in a plenary. Why it works: by prompting the discussion you might be shaking people out of performative answers or silence. (We often get people to draw a representation of their partner after the discussion based on the conversation – and to use that to introduce their partner to the class.)

Practitioner comments: “The use of prompts helps to get people started in a meaningful conversation whilst otherwise they might be silent – or might just bang on about their own position – without straying from a comfort zone or really engaging their thought processes. NB: also models a qualitative research method alternative to a questionnaire.”

Credits: “I first encountered this idea listening to a programme on Community Development on Radio4. I cannot remember who did this – but it seemed a great strategy for teaching situations also. Have since seen articles by Palus & Drath on ‘putting something in between’…”

What do you Perfink?

Contributor: Gillian Judson, PhD @perfinker

Blog called #imaginED www.educationthatinspires.ca

Idea: There is a danger in designing lessons for “thinkers”–because human beings NEVER just think. We are, as David Kresh suggested, “perfinkers” because we perceive, feel, and think at the same time. We PERFINK. Feeling lies at the core of our meaning-making. How does pedagogy (and what we believe to be “best practice”) change if we look at our students as PERFINKERS?

Practitioners comments: “It acknowledges the role of EMOTION in all learning. And with emotion comes imagination. Hand in hand.”

 

Credit: Term “perfinker”–David Kresch

Create a game and play it!

Contributor: Chrissi Nerantzi @chrissinerantzi

Idea: Create a game and play it! This is an idea based on learning through making and play as a collaborative process. Individuals can work in small groups of 4 or in pairs to turn their questions into a board or card-game, or any other type of game. They can use an existing game as an inspiration and modify it or start from scratch. Such an activity could be used for recap, when checking understanding of a specific theory or thinking about a specific process. There will be many more applications. Be clear from the beginning what the purpose is and communicate this to the participants.

Draw your selfie

Contributor: Chrissi Nerantzi @chrissinerantzi

Idea: A way to get to know others a bit better in a playful way. Only takes a few minutes. Ask everybody in a group to draw themselves on a piece of paper, on their hand, on the ground if you are outdoors and include what they are hoping to get from a particular experience, task etc. You can extend this by swapping selfies randomly and trying to find out who is who. Would this work in your context?