Creative Pedagogy for Teachers and School Leaders by Joanna P. Norton

There are compelling arguments on the need to transform pedagogy to meet the complex changes facing global societies. Indeed, Scott (2015) in her analysis of The Futures of Learning for UNESCO, calls for a new model of learning suitable for the 21st century. However, as the ‘transmission’ or lecture model still prevails as the dominant instructional approach in education throughout much of the world, the shift from teacher-centred to student-centred learning is likely to prove uncomfortable for many educators. To support this transition, both UNESCO and UNICEF (Scott, 2015) suggest that nations must ensure an adequate supply of well-trained and motivated teachers and school leaders, with access to quality professional development. Indeed, it is at this juncture of rapid change that Creative Pedagogy for Educators and School Leaders is situated.
Any future curricula must to be open to learner input, interdisciplinary in focus and effectively integrate both formal and informal learning. Such a paradigm shift, where educators become learners and collaborate with their groups to jointly construct knowledge, will be underpinned by educators’ commitment to lifelong learning and an awareness of their own learning. Designed to work with educators in African contexts, Creative Pedagogy for Educators and School Leaders seeks to elevate the mundane in all its forms and place it at the centre of learning. Taking inspiration from James Joyce’s Ulysses, psycho-geography is the primary medium used to re-engage with a community and re-connect with students’ experiences. As standardised tests usher in a level of homogeneity, traditional maps, evidencing the diverse range of the student voice, are often excluded from the school narrative. Through psycho-geography, educators will be asked to consider how they can co-create a 21st century learning map for their own context.
While it is essential to recognise that 21st century pedagogy is not simply the integration of technology into daily lesson planning, technology integration is central to the Creative Pedagogy for Teachers and School Leaders. Here, technology is deployed to encourage teachers to challenge their thinking and consider how the creative application of technology can ensure the development of higher order thinking skills. If one considers the impact mobile banking services such as M-Pesa have had on communities in the absence of any formal banking system, Africa’s education sector has the potential to bring about exceptional change with the potential to benefit entire generations. It is essential that professional development begins to view technology as an enabler with transformative potential.

Challenges facing the education sector on the African continent are both complex and diverse. Yet, it is essential that such demand for change builds capacity within teacher development in order to produce innovators, inventors, creators, problem solvers, entrepreneurs, global citizens, change-makers, and critical thinkers. Creative Pedagogy for Educators and School Leaders is designed to work with educators as they navigate this new terrain. Following on from an introduction to psycho-geography, educators will be introduced to theories of interdisciplinary learning through the African catwalk. The programme moves to probe educators on their own divergent reading practices along with how they model creativity within their classrooms. An exploration of the 3.0 classroom then examines the potential of technology as a catalyst for change. The training concludes with input on reflective practice and encourages teachers to consider their own Pedagogic Creed (Dewey, 1929).

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