TeachingRoundtable Creating Creativity: A Roundtable Discussion of Moving beyond Lecture in Today’s College Classroom

AHA Session 87
Friday, January 6, 2012: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Chicago Ballroom VIII (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)
Susan M. Williams, Grand Rapids Community College
Creativity as a Response to Plagiarism
Stephen Rockenbach, Virginia State University
iEducation: Tradition and Technology in the Classroom
Krista L. Sigler, Raymond Walters College, University of Cincinnati
Susan M. Williams, Grand Rapids Community College

Session Abstract

We are scholars, writers, guides, but above all, we are all teachers. Since Socrates led his students on “teaching” walks, educators have struggled with ways to make learning come alive for students. Across disciplines, pedagogical experts have weighed in on this goal, stressing the need to a.) teach creatively and b.) instill creativity in the student mind as the foundation for the development of critical thinking. [1] Our own Association members have addressed this issue as well.[2]

In this panel, we propose a roundtable to discuss frankly how we, as instructors of History, have in the past and can in the future both teach creatively and teach creativity—to develop, to use the language of the annual theme, a creative community. To make our discussion broadly applicable, our panelists and commentator represent four year colleges, both large and small (Virginia State University, Urbana University, Thomas More College), and two-year colleges (Raymond Walters College of the University of Cincinnati and Grand Rapids Community College.) We will speak to experience in the World, European, and American History surveys, as well as upper-level courses. Our format will be as follows: Each instructor will speak briefly to how he or she has dealt with this issue, and following that, our chair will pose questions (including how to revamp lecture and relevant use of technology) to stimulate a dialogue among members of the panel and members of the audience. At an annual meeting on the theme of “Communities and Networks,” we, as a panel, will utilize this networking opportunity to share and enhance our skills of teaching. 

[1] See as examples: “Creativity in Higher Education: Report on the European University Association Creativity Project 2006-2007” (Brussels, Belgium: European University Association, 2007), R.K. Sawyer, V. John-Steiner, S. Moran, et al., Creativity and Development (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), Erica McWilliam and Shane Dawson, “Teaching for Creativity: Towards Sustainable and Replicable Pedagogical Practice,” Higher Education 56, no. 6 (2, 2008): 633-643.

[2]  See Theresa Mudrock, “Engaging Students in the Game of Research,” Perspectives (43:9/December 2005), online at http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2005/0512/index.cfm, or the paper given by Robin Sischo at the 2009 123rd meeting of the American Historical Association, “Creativity and History: Creating Projects for Middle School Students at a Magnet School for the Arts.”

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