Creative learning approaches for undergraduate self-development

  • Tim McClellan

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis investigates creativity in the undergraduate curriculum and how students respond to creative approaches to learning within their studies. Specifically, the thesis considers how the use of multiple creative learning methods may enhance undergraduate learning and the role that creative visualisation and guided imagery can play in this experience. The thesis presents the learning stories of six undergraduates in the main study who took one of these modules. Interviews were conducted and a range of other documentary data, such as learning journals and assignments, was collected and analysed in order to detail each student's journey through and experience of the module. The analysis is presented in three separate sections; firstly, as individual student case studies; secondly, as a thematic cross-case analysis; and thirdly, as a synthesis of the data with theoretical constructs and current debates surrounding creativity in higher education with conclusions and recommendations for individual and sector practice. The thesis discusses the "messy" nature of research, highlights the compromises and difficulties inherent in a PhD project and illustrates how these issues were overcome. The work also reflects on the researcher's own PhD learning journey and identifies a number of themes that influence the efficacy of the teaching of creative skills in undergraduate programmes. The thesis proposes a number of new models that have been integrated into the author's own teaching and that have wider implications for the teaching of transferable skills in creativity and creative thinking in higher education for practice-based and non-vocational programmes as well as consultancy opportunities for industry. New knowledge proposed within the thesis includes a refined model of student engagement and a model to plot the student journey of self-discovery. The thesis also offers a critique of and guidelines for the use of guided imagery to promote student creativity in higher education.
    Date of AwardSept 2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Southampton

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