One of the goals of our Creative Pedagogies for Creative Learning Ecologies project is to share what we are learning through institutional talks and workshops so I was delighted to be invited to talk about our work in three different institutions in the west of Ireland - Galway and Mayo Institute of Technology, Athlone Institute of Technology and the University of Limerick. While the weather could have been a little kinder the scenery was stunning and the people were warm, friendly and hospitable. At GMIT & AIT I gave a talk on the ecology of learning, teaching and creativity and explored the idea of personal pedagogies. I also facilitated a workshop to encourage the integration of perception, reasoning and imagination, and challenge participants to create their own educational designs that encourage students to create their own ecologies to use their creativity. Whenever I facilitate these sorts of workshops I am struck by the creative ideas that emerge when participants, who care deeply about their students' learning, discover new affordances in their own teaching and learning contexts.
Recognising our own learning is not easy. I could say that during this teaching project I produced certain artefacts that embodied new learning for the first time. But mostly I reused ideas and resources that I had used before. In the end I think my most important learning was at the highest metacognitive level. Through the experience I had worked out (learnt) what I had to do to make the whole process work in the way that I (and others) imagined. Yes I created new infrastructures and applied existing frameworks to new problems, but in the end it's what you do to make them work that matters and you only know this when you are doing it and when you have done it.
Of course much of the process was the result of other people's contributions (both facilitators and participants) but the pattern of engagement as a whole was the thing that I had imagined and tried to orchestrate - and so ultimately this is what I learnt and hopefully next time it will be better. With the proviso that a different group of participants may respond quite differently and therefore I would have to adapt. And that is the perpetual pedagogical challenge and the reason why pedagogy and the way people respond to pedagogy is an ecological phenomenon.
You can view the website I have created and my reflections on my own learning here.