Contested Contexts for Collaborative Learning

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Education for sustainable development is seen as an emerging imperative. It demands a major shift in the way students are taught and learn within the Higher Education sector. It requires a more flexible approach to the development and teaching of academic disciplines. Much of this change is in line with what graduates will need in an increasingly diverse and challenging work environment. Education for creative thinking engages students in the nurturing of aesthetic values and the generation of new ideas (creativity); the successful exploitation of new ideas towards the development of new artefacts or products, services and systems (innovation); the shaping of ideas to become attractive propositions for users and stakeholders (design); and the contribution to culture and commerce through initiative and entrepreneurship.
Collaborative, cross-curricula and multidisciplinary approaches are consistently endorsed as the most appropriate pedagogies for advancing the sustainability, creativity and innovation agendas. Learning the ‘language’ of another discipline is possible, but this is not synonymous with being able to traverse discipline boundaries, navigate its knowledge culture and transfer competencies appropriate to creativity and sustainable development into educational pedagogies.


Keywords: Creativity, Collaborative Learning, Sustainable Development, Multidisciplinary Scenarios, Spatial and Visual Literacies
Stream: Creative Arts and Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Barbara Dass

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Art, Design and Built Environment, University of Ulster
Belfast, County Antrim, UK

I was awarded a 1st class honours degree in Woven Textile Design (1980) My doctoral studies presented the opportunity to apply concepts of creativity in constructed textiles to the fields of crystallography, genetics and computing (Thesis title - 'Generative Technique for Weave Design: The application of Layer Symmetry Theories to Weave Design', 1989). I have been lecturing in design for 22 years and currently hold the Faculty positions of Head of Teaching and Learning and Co-ordinator for Continuous Professional Development. In these positions I have responsibility for academic standards, quality assurance and academic development for all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the Faculty of Art, Design and Built Environment within the University of Ulster. I am the Northern Ireland Regional Representative for the UK Art Design Media Higher Education Academy (ADM-HEA) Subject Group, a member of the ADM-HEA Reference Group (UK) and am a National Reviewer for the UK HEA National Teaching Fellowship Scheme. I have recently been awarded £10K by the ADM-HEA for a Teaching and Learning project concerned with student transition between specialist undergraduate programmes to multidisciplinary learning environments.

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