Teaching-for-creativity is "rarely an explicit objective of the learning and assessment process" (Jackson, 2006, p.4). In Europe, collaborative research projects have been recently set up to address this lack of acknowledgment or explicitness. Australian universities lag behind in this respect. However, Australian HEIs are now showing increasing commitment to creative capacity building as an outcome of undergraduate teaching. Recent research shows that Australian award-winning academic teachers value creative learning outcomes for their undergraduate students but are often frustrated in their efforts to achieve them by a culture that narrowly prescribes what is to be taught and how it is to be assessed. They point to “the lack of challenging assessments”, “standardised” or “didactic, content driven and controlled processes” and the continuing predominance of the “transmission of information” model, as significant obstacles. These are issues of mis-alignment. Such findings point to the need for models of teaching and learning that demonstrate quite precisely how it is possible to align curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.
The Bachelor of Popular Music Program at the Conservatorium of Music in Queensland is one example of an aligned program. Below is a synthesis of the principles and practices that unify the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment around student ownership of learning. Key issues include the development of a curriculum that addresses the range of activities that popular musicians generally engage with; employment of a pedagogy that acknowledges the learning-centred practices of popular musicians; and the provision an assessment regime that includes self- and peer assessment along with assessment by staff. These elements combine to enhance students’ abilities to be self-monitoring and self-directing in ‘creating value’.
Don Lebler, Griffith University
Erica McWilliam, Queensland University of Technology