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The Warwick Handbook of Innovative Teaching

Phil Gaydon
Phil Gaydon

Juliet Raynsford
Juliet Raynsford

This project aims to create a manual of practice and online resource based upon case studies and experiences of innovative teaching at Warwick. These will be collected through staff and student focus groups, interviews, the analysis of innovative assessment work, lesson observations, and a review of the literature and theory concerning innovative pedagogy in higher education. Additionally, four 'student stories' will be recorded which track the experiences of students undergoing innovative modules.

The handbook will offer extended case studies in and analysis of best-practice innovative teaching within the university, but will also critically consider precisely what it is to be innovative and when it is best to be so in the multiplicity of departmental and institutional contexts at Warwick. It will also ask questions about innovation in the wider context of a university setting. For example, how does one balance the pedagogic gains from innovation alongside academic research excellence and degree success when all ask for large time inputs?

An online resource will then house all of the material not included in the handbook and allow for further analysis and a space for user comments and interaction.

A sub-project of this proposal is the development and creation of an interdisciplinary module on the 'Philosophy of Sport' for submission in December 2016 to run in academic year 2017/18. This sub-project will be co-convened with Jonathan Heron from IATL. The creation of the module will be based upon examples of best-practice and pedagogic excellence gathered from the main strategic project. As such, whilst a sub-project, the development of this module greatly enhances the overall strategic project by acting both as an immediate and practical implementation of the techniques and concepts gathered and as an ongoing, focused case study into those ideas and practices.

During the year, two workshops/symposiums will also be run. One for the dissemination and discussion of the findings collected during the creation of the handbook and the other to try ideas for and discuss approaches to the Philosophy of Sport module.


Phil Gaydon is a PhD student in Philosophy and Literature. His thesis focusses on the exploration of virtue epistemology and the creative presentation of knowledge-gathering processes in children's literature. He is a previous WATE-PGR winner, convenes the IATL interdisciplinary modules 'Applied Imagination' and 'Ethical Beings: An Interdisciplinary Exploration Through Children's Literature', was part of the organising team for the recent innovative pedagogy event The Dark Would, teaches philosophy in local primary schools, and coaches women's American Football at university and international level.

Juliet Raynsford is a Senior Teaching Fellow with Warwick's Centre for Education Studies. Her PhD was in creative spaces and the exploration of voice and agency in children with profound and multiple learning disorders. Amongst other things, she was a practitioner with Ignite and Birmingham Rep and ran an innovative module called 'Promoting Creative Arts with Young Children' which utilises a relationship with Warwick's nursery in order to help with student understanding and assessment development.