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Jo Trowsdale

Job Title
Associate Professor
Research Interests

My research interests revolve around the interface between arts, culture and education, more recently also involving the sciences.

The Imagineerium Initiative (2017-2020) is a three-year Paul Hamlyn Funded arts-based learning project which engages primary school aged children as 'Young Imagineers' designing, alongside engineers and artists for a real commission. Our research is investigating the value of the project as an arts-based educational model in developing learner capabilities and dispositions, within and beyond the (STEAM) subjects it draws on. I recently worked on a Research Commission into STEAM education, funded by the British Educational Research Association. 'Reviewing the potential and challenges of developing STEAM education through creative pedagogies for 21st learning: how can school curricula be broadened towards a more responsive, dynamic, and inclusive form of education?' The report, resources and process of the commission can be found here.

I am completing a doctorate in Sociology investigating the significance of the practice of art-making as an educational model, with a particular focus upon the role of the body, affective and relational dimensions in learning. The thesis centres upon a case study of a pilot Imagineerium project.

My MPhil research into the role of artists in teacher education marked a longstanding interest in developing young people through creative and cultural experiences. It also informed my work as director of a creative learning programme (2004-2011) and the development of models for the ways in which professional artists engage with education as well as the facilitation of partnership working between the arts, schools, community and industry. I have conducted studies for several cultural organisations including The Barbican, The Arts Council, The Film Council, Imagineer Productions, Open Theatre and Highly Sprung Performance Company as well as Solihull and Warwickshire Local Authorities, investigating partnership practice, cultural education, creativity and learning.

Further information on my work can be found here.


Educational consultant and researcher with Imagineer Productions and Other Ways of Working

Creative Director for Creative Partnerships in Coventry and for Cre8us, CSWP in Coventry Solihull and Warwickshire 2004-11

Teacher educator (PGCE and BAQTS Drama, English and Professional Studies) and teacher

First Education Liaison Officer, Warwick Arts Centre.

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  • Selected Publications
  • Duffy, B. & Trowsdale, J. (2018 forthcoming) The Importance of Play and Explorative Learning in Primary Education, Cremin, T. and Arthur, J. Learning to teach in the Primary School 4th edition, Routledge
  • Davies, R. and Trowsdale, J. (2017) The value of instability: lessons from reviewing how and why creativity and the arts might interact with STEM education, European Journal of Curriculum Studies, Vol 4 No.1 Click here
  • Trowsdale, J. and Davies, R. (2017) The potential of A in STEAM for Curriculum development , Research Intelligence, British Educational Research Association, Issue 134 Click here
  • Colucci-Gray, L., Burnard,P., Cooke, C., Davies, R., Gray, D. and Trowsdale, J. (2017) Reviewing the potential and challenges of developing STEAM education through creative pedagogies for C21st learning: How can school curricula be broadened towards a more responsive, dynamic and inclusive form of education? - BERA Research Commission report. Click here
  • Trowsdale, J. (2016) Imagineering: Re-creating spaces through art-making, Creativity: Theories - Research - Applications. Volume 3, Issue 2, pp274-291, ISSN (Online) 2354- Click here
  • Trowsdale, Jo, Hayhow, Richard, 2015. Psycho-physical theatre practice as embodied learning for young people with learning disabilities. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 19 (10), pp. 1022-1036 Click here
  • Trowsdale, Jo, Hayhow, Richard, 2013. Can mimetics, a theatre based practice, open possibilities for young people with learning disabilities - a capability approach?. British Journal of Special Education, Volume 40 (Number 2), pp. 72-79 Click here
  • Trowsdale, Jo (2012) Creative teaching for creative learning : why, how and wow! Curriculum Briefing, Vol.10 (No.2). pp. 14-19. Click here
Title Funder Award start Award end
Teach-Make Paul Hamlyn Foundation 01 Sep 2020 31 Jul 2022
Arts Based Imbodied learning in maufactoring: Premier - Warwick: Premier School of Imagineering Apprentices / Craft School Premier Group (Coventry) Limited 01 Nov 2018 31 Oct 2021
The Imagineerium Initiative for PHF (Evaluation of: More and Better Funding strand: re. strengthening and sharing evidence.) The Godiva Awakes Trust 01 Feb 2017 31 Jan 2020
The Imagineerium Project a virtual and experiential learning resource for Primary education. Imagineer Productions 01 Oct 2013 28 Feb 2014
Design and Evaluation on a science and physical movement KS1 & 2 Cre8us Limited : Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership 01 Jan 2012 31 Dec 2012
Service Contract with Cre8Us & Jo Trowsdale Cre8us Limited : Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership 01 Jun 2011 31 Dec 2011
Teaching Creatively and Teaching for Creativity through the Arts in Solihull Research Project Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council 01 Jan 2004 31 Jul 2005