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Warwick Business School and Royal Shakespeare Company Announce Joint Venture for the Teaching of Shakespeare

The Play's the Thing: Warwick Business School and Royal Shakespeare Company Announce Joint Venture for the Teaching of Shakespeare

Warwick Business School (WBS) and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) announce a path breaking new partnership. See Teaching Shakespeare or follow the link at the end of this story.

The new joint venture, Teaching Shakespeare, aims to transform the classroom experience of Shakespeare through delivering high-quality online professional development for teachers.

At the heart of Teaching Shakespeare is a specially-created set of online resources offering teachers unique access to a rehearsal room and an active approach to Shakespeare's plays, with a delivery platform that draws upon the cutting-edge online platform that WBS has developed for its highly-acclaimed distance learning programmes.

The WBS-RSC partnership will provide up to a thousand teachers a year around the world with access to the RSC's resources and creative talent. Up to 400 of those teachers will also have the opportunity to work with an academic tutor to gain their own postgraduate qualifications in the teaching of Shakespeare accredited by the University of Warwick.

Professor Mark Taylor, Dean of Warwick Business School, commented:

"This collaboration brings together two world-class organisations located in Shakespeare's Warwickshire in a unique creative partnership between a leading business school and a leading artistic company. WBS brings the business acumen and academic experience of a top business school to the partnership, while the RSC brings the creativity and performing experience of the world's greatest theatre company. This is in line with the WBS policy of looking at things differently. At WBS, creativity is our business."

Jacqui O'Hanlon, Director of Education at the Royal Shakespeare Company, said:

"We are delighted to be combining the RSC's playful and creative approaches to teaching and learning with the world-leading business, teaching and research practices of Warwick Business School through developing Teaching Shakespeare. This is a new venture that connects us with a global community of teachers who are all passionate about teaching Shakespeare in ways that unlock the language, inspire learning and release imagination. We hope to reach thousands of teachers and transform the classroom experience of Shakespeare for students across the world."

Further Information

Mark Taylor became Dean of Warwick Business School in April 2010, having previously been a Managing Director at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager. Professor Taylor is a distinguished authority in the field of International Finance but, as well as a PhD in Finance, he holds an MA degree in English Literature and has recently contributed to the RSC's edition of Shakespeare's King John.

Since becoming Dean, Professor Taylor has instigated a policy of 'looking at things differently' at Warwick Business School. This has involved a range of initiatives including:

  • Establishing the first teaching and research group in Behavioural Science in a European business school. Behavioural Science brings together psychology, economics, finance, sociology and neuroscience in order to explain human behavior in a comprehensive and interdisciplinary fashion. The WBS Behavioural Science Group now includes some of the leading figures in the world in this field, including advisors to the UK Cabinet Office.
  • Establishing the Working CAPITAL (Creativity and Performance in Teaching and Learning) initiative: this project supports and encourages best practice in teaching, learning and writing through the exploration of different communication styles and media. It is headed by a newly appointed Professor of Creative Education.
  • Establishing a working partnership with the Design Council. The Design Council is already collaborating with the Behavioural Scientists at WBS on a number of projects and WBS has recently located a member of its staff permanently in the Design Council's London offices in order to foster collaborative links and joint projects between the two organisations.
  • Redesigning the Warwick MBA programme to put creativity and Behavioural Science at the core of the curriculum. (In January 2012, the Warwick MBA was ranked by the Financial Times as 27th in the world, 9th in Europe and 4th in the UK).

The WBS philosophy of 'looking at things differently' was also demonstrated during 2011 when the Dean instigated a national competition challenging artists to reinterpret the WBS logo in the style of a famous artist. The submissions were of a very high standard, ranging from the styles of Andy Warhol to Jackson Pollock. The winning awards were made at the Covent Garden offices of the Design Council and the resulting artwork now adorns the corridors of WBS.

Mark Taylor
Dean of Warwick Business School, Professor of International Finance

t +44 (0)24 7652 8219

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