Inspirational teaching – a focus on collaboration and partnership

As part of the Student as Teaching and Learning Consultant project I managed, I carried out some background research on the concept of ‘inspirational teaching’. Along with two members of the project steering group I wrote a paper based on this research and our thinking around what inspirational meant coming from a ‘student-centered learning’ perspective. In the paper we identify four themes in the literature related to inspirational teaching, however, we argue that it is not useful to reduce inspirational teaching to a set of characteristics or teaching practices as this takes away focus from the quality of the learning experience and the more holistic and sustained impact on students.

Key to inspirational teaching is that it involves a collaborative ethos and a partnership approach where students’ and teachers’ roles and responsibilities are mutually constitutive in developing inspired learners.

Take a look at the paper published in the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 2, jul. 2014: Inspirational Teaching: Beyond Excellence and Towards Collaboration for Learning with Sustained Impact by Kathrine S.H. Jensen, Joelle Adams and Karen Strickland.

A sort of partner paper to this is What is inspirational teaching? Exploring student perceptions of what makes an inspirational teacher (2013) where I explore the content of student nominations for the ‘Inspirational teaching’ category in the 2012 Thank You Awards at University of Huddersfield alongside observations and data from students working as teaching and learning consultants.

We also asked the student consultants what they though ‘inspirational’ meant – see the video where Dawn Bagnall talks about her inspirational teachers:

Follow me on twitter (@kshjensen)


About kshjensen

Anthropologist. Ethnographic research and user experience. I craft, bake, like real ale and stacking stones.
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