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Creativity and playfulness in Higher Education research

Brown, Nicole and Leigh, Jennifer S (2018) Creativity and playfulness in Higher Education research. In: Huisman, Jeroen and Tight, Malcolm, eds. Theory and Method in Higher Education Research. Theory and Method in Higher Education Research, 4 . Emerald, pp. 49-66. ISBN 978-1-78769-278-7. E-ISBN 978-1-78769-277-0. (doi:10.1108/S2056-375220180000004005) (KAR id:66492)


Due to the diversity of academics engaging with research into higher education (HE), there is no single methodological approach or method that would embody higher education research. In this paper we put forward the case that this is a good thing and argue that higher education research can benefit from fusing existing methodological and theoretical paradigms with more creative, playful and artistic approaches more commonly associated with sociological or anthropological research and performance-based disciplines. In order to frame this attitude of creativity, playfulness and openness, we start by providing a brief delineation of the research field and methods of higher education research. In this context we introduce the Deleuzoguattarian concept of rhizomes and assemblages to provide the grounding for what we mean by creativity and playfulness, which leads to our proposal of a renewed approach to research into higher education. We draw upon our own work on embodied academic identity and trainee teachers’ perceptions of their placement experiences in order to critically explore the benefits and potential pitfalls of incorporating this creativity and playfulness into HE research.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/S2056-375220180000004005
Uncontrolled keywords: Creativity, higher education, research, playfulness, creative methods
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Jennifer Leigh
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2018 10:13 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:53 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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