Co-creative teaching practice and active learning: the opportunity of small group teaching in philosophy


  • Giulia Lorenzi



Co-creative pedagogy practices, where the students occupy a central role in shaping the sessions acting as partners in teaching, have an enormous potential in fostering inclusiveness and equality in the academic setting. Giving the students a voice and a role to play in designing and delivering teaching interventions, indeed, ensures that their unique interests and their needs as learners are taken on board, valued, and acted upon. Yet, it is challenging to implement co-creative practice while also following principles of active learning. Engaging students in deep learning through activities and “doing” tasks usually requires a certain degree of preparation which ends up creating a structure for the sessions that is less flexible than hoped, and more difficult to be permeated by and open to students’ individual needs and interests.

In teaching seminars in philosophy, I have found myself juggling the challenge of combining co-creative practice and active learning principles. Considering philosophy more as a practice rather than a discipline, I have always thought to my seminars as the ideal space for my students to exercise philosophical skills whose development, strength and autonomy constitute a core element of the learning expected from a philosophy graduate. For this reason, active learning has always been a pillar of my teaching practice. Yet, I was finding difficult to connect it to a co-creative approach to teaching.

In this piece, I am going to explain how establishing an ongoing, honest dialogue with my students has revealed to be the solution to my problem.


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