Seeing and Sticking, Being and Becoming: The Kaleidoscopic Impact of a Creative Intervention

  • Anna Clare Hunter University of Central Lancashire
  • Kathryn Woolham O'Brien University of Central Lancashire


New academic staff in universities experience uncertainty, liminality and ontological disturbance as a result of shifting professional identities and attempting to inhabit a complex role within the supercomplex world of the University. The uncertainty and instability experienced by new academics can be read as a microcosmic manifestation of the uncertainty of the modern age, which presents within the HE curriculum as a wicked problem, demanding innovative pedagogic solutions that build resilience and creativity within learners. This case study describes the use of collage-work within a PGCert Learning and Teaching in HE, which aims to break down discourses of certainty for participant groups consisting of new academic staff, through a process of collaborative meaning-making centred on visual metaphor. In a reflexive turn, the case study incorporates the voice of one of these student-academics, who reflects not only on the impact of the collage activity for her sense of academic and professional identity, but also on the way in which she has repurposed and re-imagined the collage as a pedagogic tool within her own teaching. The multiple iterations of the collage work are therefore revealed to have a cascading impact across learner groups, building resilience to an unknowable future through creative work that is in itself fluid and unpredictable.

Author Biographies

Anna Clare Hunter, University of Central Lancashire

Dr Anna Hunter is a Senior Lecturer in Academic Development, within UCLan’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

Kathryn Woolham O'Brien, University of Central Lancashire

Dr Kathryn Woolham O’Brien is a Lecturer in Fire Safety and Risk Management, within UCLan’s School of Engineering (FireTeam).


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How to Cite
Hunter, A. C., & Woolham O’Brien, K. (2019). Seeing and Sticking, Being and Becoming: The Kaleidoscopic Impact of a Creative Intervention. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, 2(3), 214-221. Retrieved from