Creative, arts-inspired tasks for critical intercultural communication pedagogy at a German University

Start, Elizabeth Mary (2019) Creative, arts-inspired tasks for critical intercultural communication pedagogy at a German University. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Although artistic practices have been shown to have value for intercultural education in contexts such as community projects, research into the use of these methods for Critical Intercultural Communication Pedagogy (CICP) in HE is scarce. This reflexive, interpretivist practitioner case study addresses this gap, investigating the value of creative, arts-inspired tasks for learning within my own undergraduate Intercultural Communication course at a large university in Germany. Three subquestions addressed (i) the participants' attitudes to the tasks, (ii) the role of creative process for learning, and (iii) the relative merits of the tasks set.

Twenty-four participants carried out a collaborative poster-making task and created individual collages which were subseqently shared. Their experiences were discussed in individual and small group semi-structured interviews, carried out in two phases. Participants' reflective course portfolios and my own researcher diary supplemented this data in a 'bricolage' approach to research that was adapted to the study's context and aims. Analysis was characterised by processes of abduction (Alvesson and Sköldberg, 2009) whereby theory and empirical data are successively reinterpreted in the light of each other in an intellectual rather than technical process. Ellingson's (2009) conceptualisation of 'crystallization' informed the inclusion of artistic work and 'interludes' alongside the main narrative in the thesis.

The contribution of the study is two-fold, demonstrating the value of artistic practices for undergraduate learning and as an application and extension of CICP specifically, developing the theoretical work of Halualani (2017) and Sobré (2017). Six key findings emerged from the discussion of the data. Three key findings demonstrated the ability of artistic processes and products to (a) fulfil the need for relatedness, (b) allow the generation of insightful, personally meaningful knowledge, and (c) serve as prompts for reflective thinking. Two further findings identified productive dialectical tensions for the creative process and qualitative differences between the collaborative and individual tasks. The final finding showed how arts-inspired work could advance and extend notions of CICP in HE, encouraging open attitudes and authentic connections with others, a tolerance of ambiguity and risk, an appreciation of difference, and critical self-reflection. Because the tasks were also found to validate undergraduate students' unique voices and nurture agency, it is argued that they offered participants more emancipatory ways to approach their learning.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: critical intercultural communication pedagogy, critical cosmopolitanism, arts-inspired methods, creative learning, emancipatory education, higher education, Germany.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Odena, Dr. Oscar and Elliot, Dr. Dely
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Elizabeth Mary Start
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-76788
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 10:00
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2022 08:08
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.76788

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