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Co-creation in Higher Education: Students and Educators Preparing Creatively and Collaboratively to the Challenge of the Future

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Co-Creation in Higher Education Tatiana Chemi and Lone Krogh (Eds.)
Spine
14.503 mm
Co-Creation in
Higher Education
Students and Educators Preparing
Creatively and Collaboratively to
the Challenge of the Future
Tatiana Chemi and Lone Krogh (Eds.)
SensePublishers
Co-Creation in Higher Education
Students and Educators Preparing Creatively and
Collaboratively to the Challenge of the Future
Tatiana Chemi
Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
and
Lone Krogh (Eds.)
Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
The main purpose of this book is to disseminate new research on co-creative
approaches to teaching and learning in Higher Education (HE). The cases presented
draw from a Danish cultural and educational context and have a special focus on
collaborative, co-creative and distributed perspectives. With this collected volume,
we wish to show the diversity of approaches to the concept of co-creation, on the
one hand and, on the other, we intend to give a specific direction to these studies,
which is humanistic, sociological, creative and pedagogical. The contexts we look
at are problem-based and student-led learning, arts-based approaches to higher
educational research and teaching, collaborative practices. We believe that these
perspectives are still in need of further investigation through theories and practices.
We understand co-creation as the process of creative, original and valuable generation
of shared meaning and development. This collected volume offers novel empirical
documentation and original theoretical reflections on the application of co-creative
processes in higher education. This can be directly relevant for educators and the
ways in which they design education, but also for students and the ways in which
they cope with and manage an ever-changing academic labour market.
ISBN 978-94-6351-117-9
CREA 6
CREATIVE EDUCATIONCREATIVE EDUCATION
Co-Creation in Higher Education
CREATIVE EDUCATION BOOK SERIES
Volume 6
Series Editors
Michael A. Peters, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Tina Besley, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Editorial Board
Daniel Araya, University of Illinois, USA
Ronald Barnett, London Institute of Education, UK
Jonathan Beller, The Pratt Institute, USA
Simon Marginson, University of Melbourne, Australia
Peter Murphy, James Cook University, Australia
Brian Opie, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Peter Roberts, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Susanne Maria Weber, University of Marburg, Germany
Scope
The knowledge, learning and creative economies manifest the changing signicance
of intellectual capital and the thickening connections between economic growth,
knowledge and creativity. Increasingly economic and social activity is comprised
by the ‘symbolic’ or ‘weightless’ economy with its iconic, immaterial and digital
goods. This new digital knowledge economy includes new international labor that
rely on developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) that
are changing the format, density and nature of the exchange and ows of knowl-
edge, research and scholarship. Delivery modes in education are being reshaped.
New global cultures of knowledge and research networks are spreading rapidly. New
forms of openness and networking, cross-border people movement, ows of capi-
tal, portal cities and intensive development zones all are changing the conditions of
imagining and producing and the sharing of creative work in different spheres. At the
centre of is the economy/ creativity nexus. But are education systems, institutions,
assumptions and habits positioned and able so as to seize the opportunities and meet
the challenges? This new series investigates all the aspects of education in (and as)
the creative economy in order to extend the dialogue about the relationship between
contemporary higher education and the changing face of contemporary economies.
Co-Creation in Higher Education
Students and Educators Preparing Creatively and Collaboratively
to the Challenge of the Future
Edited by
Tatiana Chemi and Lone Krogh
Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
A C.I.P. record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN: 978-94-6351-117-9 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-94-6351-118-6 (hardback)
ISBN: 978-94-6351-119-3 (e-book)
Published by: Sense Publishers,
P.O. Box 21858,
3001 AW Rotterdam,
The Netherlands
https://www.sensepublishers.com/
All chapters in this book have undergone peer review.
Printed on acid-free paper
All Rights Reserved © 2017 Sense Publishers
No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted
in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming,
recording or otherwise, without written permission from the Publisher, with the
exception of any material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and
executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work.
v
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Setting the Stage for Co-Creation in Higher Education vii
Tatiana Chemi and Lone Krogh
1. Re-Thinking Curriculum for 21st-Century Learners: Examining the
Advantages and Disadvantages of Adding Co-Creative Aspects to
Problem-Based Learning 1
Annie Aarup Jensen and Lone Krogh
2. Co-Creating Knowledge: Students and Teachers Together in a Field of
Emergence 15
Ann-Merete Iversen and Anni Stavnskær Pedersen
3. Facilitating Reective Learning and Co-Creative Teaching by Portfolios
in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) 31
Chunfang Zhou, Ole Ravn and Xiangyun Du
4. Teaching Co-Creation in Higher Education through Dance Exercises 49
Claus Springborg
5. Co-Creation in PBL Project Work 67
Ole Ravn
6. A Cogenerative Dialogue: Reflecting on Education for Co-Creation 83
Henrik Find Fladkjær and Kathrin Otrel-Cass
7. Theatre as Co-Creative Space and as Inspiration for Higher Education 99
Tatiana Chemi and Pierangelo Pompa
8. Co-Creating the Joy of Writing: Creative Analytical Writing Practices 117
Charlotte Wegener
9. Co-Creating Meaning through Artful Inquiry 131
Lotte Darsø
10. Arts-Involving Burning Man Festival as Co-Creation in Social
Education Studies 151
Julie Borup Jensen
TABLE OF CONTENTS
vi
11. Bizchange: Co-Design Meetings to Enable Stakeholder-Supported
Design Moves 167
Sune Gudiksen, Søren Bolvig Poulsen, Mads Kunø, Søren Iversen,
Joakim Glerup, Klaus Greve True, Emilie Holst, Nanna Schmidt,
Helle Tetzschner and Klaus Gregersen
12. Teaching Co-Creation: Paradoxes in Rock and Pop Ensemble Classes 205
Turid Nørlund Christensen
13. Designing Learning for Co-Creation: Conceptual and Practical
Considerations 225
Dorina Gnaur and Inger Marie Larsen-Nielsen
About the Authors 247
vii
TATIANA CHEMI AND LONE KROGH
SETTING THE STAGE FOR CO-CREATION
IN HIGHER EDUCATION
RETHINKING CO-CREATION
With this introductory chapter we wish to set the stage for the perspectives behind
the present contribution. The broad field to which our research studies ascribe
will be presented and the structure of the book unfolded. Our ambition is not to
review exhaustively the many – and still growing in number – contributions that
have been dedicated to the investigation of co-creative practices. Rather, we wish
to make visible and explicit the common thread among the different chapters, as
well as to relate our contributions to a specific field of studies and a specific need
for knowledge. First of all, we should spend some words to clarify the concept of
co-creation.
Contributions on co-creation have so far touched upon specific themes, such as:
design thinking
product innovation
organisational development
social innovation/management research
student direction
conceptual research in general
Contributions that make use of the concept of co-creation are primarily design
and business oriented. Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) are often mentioned as
the initiators of co-creative discourses. However, their perspective on co-creation
is confined to the market discourse. In their understanding, co-creation is related to
the value creation that customers-market relations can generate bringing new values
into the market. Their ground-breaking role is recognised, probably on the grounds
that they were the first to write about optimising customer experiences through co-
creation (co-opting).
Degnegaard’s review (2014) considers a wide range of disciplines in his
specification of the concept and we consider this as a good place to start. We refer
to his review for a thorough conceptual stage setting. Sanders and Stappers (2008),
instead, represent one of the major research areas in co-creation: design thinking.
Voorberg et al. (2014) contribute with a review that is focused on social innovation.
Camargo-Borges and Rasera (2013) represent a second direction within co-creation:
a social constructivist perspective on organisational development. As Degnegaard
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T. CHEMI & L. KROGH
(2014, p. 99) clearly illustrates, business and social studies are the areas that have
mostly contributed to reflections on and applications of the concept of co-creation.
He therefore concludes that “there is very little research-based literature so far
on how the field of co-creation has developed, and of how the concept is being
established and on the future trajectory of the concept of co-creation” (Degnegaard,
2014, p. 96). Regarding the design thinking perspective, we refer to Liedtka’s
extensive work (2014) and her collaboration with Ogilvie (Liedtka & Ogilvie, 2011).
Our anthology focuses on approaches to teaching and learning in Higher
Education (HE) with a special focus on collaborative, co-creative and distributed
perspectives. As such, it aims to follow up on research in the area of co-creation and
to apply it in the new context represented by Higher Education. With this collection
of articles, we wish to show the diversity of approaches to co-creation, on the one
hand and, on the other, we intend to give a specific direction to these studies, which
is humanistic, sociological, creative and pedagogical – a direction that is still in need
of further investigation and research into co-creative practices. In accordance with
our purpose, we look at co-creation as the process of creative (original and valuable)
generation of shared meaning and development.
HIGHER EDUCATION: CHALLENGES
HE institutions are here seen in the light of the societal developments and of recent
directions in academic workplaces, nationally and internationally. The academic
labour market has been changing rapidly during recent decades and new developmental
tendencies in how to handle the development and its challenges have led to the fact
that higher educational pedagogies are emerging (Krogh, 2013). Educating students
to be able to develop skills that will prepare them to manage personal as well as
social and occupational challenges in ever-changing, global and technology-based
settings is progressively becoming the aim of educational institutions. According to
the transformations in society, HE institutions are changing their very roles, from
focusing on research and teaching to having focus on research, teaching and more
effective learning. This includes keeping their attention on the emotional, sensory,
affective and psychological sides of learning and teaching, together with a general
approach to curriculum development that is creative and innovative. At the same time,
these ideals have to face a harsh reality: the number of students is increasing more and
more. This makes motivational, relational and affective issues even more relevant.
We have to ask ourselves, are the students increasingly unengaged and detached? And
are the HE institutions able to engage and challenge students optimally? However,
we know from research and experiences (Aarup Jensen, 2015) that students seem to
react according to the structures, culture, and human beings (staff) they meet in the
educational systems, if we as educators invite and allow them to do so. Therefore, we
must not underestimate the influence that the institutional system and staff have on
the students’ learning and development. If we wish to prepare our students for a yet
unknown future, we must work on academic excellence, as well as psycho-affective
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SETTING THE STAGE FOR CO-CREATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION
readiness (mindfulness, resilience, collaborative processes, creativity). How can the
HE institutions of the future prepare for this educational task?
We know a great deal about what makes learning happen (Ramsden, 2003;
Gibbs & Tang, 2007), and in HE institutions a large number of teachers carry out
experiments that approach and involve the students in such a way that they learn
skills and abilities to meet future challenges.
In Denmark, principles of collaborative and co-creative learning have found their
institutional places. Aalborg and Roskilde universities have for years been organising
their pedagogy based on principles such as problem-based learning (PBL), student-
led directions and participation, students taking on responsibilities and teachers as
supervisors, facilitators (Bovill, 2011). At other institutions (e.g. UCN1 in Denmark,
Uppsala University/CEMUS2 in Sweden), principles such as learner-led (Iversen
et al., 2015) and co-creation processes in teaching activities have resulted in
increased student engagement and involvement, and high-level learning outcomes.
It is not simple to change educational cultures. Many diverging interests,
traditions, values, and emotions are influencing these changes and the very possibility
of them happening.
This book will cover and document new research within aspects of working with
teaching and learning approaches aimed at empowering students to handle their lives
during their education and towards an occupational life.
There is not one way of doing this, all kinds of teaching strategies must be based
on very essential curricular arguments for making the relevant choices for doing it.
We refer here to the principles of alignment (Biggs & Tang, 2007) or the educational
design (Dale, 1999; Jank & Meyer, 2006).
The basic themes we are interested in researching are:
Problem-based learning (PBL)
Co-creation
Learner-led teaching
Student-centred approaches
Assessment
Arts-based methods
Collaborative dynamics
Interconnection of cognition/emotion
Creativity in HE
WHY CO-CREATION?
The relevance of investigations and research on the concept and practices of co-
creation is many-sided. The concept is intuitively perceived and understood, as is the
experience of shared values across different stakeholders. Not as intuitive, though,
are the ways in which individuals and groups can develop awareness of the practices
that are linked to co-creative experiences.
x
T. CHEMI & L. KROGH
Within the framework of Higher Education this is even more relevant: for a future
that needs to strengthen human relationships and practices of sharing, the ability
(or disposition) of creating a shared value in spite of differences is strategically
fundamental.
Can we envision and describe co-creation as deliberate research strategy for
the future? Can we imagine a future where co-creation is a deliberate pedagogical
strategy?
Often educators work with co-creation in their teaching but lack a context to
reflect, analyse and conceptualise their co-creative practices. With this book based
on our research in different HE areas, we wish to engage in a conversation with
scholars, researchers and practitioners, and we wish to think together with educators
about co-creation, as a framework that can explain relational dynamics in Higher
Education for society in the future.
Our target group is an international community of scholars, researchers,
educators, artists, leaders and consultants at Higher Education institutions. Our book
is primarily aimed at an academic reader. However, reflective practitioners within
adult education in a broader sense might be interested in the topic, especially if
their profession involves educational or organisational tasks (adult learning or life-
long learning). Moreover, the book is meant as inspiration for educators, facilitators
and leaders, who are interested in the concept of co-creation and its applications in
different HE educational areas. At academic level, we believe that several graduate
and postgraduate courses can actively use the book, as a teaching or inspiration
resource.
We suggest that attention to co-creative processes is a trend that is going to grow
in the future, together with the growing of interest in creative solutions for future
education and organisation. With the global focus on our main and intertwined
themes, we intend to address an international audience of scholars in the Western
world as well as countries with growing economies. Where, globally, countries have
conceptualised and formulated a strategic interest in the field of Higher Education,
we can offer original and relevant research.
It is our hope that this book will inspire a large target group from the fields of
education, pedagogy, leadership, consulting and development. Last but not least, we
wish to contribute meaningfully to the future development of these fields, opening
up new debates on co-creation and on how to prepare our students in the best way to
handle academic tasks and challenges in the future.
BOOK STRUCTURE
The present volume is the product of a co-creative process that the authors went
through and that we, as editors, facilitated. The chapters cover a variety of topics and
interventions within Higher Education. Their authors have worked collaboratively,
giving each other feedback and suggestions. This generated internal conversations
that – hopefully – generated a shared value for all.
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SETTING THE STAGE FOR CO-CREATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION
In Chapter 1, Re-thinking curriculum for 21st-century learners – Examining the
advantages and disadvantages of adding co-creative aspects to Problem-Based
Learning, Annie Aarup Jensen and Lone Krogh discuss an experiment of changing
curriculum in the direction of students, to a greater degree, becoming ‘leaders’ of
their own learning processes and how this can be done within the formal framework
of an educational programme. They argue that the Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
principles as they are practiced at Aalborg University with focus on concepts such
as student direction, problem solving, peer feedback and teachers facilitating the
learning processes and the competence development can be transferred to other
teaching areas. The case in point is a 1st year BA in Organisational Learning,
where an experiment was carried out. Students were offered the possibility of
participating in co-creative and collaborative processes with the teachers as far
as the formal framework of the programme allowed. Some of the results of the
experiment are presented. Among other things they show that most students wish
to be a part of the co-creation processes regarding teaching activities. However,
some also seem to prioritise more traditional teaching forms. From the results they
also see that introducing these kinds of change in an educational institution is not
necessarily an easy task for neither teachers nor students, as it entails a shift in
roles for both.
In Chapter 2, Co-creating knowledge – students and teachers together in a
field of emergence, Ann-Merete Iversen and Anni Stavnskær Pedersen introduce
co-creative processes as a means to re-inventing teaching in Higher Education.
A methodological approach is presented in which significant parts of knowledge
production and knowledge exchange are based on co-creative generative dialogue
between students and teachers. It is argued that co-creative methodology enhances
the societal relevance of education and at the same time prepares students for
becoming 21st-century knowledge workers.
Chapter 3, Facilitating reflective learning and co-creative teaching by portfolios
in problem-based learning (PBL), will mainly focus on how the development of
teaching portfolios can facilitate new teaching staff’s reflective capability in
a PBL environment. Chunfang Zhou, Ole Ravn, and Xiangyun Du look at the
social theories of learning that regard a co-created curriculum model as a basis for
developing a community of practice, as in PBL, where all learners and teachers
are reflective partners who contribute to a joint enterprise, a shared repertoire and
mutual engagement. One of the authors of this chapter describes how reflective
didactic experiences were developed by her teaching portfolio through participation
in the university pedagogy programme at Aalborg University (AAU), Denmark. The
discussion of this case leads to the following findings: (1) the teaching portfolio
is an effective means of facilitating new staff’s self-enhancement and shaping
professional identity towards being a reflective teacher, and (2) the teaching portfolio
is an effective means of building reflective conversations for oneself and between
supervisors in a PBL staff development programme, and of developing the value of
co-creation in a PBL environment.
xii
T. CHEMI & L. KROGH
In Chapter 4, Teaching co-creation in higher education through dance exercises,
Claus Springborg explores how to use exercises from improvised couples dances,
such as tango and contact improvisation, to teach four co-creation capabilities:
Voicing, listening, respecting, and suspending (Isaacs, 1999). He first looks at
the challenge of teaching these co-creation skills from two related perspectives:
deutero-learning (Bateson, 1972a) and embodied neural metaphors (Lakoff, 2012;
Springborg, 2015). The perspective of deutero-learning highlights that an important
part of learning co-creation skills is the process of internalising the structure of the
learning context itself. The perspective of embodied neural metaphors highlights the
importance of considering which sensory-motor experiences students are exposed to
within the learning context and whether these can be used as embodied metaphors
for the more abstract co-creation skills and concepts taught. The author proposes
how exercises elsewhere used to teach improvised couples dance can provide both
a learning environment structure and direct sensory experiences, useful for the
teaching of co-creation skills, such as voicing, listening, respecting, and suspending.
In Chapter 5, Co-creation in PBL project work, Ole Ravn uses the notion of
co-creation in the particular context of higher education where the teaching by
supervisors and the learning processes of students are entangled in a co-creative
process in a PBL setting. The scenario is the situation where the teaching process
is developed continuously during meetings with students and the specific content
is what students bring into the teaching and learning situation. And the students’
learning processes and knowledge production are shaped and formed by a co-
creative process, fuelled by their own and the supervisor’s contributions. Based on
the above reflections on the key elements in the area of teacher-student co-creation,
this chapter takes as its problem formulation: how can a supervisor establish an open
space for a co-creative process between supervisor and a group of students?
The approach to developing a vocabulary about this open space for co-
creativity falls into three steps. First, the idea is to pinpoint more clearly how we
can conceptualise the open space for co-creative processes in education. Here the
framework developed by Helle Alrø and Ole Skovsmose in their study of dialogical
processes in education is discussed. Their work builds, among other sources, on
Paulo Freire’s ideas of dialogical pedagogy.
Secondly, the idea is to look into supervision approaches and discuss how they
relate to the developed co-creative process space. Finally the chapter establishes
some reflections on how to open the co-creative space in a fruitful way.
In chapter 6, A cogenerative dialogue: reflecting on education for co-creation,
Henrik Find Fladkjær and Kathrin Otrel-Cass utilise Roth & Tobin’s method of
cogenerative dialogue (2001) to co-construct and analyse a teaching innovation.
The teaching innovation was based on the principle of peer learning and involved
students going through cycles of evaluating, critiquing and co-constructing their
learning. More specifically, students discussed first in groups with a more senior
peer, then paired up with an opponent student to discuss each other’s projects, not
only to share feedback but also to come up with solutions. The authors’ cogeneration
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SETTING THE STAGE FOR CO-CREATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION
foregrounded different insights and voices and how they have come together to
formulate a joint product, this chapter.
In Chapter 7, Theatre as co-creative space and as inspiration for higher education,
Tatiana Chemi and Pierangelo Pompa look at collaboration in the theatrical creative
process, which defines a very interesting and fertile paradigm for all kind of co-
creative dynamics. Theatre can be co-creative or not. Theatrical co-creation implies
structurally a pedagogical and ethical process, since it is founded on the development
of embodied skills and values, which are always, by their own technical nature,
relational and social. In the extra-daily time and space of theatre laboratory work,
the traditional notion of authoriality is abandoned, and a collective body-mind arises
as an unforeseeable discovery for each individual.
In Chapter 8, Co-creating the joy of writing: creative analytical writing practices,
Charlotte Wegener suggests a way to think about and teach creative co-created
writing practices that makes writing a key to both learning and identity building for
students. It suggests ways in which writing becomes a way of thinking, learning and
being in the world, and allows for joy. The chapter presents examples from writing
supervision based on a model of three drivers for creative co-created writing called
‘the Toolbox’, ‘the Building Materials’ and ‘the Building’.
The purpose of Chapter 9, Co-creating meaning through Artful Inquiry, is to
point out the need for aesthetic and artful methods for reflection, learning and co-
creation. The context is management education focused on developing innovation
competency. The data derive from action research, observations and written reports.
The main contribution of this chapter is the introduction of a model for Artful Inquiry,
which involves constructing powerful questions and finding appropriate artistic
methods for reflecting and for co-creating with people or with artistic material. Lotte
Darsø argues that Artful Inquiry can access deeper layers of knowing, which would
otherwise remain tacit and non-conscious. The findings show how new insights can
be obtained through drawing with dominant and non-dominant hands and through
reflecting with artistic processes. The material ‘speaks back’ in surprising ways,
metaphorically and symbolically. Also the impact of leadership icons, as well as co-
creating with tangible materials, can give rise to new meaning and transformational
learning.
In Chapter 10, Arts-involving Burning Man festival as co-creation in social
education studies, Julie Borup Jensen addresses the topic of co-creation in student
learning processes concerning democracy and citizenship in social education studies
at the Danish University College, Northern Jutland. The co-creational effects of
experimenting with an arts-involving festival, inspired by the new Nevada Desert
event Burning Man, in collaboration with pedagogical staff and residents of
local refugee and immigrant institutions and local communities, are investigated
by means of socio-cultural and cultural-psychological perspectives on learning
processes. Original data is drawn from a qualitative action research project that
aimed at developing practice and knowledge about arts involvement in the local
social education programme. The study revealed potential and challenges in respect
xiv
T. CHEMI & L. KROGH
of using artistic and aesthetic expressions, methods and activities as a way of
framing the co-creational aspects of student learning within the area of democracy
and citizenship. The findings show that working with co-creation in teaching may
lead to community building, building of relationships within the local community,
visibility in society and, last but not least, student learning and development of
understanding of democracy in practice. The findings also indicate that there are
challenges in respect of scaffolding a co-creational process that requires a great deal
of negotiation of responsibility and participation.
In Chapter 11, Bizchange: co-design meetings to enable stakeholder-supported
design moves, Sune Gudiksen, Søren Bolvig Poulsen et al. take their point of
departure in co-creation as a design negotiation endeavour. Through an engaged
scholarship approach and in a four-month course BizChange, they describe a series
of co-design meetings in three different digital media student-company cases. In
particular, they explore in what way the students manage to get across perspectives,
ideas and concepts to decision makers and stakeholders. This includes how to
approach stakeholder involvement and associated constraints, the inclusion of
experienced peers to spot blind spots and the use of co-design negotiation tools as a
means of involving a circle of stakeholders.
In Chapter 12, Teaching co-creation: paradoxes in rock and pop ensemble
classes, Turid Nørlund Christensen looks at the domain of arts-based rock and
pop music, where co-creative processes are essential in the artistic formation of an
authentic and original band expression. However, methods for teaching the tacit
knowledge of these artistic co-creative competences in Higher Education have yet
to be developed. Teaching ensemble playing from an artistic co-creative perspective
was researched from an instructor’s point of view in a pedagogic development
project at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus (RAMA). An ensemble course was
designed and facilitated through problem-finding group improvisations, mimicking
the exploratory process of co-creative rock bands. Experience-based group
reflections were facilitated, aiming at identifying and transforming the domain-
specific tacit knowledge to propositional knowledge from a social constructivist
perspective. The didactics and methodology were conceptualised from a pragmatic
approach to interdisciplinary research in co-creation, co-design, social systems,
cultural sociology, psychology, educational theory, dramaturgy, and domain-specific
aesthetic and educational studies, and researched using audio recordings, feedback
from students, class notes and self-observations.
Two main contributions resulted:
Structures for a co-creative educational design approach, incorporating the
informal educational characteristics of rock and pop ensembles and corresponding
learning objectives.
A mapping of the structural elements of the educational co-design approach and
corresponding co-creative competences, derived from the aesthetic characteristics
of rock and pop ensembles.
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SETTING THE STAGE FOR CO-CREATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION
In Chapter 13, Designing learning for co-creation – conceptual and practical
considerations, Dorina Gnaur and Inger Marie Larsen-Nielsen explore the practical
implications of the concept of co-creation in a professional context from an
educational point of view. The question they are posing themselves is: how can higher
and further education (HE) educate for co-creation, that is, provide educational
frameworks that respond to the societal demand for co-creation, particularly within
the public welfare sector? First, they focus on which organisational and individual
requirements an HE learning design should take into account in order to support the
diffusion of co-creation competences. Then they argue for the need to integrate these
considerations in the learning design and demonstrate a practical application in the
form of a didactical design. They call this a hybrid learning design, in that it takes
advantage of technological developments to mediate co-creative learning in multiple
learning environments.
NOTES
1 University College North Jutland.
2 The Centre for Environment and Development Studies.
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T. CHEMI & L. KROGH
Aarup Jensen, A. (2015). How does it feel to become a master’s student? Boundary crossing and emotions
related to understanding a new educational context. In B. Lund & T. Chemi (Eds.), Dealing with
emotions: A pedagogical challenge to innovative learning. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense
Publishers.
Tatiana Chemi
Department of Learning and Philosophy
Aalborg University
Lone Krogh
Department of Learning and Philosophy
Aalborg University
T. Chemi & L. Krogh (Eds.), Co-Creation in Higher Education, 1–14.
© 2017 Sense Publishers. All rights reserved.
ANNIE AARUP JENSEN AND LONE KROGH
1. RE-THINKING CURRICULUM FOR
21ST-CENTURY LEARNERS
Examining the Advantages and Disadvantages of Adding
Co-Creative Aspects to Problem-Based Learning
Through whom is Denmark going to live in the future? We must live by our
children. We do not know what they are going to do. But we know that they
are the ones who will drive everything. And the best we can do for them is to
prepare them for a future that no one knows what it will look like. Therefore,
what is happening in the education system, public and private, is paramount.
For this is where the preparation for to the unknown and unpredictable happens.
This is where our children can be fired with self-awareness, competences and
confidence. With perceptions of what talents they carry. With professional skills
to think and act, academically and creatively. And with confidence to meet the
unpredictable future with the belief that precisely what they personally have to
offer is worth something. That precisely their contribution can help to change
things, and not only to be victims of change.
(Claus Buhl, Nyhedsbloggen Information 13. January 2012.
Translated from Danish by the authors)
INTRODUCTION
Why is it relevant to re-think curriculum in Higher Education? Society and the
labour markets have in many ways been undergoing dramatic changes during past
decades. This has been explained as being a change from the industrial society to the
information society, the knowledge society, and even to the learning economy and
society (Lundval, 2008). Academic working life – whether we talk about the private
or public sector – has become more complex and unpredictable, technologically as
well as in terms of work functions, qualifications, competencies, values and attitudes
among employers and employees. The changes have had an impact on jobs, work
functions and company structures, as well as on industrial dynamics. However, they
have also had an important impact on everyday social life and on the dynamics of
the economy and society (Sennett, 2006). The changes not only have an impact on
society in general and on firms and institutions as such. They also seem to affect
relationships between people in all their mutual activities.
A. AARUP JENSEN & L. KROGH
2
These tendencies influence the requirements for professional and personal
competencies of academic and scientific staff. Relating to the professional foundation
of disciplines within the individual subject area and profession, there is a demand for
abilities in development, planning, knowledge processing, theoretical reflection and
problem solving (Globalisation Council, 2006).
Regarding the student perspective, an international Education Advisory Board
(Learning in the 21st Century) has been bold enough to come up with some
suggestions regarding how to name 21st-century student (the millennials). These
students represent the generation born during the previous century. At a general level
they seem – according to investigations done by the Education Advisory Board – to
be able to react and act according to changes in society. In the paper, they characterise
this generation of students in general terms as follows,
They like to be in control, but they do not want to be bound by traditional
schedules, and they do not necessarily want to sit in a classroom to learn. Instead,
they prefer to use technology to study at any time of the day or night, … and they
want to define “balance” in that in their own individual ways.
They like choices. In project-based environments, they use technology to complete
tasks in new and creative ways. They are group-oriented and social. Relentlessly
exposed to the world through the media.
They are highly collaborative; sharing what they learn with others actually helps
them in creating their own personal identities.
They are inclusive, because their generation has been taught to be tolerant of all
kind of races, religions and sexual orientations.
They are users of digital technology, as ICT has always been part of their lives.
They think differently. They simply accept technology, adapt to it and use it.
They are more likely to take risks.
They value time off because they consider life as being uncertain.
We might assume that the developments they are experiencing regarding changes
in society, in IT, in internationalisation and global conflicts, in their personal and
school lives so far have put them on track to meet the challenges for their future in
societies undergoing continuous changes. However, it is important to be aware that
we also see many young students having difficulties in handling all these challenges.
This only emphasises the importance of focusing to a much greater degree on the
individual student’s prerequisites in educational settings.
According to Ananiadou and Claro (2009) developments in society and economy
require educational systems to support young people in acquiring the skills and
competencies that allow them to benefit from emerging new forms of socialisation
and to contribute actively to economic development in a system where the main asset
is knowledge. These skills and competencies are often referred to as 21st-century
skills and competencies, in order to indicate that they are more related to the needs of
the emerging models of economic and social development than to those of the past
century, which were primarily suited to an industrial mode of production. Comparing
RE-THINKING CURRICULUM FOR 21ST-CENTURY LEARNERS
3
the above-mentioned characteristics of 21st-century learners with the demands for
21st-century skills and competencies, it seems that students, generally speaking, not
only are ready to acquire and develop these types of skills, but also expect a change
from traditional teaching and learning methods in the direction of more innovative
methods. They are collaborative risk takers and media literates, and they are already
themselves practicing new and alternative ways of informal learning.
Back in 1998, Boud and Marton emphasised in their research that Higher Education
(HE) institutions have the responsibility to ensure students become prepared for an
unknown future. HE institutions have, according to the two researchers, to make
sure that students learn the basic academic skills in order to continuously be able to
solve unforeseen problems in a diversity of professional and private situations. Their
answer to the demands of the unknown future was thus focused on students learning
basic academic skills, and they recommended learning these skills during education
through innovative teaching and learning strategies and methods.
Continuously developing curriculum is the foundation for building education that
will meet the demands of society and the workplace. But there is no doubt that,
when the politicians cut investment in a system and regulate the financial resources
spent on education, this is the ultimate reason for the HE1 system to change. The
huge access to HE by students during the last decade (education in Denmark is free),
together with the reduction in finances, have become the driving force to re-think
education in HE institutions. Furthermore, the Danish government has increased its
focus on the quality of education and teaching, to ensure that economic resources
are spent as intended and that the amount spent is worthwhile. Here, an important
question is how the government defines quality. Some of their focus is centred on
issues such as transparency, students’ experience of meaningfulness, relevance, and
employability. The Expert Committee on Quality in Higher Education in Denmark
established by the Danish Government (2014) published two reports, in Winter
2015 and Spring 2016, in which several of the above-mentioned quality issues were
pointed out. Furthermore, the Danish Accreditation Institution published an analysis
report in 2015, based on knowledge from the accreditation process at the Danish
Accreditation Institution, supplemented by interviews with selected informants and
stakeholders from the educational sector. The analyses showed that, despite the
varied and comprehensive work being done by the educational institutions to ensure
the relevance of their programmes, it is important to improve the match between
graduate competencies and demands from labour markets.
From the above-mentioned arguments, and from the focus of politicians and
stakeholders, it follows that we need to reconsider how study programmes are organised
and how resources are used in order to be able to educate our students for society and
for the future academic and scientific labour market, in the most relevant ways.
In this chapter we investigate how and to what extent an existing pedagogical
model based on problem orientation and student direction may be further developed
to take into account the above-mentioned factors and meet the expectations of the
21st-century learner. We will do this by first presenting the existing pedagogical
A. AARUP JENSEN & L. KROGH
4
model (Problem-based Learning – PBL) and what it requires of students to
participate. Based on this, we analyse an experiment that aimed at increasing student
contribution and responsibility through co-creative processes. The results are related
to the concepts of co-creation, learning conditions and the 21st-century learner.
THE PEDAGOGICAL MODEL – PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING
The pedagogical framework of the experiment is problem orientation and student-
directed learning based on the principles of the Aalborg University PBL model.
Problem-based learning, project work, etc. are concepts that are used widely and
with different meanings, integrated into varying educational designs and with
different kinds of goals. The original idea and theoretical foundation of problem-
based project work, in a Danish context, were formulated by the Danish researcher
K. Illeris (1974) in his seminal book‚ Problem orientation and participant direction:
An introduction to alternative didactics. The PBL pedagogies at Aalborg University
have been developed from these original principles since the 1970s. Exemplarity,
open curriculum, interdisciplinary and experience-based learning, peer learning,
and collaborative learning in groups are important concepts (Aarup Jensen &
Krogh, 2013). These concepts will be further explained in the following sections.
Basic Principles of Problem-Based Project Work
Illeris lists three categories of qualifications which appeared to be necessary for the
development of society at that time: (1) skills which can be defined in direct relation
to a given task or work process, (2) adaptive qualifications of a general character and
comprising attitudinal characteristics (e.g. diligence, perseverance, vigilance etc.)
– combined with a willingness to apply these characteristics in relation to work, to
accept and adapt to existing work processes, (3) creative/innovative qualifications that
may be divided into qualifications for scientific, innovative work and qualifications
for continuous renewal and the ability to collaborate (Illeris, pp. 32–35). Referring
to Piaget, Illeris understands accommodative learning processes as a prerequisite for
creativity. From this point of departure, he describes an expedient learning process
that allows for the development of skills, adaptive ability and creativity in a process
which alternates between accommodative processes (the creation of new cognitive
structures) and assimilative processes (the incorporation of new material in the
individual’s existing structures). Such alternating processes are a precondition of
students’ ability to acquire holistic competencies that comprise skills, an adaptive
ability and creative qualifications (Illeris, pp. 76–77).
Illeris developed these ideas further, suggesting an alternative didactic concept –
problem-oriented project work, characterised by:
Problem orientation, which means that the point of departure is the subject-
related knowledge, methods and theories relevant to the specific problem, rather
RE-THINKING CURRICULUM FOR 21ST-CENTURY LEARNERS
5
than a narrow discipline-bound theme or task. Consequently, interdisciplinarity
becomes a core principle.
Participant direction, which means that the students define the problem and
choose the work methods.
These are important principles for the creation of possibilities for the
accommodative learning processes, which are necessary for developing creativity
and flexibility. This is important to emphasise, because if teachers or the educational
system determine the problems for students to work on, and how students are
supposed to work with problems, there may be a transgression of the traditional
borders between disciplines, but new political agendas may delimit and constrict
the students’ work in the same way as the traditional disciplinary borders would
do, thus hindering students’ accommodative learning processes (Illeris, 1982).
In other words, the possibility of creativity and innovation relies on students’
ownership of their projects and their freedom and responsibility to find and define
the problem to research. With this freedom and responsibility also comes a demand
for academic skills, such as analytical skills, critical reflection and communicative
and cooperative skills. These are examples of the accommodative learning processes
that students (are expected to) go through during their collaborative work on the
project. Accommodative learning processes are demanding and will only take
place in situations of significance for the individual student, where something is
at stake. Otherwise, the individual student will dismiss the problem or assimilate
it, i.e. integrate it into already established cognitive structures (Illeris, pp. 82–83).
Therefore it is important that the individual student is motivated and engaged in the
problem and the process of researching it.
The principles are:
Exemplarity, which means working with the important and representative aspects,
which exemplify the area of the discipline in question.
Group work. Students collaborate in groups on problem finding and problem
solving. In this way they learn the difficult art of collaboration, communication
and project leadership.
Practicing the PBL Project Work
Typically, the problem-based project work will go through the following phases,
Selection of the subject and the first reflections on relevant problems;
Problem formulation of the project – a dynamic process which continues
throughout the project period;
Methodological reflections and decisions on how to research and solve the
questions raised in the problem formulation;
Project work (i.e. theoretical and empirical work, perhaps involving
experiments);
A. AARUP JENSEN & L. KROGH
6
Production of project report (sometimes involving descriptions of reflections on
work processes); and
Product evaluation and if necessary – product adjustment.
The role of the teachers is to act as supervisors/facilitators and to offer the students
formative assessment and feedback during their project work in order to provide
valuable input in the process. Sometimes fellow students give feedback, organised
as opponent seminars.
Problem-based project work may be interpreted and implemented in a number
of different ways, according to educational institutions, disciplines, subjects,
and learning goals. There may be varying degrees of free choice regarding the
specific problem, subject area, and method, and the project work may differ
in size (ECTS2 points), i.e. the students’ workload per semester. At Aalborg
University problem-oriented project work generally accounts for 50% of the
study activities. The remaining 50% consists of course work, lectures, workshops,
assignments etc. The study activities should support and inspire students in their
project work.
During the project work the groups are assigned a supervisor with whom they
discuss their problem formulation/research questions, progression of their work and
the chapters of the project report. This report will be the final documentation of
their work over the project period and form the basis of their oral examination,
which will take place with all group members present. The role of the supervisor/
facilitator is important both as discussant for the group and as controller/
representative of the study programme, in terms of ensuring that the subject area
of the project lies within the framework of the formal study regulation. The role
as discussant also means asking critical questions, turning the students’ attention
to weak or questionable points in their work as well as commending the good
points. Furthermore, the supervisor/facilitator may recommend literature, theories,
methods of research etc. It is, however, essential to mention that the supervisor does
not take over the project, but that the students remain the ‘owners’ of the project and
make their own decisions.
Some elements of PBL are key points that we consider relevant to transfer into
other kinds of learning arenas. The elements in question are:
student direction, where students are the owners and the managers of their own
research and learning processes in investigating subject-relevant problems,
students defining and leading the learning processes towards defining methods of
finding solutions for the problems, and
teachers as collaborative partners, not taking ownership of the students’ work, but
instead having the role of facilitating their learning processes.
National and international research has documented that most students are well
motivated and curious when they start on HE programmes (Ramsden, 2003; Biggs
& Tang, 2007, Iversen et al., 2015).
RE-THINKING CURRICULUM FOR 21ST-CENTURY LEARNERS
7
We also know from working with and doing research in relation to the pedagogies
in the Aalborg PBL model (Problem-based Learning), that most students can manage
individual as well as collaborative learning processes, when it is expected of them
and clearly signalled to them, although they may be collaborating with fellow
students with diverse backgrounds. However, we also realise that many students
lose motivation and interest for the study if they experience teaching activities and
a culture where they are not taken seriously and if the culture signals distance and
academic arrogance (Ramsden, 2003, Biggs & Tang, 2007).
The learning processes involved for the students in the Aalborg PBL model
as described regard both the subject-related content of the project work, and the
basic academic skills of finding the (right) problem to investigate/the right research
question, doing research, negotiating meaning with peers/fellow students, discussing
and arguing, critical thinking, and written communication. These are aspects that
are, in a sense, already covered by the pedagogy in the Aalborg PBL model as it has
been practiced for years – or should ideally be covered. At the same time, principles
such as student direction, collaboration with fellow students and problem solving
fit with the characteristics of the 21st-century students aiming at meeting the 21st-
century demands described above. Analysing the potentials of the PBL model we
decided to expand the principles of this model to cover more aspects of the activities.
CO-CREATION IN EDUCATION
Our inspiration for the concept of co-creation is from the business world, where
the concept was introduced by Prahalad and Ramaswamy in 2000 in the article
Co-creating Customer Competence (2000) in Harvard Business Review. Here the
authors refer to the fact that consumers often seem to be ignored as the factor that
most radically transforms the industrial system. In the light of this understanding of
co-creation, they were moved out of their role as passive recipients (“audience”),
to that of active participants, co-creating about developing products and services.
The authors argued that, by doing this, customers are fundamentally changing
the dynamics of the marketplace, with marketplaces becoming forums where the
consumers play an active role in establishing values.
Although there are contemporary discourses positioning students as customers and
universities as marketplaces providing services and products, i.e. education for the
marketplace, we will take a different view of the concept of co-creation and move
it beyond the business terminology and into the realm of education. The principles
we will take from the above-mentioned understanding are the inherent respect for
students, the importance of their active participation and openness to their contribution
in establishing value in the educational process. From Degnegaard’s overview of
the development of the concept of co-creation, it appears that the application of the
concept may be divided into the following streams (Degnegaard, 2014):
Co-creating shared meaning (often in a socio-constructivist perspective)
A. AARUP JENSEN & L. KROGH
8
Co-creating user experience and shared value (marketing and service perspective)
Co-creating technological solutions (ICT perspective)
Co-creating ideas and new products and services (related to the concept of
innovation)
Human-centred co-creation (settings for design and research)
We draw on the strands of interest to educationally related issues and terminology.
To us, the interesting issue is how to design settings that may support the co-creation
of knowledge, shared meaning and peer-to-peer production. Such approaches call
for openness to change in the understanding of both teacher and student role.
Based on the overall PBL principles as framework, combined with these principles
of co-creation, we designed a pilot period for the first semester of a bachelor study
programme in organisational learning, thus taking the PBL model a step further.
The rationale behind the experiment was therefore a mix between the pedagogical
principles of the PBL learning model applied at Aalborg University, and selected
principles of co-creation.
CASE DESCRIPTION
The context of the experiment is first year students at BA level in the study
programme of Organisational Learning at Aalborg University. The aim of the
programme is to educate students to be able to analyse, support and manage learning
and knowledge-based development in private and public organisations in the light
of national and international development in society. The subject areas are social
science, organisational development and learning at macro, meso and micro level.
Within this framework we wished to create learning scenarios where students from
day one of their study were expected to involve themselves and participate actively
in supporting their own and their fellow students’ learning processes.
The Framework of the Programme
The BA degree in Organisational Learning is a 3-year research-based full-time
programme, equivalent to 180 ECTS. It aims at giving students an introduction to
the social sciences and methods that provide the basis for understanding, analysing,
supporting and managing learning and knowledge-based development in private and
public organisations. Typical business functions will be as development consultant,
quality staff member, innovation employee, occupational health consultant, job
consultant and HR consultant. The programme is organised inter-disciplinarily,
and is problem-based and practice-oriented, based on organisation theory, learning
theory, sociology of knowledge, innovation theory and related disciplines as well as
science, methodology and evaluation.
Our research covers the 1st semester where the basis for the content and
programme in the whole education is established. The programme follows the PBL
RE-THINKING CURRICULUM FOR 21ST-CENTURY LEARNERS
9
model as described above, and a problem-oriented project is the focus of the first
semester. In the first semester there are altogether four modules:
Module 1: Problem-Based Learning (PBL I) (5 ECTS)
Module 2: Organisation and Society (15 ECTS)
Module 3: Problem-Based Learning (PBL II) (5 ECTS)
Module 4: Cognition processes and production of knowledge. (5 ECTS)
The students work with two projects. The first project (PBL I), the pilot project,
was chosen as the context for the experiment. It was assessed after 4 weeks. This
first project forms the basis for the next two modules.
Input for Change
As mentioned, the study programme in question is new. There had been some
difficulties the year before with some discontent being voiced and some students
dropping out. Based on this, management asked us to take over and to make some
changes that might address some of the challenges from the previous year.
Before the summer holiday, meetings were held with 4 more experienced
students from the study programme, hired to collaborate with the teacher team in
the processes of involving the new students in the study programme in the very
best way. During the meetings, they received full information and explanation
about the thinking behind and the plans for strengthening the collaboration with
students, based on an understanding of concepts such as learner-led teaching
and co-creative approaches. It should be mentioned that not all members of the
5-strong teaching team wanted to participate in the experiment, which for some
of them represented a pedagogical challenge. 3 of the team agreed to participate,
including the coordinator of the programme. This will not, however, be the focus
of this chapter.
Based on analyses regarding the content, students’ background, the possibilities
within the framework of the study regulations and our aim towards more student
direction, we had meetings with students from the previous cohort who were
appointed tutors to support the new students. Their feedback and evaluation was
valuable additional input, and the pedagogical strategy was decided in collaboration
with them.
ORGANISING THE EXPERIMENT PEDAGOGICALLY– WHAT DID WE DO?
As a starting point, we argue, based on research and experience (Iversen et al.,
2015), that principles such as respect for students and the establishment of study
environments where students are offered the role of becoming leaders of their own
learning processes are important. Students who act responsibly and have influence
on the curriculum while collaborating with teachers (who of course have overall
educational responsibility) create good conditions for developing the knowledge and
A. AARUP JENSEN & L. KROGH
10
skills which are not only expected and described in the formal study regulations, but
also required for the 21st century.
A thematic framework suitable for the project work was decided upon. The theme
was “The university as an organisation: structure and processes”. This theme was
chosen with the intention of accommodating students who probably had chosen
this course because of their interest in organisations. And one of the most relevant
organisations they had to face, at that time, was the university they were just entering.
Our plans were that working with a theme that might seem relevant to them would
motivate them to work in depth in trying to understand and be able to act pro-actively
in their study life within this organisational framework. So we expected that there
would be personal, as well as a professional/educational interest and motivation for
working with this theme in their first PBL project. Their task was to investigate the
phenomenon of the university as an organisational framework for the learning that
takes place here at all levels (among students, teachers, principals and so on). They
were allowed to choose for themselves which level they wanted to focus on. They
could choose different perspectives – society, students, organisation or teachers.
In organising the teaching, several lectures were replaced with teaching and
learning forms, where students were the most active partners, within the framework
of some rules decided by the teachers and based on their experience and the input of
the preparation phase. The principles we followed were those of student direction,
problem solving, peer learning and peer assessment, as they were used in PBL
project work. They were supplemented with the principles of co-creation, i.e.
co-creation of knowledge and peer-to-peer production and
instead of teachers offering feedback on students’ work, students gave feedback
to each other, supplemented with feedback from the teachers (supervisors).
instead of teachers lecturing, students prepared and lectured to each other,
supplemented by teaching from the teacher.
The overall signal from the teachers was that the students were the most important
persons and agents in these feedback and teaching activities.
EMPIRICAL DATA AND RESULTS
There were 36 students representing a diversity of age, gender and educational and
cultural background. The gender ratio was approximately 50/50. Most of the students
were in the age group between 21 and 30. A few were in their forties. Most of them
had some kind of workplace-related experiences, which meant that they knew about
working in some kind of organisation. Some of them had an educational background
at Diploma or BA level.
The results of the experiment are based on the following empirical data:
Notes and observations from a ‘future workshop’, where students were guided
through a process where they initially identified and discussed existing challenges
RE-THINKING CURRICULUM FOR 21ST-CENTURY LEARNERS
11
and problems in their education. This is the ‘critique phase’ and it was followed
by the ‘dream phase’ where students came up with all their wishes without having
to consider if they were feasible. The final step was the ‘realisation phase’ where
they had the opportunity to come up with realistic ideas and solutions for dealing
with the challenges and problems. The process was facilitated by one of the
teachers.
Reflection papers from 30 students. At the very beginning of the semester they
were asked to fill in a reflection paper, where they wrote about their former
experiences, their understanding of organisations, their reasons for choosing the
course and how they preferred to work in educational settings.
Notes from classroom observations of the co-creative sessions by the teacher in
charge
Formal evaluation meeting with student representatives
Formal evaluation done by the school management
Generally, compared with the previous year, there was not much discontent. The
students very much enjoyed being active partners, although they also enjoyed high
quality lectures from teachers as a supplement.
They wanted even more involvement in planning and practicing the teaching.
Students asked for more student teaching and more creative teaching forms in
general applied by the teachers. Furthermore, they would also have preferred
more teaching together with older fellow students (ref. data from the future
workshop).
Their wish for more involvement corresponds with the characteristics of 21st-
century students and with what most students write in the reflection paper they are
asked to write at the beginning of the semester:
I partly prefer working individually and partly together with fellow students.
I prefer to write under inspiration and feedback from fellow students, so that you
get new ideas and thoughts that can move you forwards. (Male, 21 years old).
I am many-sided, I like to work autonomously and concentrate myself in
things, but I definitely also enjoy collaborating with fellow students. (Male,
21 years old)
I prefer collaborating with fellow students as it provides more angles on the
work and because you learn from your fellow students. (Female, 23 years old)
These quotations very much describe the learning approaches of all the students in
the class, and they support to a high degree our intentions in organising the semester’s
teaching as we did. But there are limitations to the extent to which student direction
and co-creation can be practiced. One of these limitations is related to the structural
conditions. Regarding the planning process, the semester must be planned two
months before the start of the semester. This means that a number of decisions have
to be made before the students start regarding, for instance, content, literature, or
A. AARUP JENSEN & L. KROGH
12
overall frameworks. These conditions pose considerable limitations for co-creating
with students in their first semester.
Another challenge is that teachers in a team represent a diversity of values and
understandings about how quality teaching has to be unfolded. Such values may be
connected with the subject area, with background from different kinds of university
teaching cultures and different understandings about how students learn best. In our
data we see that students react to these different kinds of approaches and ways of
handling teaching and learning situations, – here the degree to which the teachers
dare to let go of control and believe that students can do well if goals and expectations
to them are transparent and the teacher has prepared the pedagogical framework.
A final limitation is the students’ approaches. Although you can read from their
expectations stated in the reflection paper at the beginning of the semester that they
generally prefer to be in control as active problem solvers with fellow students, when
it comes to the actual situation where they are expected to be active and self-directed,
old habits from earlier school situations may take over and lead to frustration.
It would be nice with some nerd teaching (from evaluation with student
representatives).
It would be nice with more teaching, done by senior fellow students (from
evaluation with student representatives).
In both cases students ask for more delivery of lectures, which implies a return to a
passive role as student.
Our desire to establish a culture where students dared to speak up, ask questions,
be active, make decisions, criticise constructively and be professionally responsible
for each other’s learning processes from the very beginning of their first semester
seemed to be successful. They expressed the feeling of having some kind of influence
on what was going on and they expressed contentment with that.
However, it is impossible to meet all students’ expectations and wishes, and
there were also some who expressed a wish for more traditional teaching forms as
indicated in the above statements.
CONCLUSION
Based on our experiences of how students engage when they work with PBL
projects on self-defined problems/research questions and the principles of co-
creation, we aimed at establishing a culture where we involved the students in some
of the decision-making processes and expanded the principles of self-definition
and self-direction to other types of activities during the semester. Comparing the
results of the experiment with the process the year before, the students expressed
much more contentment. In that respect we regard the experiment as a success.
Relating the results to the characteristics of 21st-century learners we conclude that
the pedagogical strategy of co-creation could easily be further strengthened, as
RE-THINKING CURRICULUM FOR 21ST-CENTURY LEARNERS
13
the students ask for even more activity, influence and responsibility in relation to
teaching.
However, introducing this kind of change in an educational institution is not
necessarily an easy task, especially when it entails a shift in roles for teachers.
According to a report describing the definitions and foundations of the terms co-
creation and co-production in relation to Danish society (Agger & Tortzen, 2015),
research shows that professionals within an area may be one of the groups that have
the most difficulty in changing their roles, because it challenges their traditional
professional culture and understanding of their professional responsibility.
If teachers find that their professional culture and usual approach to pedagogical
planning and teaching is questioned or overruled, their response may be resistance
or scepticism. Teachers might find that ‘the rug is being pulled from under’ their
professional identity. Another, more pragmatic aspect of change is that, for some
teachers, the idea of having to reconsider and rethink an educational element (e.g.
a course, a lecture series) might in itself represent a huge work load, which is not
always welcomed.
Consequently, while the advantage is that students thrive with the new pedagogical
approaches, the disadvantage is that re-thinking curriculum and introducing aspects
of co-creation in education may involve daunting aspects for the teachers involved,
who are forced to reconsider their role in teaching and learning scenarios, which
might lead to resistance to change.
NOTES
1 In Denmark – as in other European countries – there have in recent years been cuts in resources to HE
institutions.
2 European Credit Transfer System.
REFERENCES
Aarup Jensen, A., & Krogh, L. (2013). Potentials for further development of PBL strategies at Aalborg
University. In L. Krogh & A. A. Jensen (Eds.), Visions – challenges – strategies, PBL principles and
methodologies in a danish and global perspective. Denmark: Aalborg University Press.
Agger, A., & Tortzen, A. (2015). Forskningsreview om samskabelse. University College Lillebaelt.
Retrieved from http://samskabelse.ucl.dk/files/2015/02/forskningsreview-om-co-production_samlet-
udgave-at-aa-at07115-2.pdf
Ananiadou, K., & Claro, M. (2009). 21st century skills and competences for new millennium learners
in OECD countries. OECD Education Working Papers, 41, OECD Publishing. Retrieved from
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/218525261154
Biggs J., & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university (3rd Edition). New York, NY: The
Society for Research into Higher Education.
Bowden J., & Marton, F. (2006). The university of learning: Beyond quality and competence. London &
New York, NY: Routledge.
Danish Accreditation Institution. (2015). Retrieved from http://en.akkr.dk/
Degnegaard, R. (2014). Co-creation, consolidating the field and highlighting new frontiers. Retrieved from
http://openarchive.cbs.dk/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10398/8732/Rex_Degnegaard.pdf?sequence=1
(Download March 2017).
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Globalisation Council. (2006). Retrieved from http://www.netpublikationer.dk/um/6648/html/chapter01.htm
Illeris, K. (1974). Problem orientation and participant direction: An introduction to alternative didactics.
København: Munksgaard.
International Education Advisory Board. (2006). Learning in the 21st century: Teaching today’s student
on their terms (download 12th December 2016). Retrieved from https://www.certiport.com/Portal/
Common/DocumentLibrary/IEAB_Whitepaper040808.pdf
Iversen, A.-M., Krogh, L., Aarup Jensen, A., & Stavnskær, A. (2015). Learning, leading, and letting go of
control: Learner-led approaches in education. SAGE Open, October–December 2015.
Krogh, L. (2013). The aalborg PBL model and employability. In L. B. Henriksen (Ed.), What did you
learn in the real world today: The case of practicum in university educations. Denmark: Aalborg
University Press.
Krogh L., & Jensen, A. A. (2013). The development of PBL-methodologies in Denmark and current
challenges. In L. Krogh & A. A. Jensen (Eds.), Visions – challenges – strategies, PBL principles and
methodologies in a danish and global perspective. Denmark: Aalborg University Press.
Lundvall, B. Å., Rasmussen, P., & Lorenz, E. (2008). Education in the learning economy: A European
perspective. Policy Futures in Education, 6(6), 681–700.
Piaget, J. (1954). The construction of reality in the child. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2000). Co-creating customer competence. Harvard Business Review,
78(1), 79–87.
Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to teach in higher education. London & New York, NY: Routledge Falmer.
Sennett, R. (2006). Den ny kapitalismes kultur. Viborg: Hovedland.
Sennett, R. (2006). What do we mean by Talent? The Political Quarterly, 77(s1), 163–167.
The Expert Committee on Quality in Higher Education in Denmark. (2015 & 2016). Retrieved from
http://ufm.dk/en/education-and-institutions/councils-and-commissions/the-expert-committee-on-
quality-in-higher-education-in-denmark
Annie Aarup Jensen
Department of Learning and Philosophy
Aalborg University
Lone Krogh
Department of Learning and Philosophy
Aalborg University
T. Chemi & L. Krogh (Eds.), Co-Creation in Higher Education, 15–30.
© 2017 Sense Publishers. All rights reserved.
ANN-MERETE IVERSEN AND ANNI STAVNSKÆR PEDERSEN
2. CO-CREATING KNOWLEDGE
Students and Teachers together in a Field of Emergence
The modern school, at its best, is a satisfying extension of the unreality of
societal perception. As we enter the conclusion of an industrializing age, I
recognize that, within its walls, lectures are concerned with an abstract dream
of future usefulness, while life is happening between classes. Half of the time,
and half asleep, teachers and students keep each other caught in a fiction of
relevance: Relevance of knowledge to our lives, relevance of the relationships
to each other, and relevance to the questions of our time and to the society in
which we live.
(Besselink, 2014, p. 92)
Education systems around the world strive to customise methods and practices to fit
rapidly changing societal requirements and cultural changes. Education is expected
to deliver a highly skilled workforce and the term employability is among the
parameters used in quality assessment of work done at universities and other higher
education institutions. And so the aim of education becomes an ever-changing fixed
point.
Preparing students for becoming 21st century knowledge workers, then, entails
preparing them for an unknown future. Critical reflection, independent thinking,
creativity and a strong sense of navigating in the unforeseen are among the skills
required of the individual student. Moravec (2008, 2014) describes the future
knowledge worker as “nomadic”:
[…] a nomadic knowledge worker – that is a creative, imaginative, and
innovative person who can work with almost anybody, anytime, and anywhere.
Industrial society is giving way to knowledge and innovation work. Whereas
industrialization required people to settle in one place to perform a very
specific role or function, the jobs associated with knowledge and information
workers have become much less specific concerning task and place. (Moravec,
2014, p. 18)
The point being that, to a large extent, education as we know it is operating in 1.0
mode, out of tune with surrounding cultures and societies, which are operating in
mode 3.0. With increasing amounts of accessible knowledge and rapidly changing
platforms of learning due to the development in digital media, classical educational
A.-M. IVERSEN & A. S. PEDERSEN
16
institutions are facing the risk of being irrelevant to future generations of students
and to society in general terms.
In university, the focus is on the 1400-page curriculum. In university, the
academic assignments must be between 20 and 25 pages. In university, we
sit and translate complicated English theoretical texts into Danish, and then
write them down in our assignments. Where the hell is the creativity? (Madsen,
2016)
The question is asked by 24-year-old Jonas, a student at the University of
Copenhagen, a future knowledge worker, in a direct appeal to his teachers, calling
for more creativity, a possibility of independent thinking and translation of theory
into practical knowledge in universities.
A quick glance into higher education institutions around the world indicates that
the better part of teaching takes place the way it has taken place for centuries (Adler
& Hansen, 2012; McWilliam, 2008). The architecture of universities is a good
indicator of the didactics performed in the rooms – chairs in rows facing a podium,
a blackboard/whiteboard or a screen for the professors to speak and the students to
listen.
C. Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer at MIT, points to the problem of downloading
habits and reproduction of knowledge in teaching; “We probably spend more than
90 percent of our educational resources on lecturing: downloading old bodies of
knowledge without self-reflection” (Scharmer, 2007, p. 448). Moreover, he points
to the need for a small-scale revolution to transform our education system, so that it
becomes up-to-date and able to encourage the individual’s resources, creativity, and
knowledge: “We need to reinvent our schools and institutions of higher education”
(Scharmer, 2007, p. 449).
In this somewhat gloomy future perspective we, as teachers (and researchers),
need to ask ourselves: what does it take to re-invent higher education and for teachers
to become 21st century educators, especially able to navigate in the unforeseen,
instantly designing education in a cross field of societal and cultural change, practical
skills and individual relevance?
CO-CREATION IN AN EDUCATIONAL SETTING
The term co-creation is used in fields as different as therapy and product innovation
(Degnegaard, 2014) although it probably originated in the field of therapy where
it is used to describe the shared production of meaning in the therapeutic session.
The shared production of something is the common denominator in all the uses of
the expression. In the broad field of innovation it denotes a process where different
stakeholders are involved in the creation of “the products”, be they solutions in the
welfare sector or apps for mobile phones. Even though the end goal differs – roughly
speaking, the goal is creating solutions within a political system or making money –
there is a clear overlap in methods.
CO-CREATING KNOWLEDGE
17
The methods applied when working with co-creation are designed to engage
the stakeholders in a collective learning process built on emerging awareness and
shared commitment. Investigating both the field of intervention and the individual
and collective intention is part of this process (Scharmer, 2007, 2014; Hassan, 2014)
and requires facilitation, either by the participating stakeholders or by consultants/
facilitators. Frequently-used methods are dialogue, field studies, interviews, log-
writing, narratives and a variety of creative methods inspired by the world of design
and art (Kahane, 2012; Scharmer, 2007; Darsø, 2004; Hassan, 2014; Belling, 2012;
Bason, 2010).
In this chapter, we explore co-creation as an opening towards re-designing and
re-inventing the shared space of teaching and learning. The methods suggested in the
chapter in some ways suspend the classical concept of teaching and replace it with
a structured co-creative generative dialogue within which knowledge exchange and
knowledge production can take place.
We base the chapter partly on theoretical perspectives, partly on empirical
material generated through a series of qualitative interviews with teachers, and on
extensive personal experience of teaching in higher education. Our intention is to
establish a dialogue between practice and theory. In the interviews, the interviewer
did not set out to explore co-creation per se but the concept emerged as the
interviews progressed. Two main questions were asked; (1) which interdisciplinary,
innovation pedagogy can higher education teachers design and use, so that it has
the best potential to stimulate the development of innovation and transferability
competencies in students? and (2) what does this innovation pedagogy demand of
the teacher? (Stavnskær, 2014) In other words, exploring innovation and innovation
pedagogy in the interviews led to the emergence of the concept of co-creation. We
draw on the descriptions given by the teachers, theoretical perspectives and personal
experience in the conceptual framing.
This chapter has two meta-perspectives in its approach to co-creation. One meta-
perspective primarily focuses on communication and explores the term co-creative
generative dialogue and the demands on teachers and students. The other meta-
perspective offers a five-phase model to design a co-creative teaching process for
students.
IT ALL STARTS WITH COMMUNICATION!
A discovery we made, on analysing the interviews with teachers, was that they
brought a focus on communication to their meetings with students, especially with
regards to how they listened and asked questions. The teachers described in detail
how they listened, how they asked questions, how they meta-communicated with
students to create new learning and innovation. Meta-communication in this context
is to be understood in the sense originally introduced by Gregory Bateson (1972) as
communication about communication “all exchanged cues and propositions about
(a) codification and (b) relationship between the communicators”. Lotte Darsø, too,
A.-M. IVERSEN & A. S. PEDERSEN
18
highlights the importance of communication: “It is especially important that one is
clear about these patterns of dialogue if one wishes to lead processes of change. It
is through dialogue that we create the world here and now” (Darsø, 2011, p. 154).
In order to explore the type of communication that facilitates co-creative
dialogue between teachers and students we turn to Shaw, who takes her point of
departure in complexity theory (Shaw, 2002). Shaw includes a description of the
communicative approach to user-driven design, which could be transferred into an
educational context (Shaw, 2002, 2005). She describes an open and meaningful type
of communication that captures the interest of participants, revolving around what
excites or even frustrates them. The dialogue implies a willingness to explore and
improvise. The teacher listens closely to what students say and lets associations
arise. “I am describing the process of weaving in our actions one with one another to
co-create the future” (Shaw, 2002, p. 70).
This implies that the purpose of dialogue between students and teachers is not
just the mutual understanding of preconceptions, but also the co-creation of new
ideas. The teacher becomes a facilitator in order to encourage lively dialogue and
encompass different views, even conflicts, regarding what is going to be taught and
how. This requires that teachers and students alike be at ease, with an open approach.
Teachers must let go of fixed agendas and be able to help students do the same.
“Leading becomes being able to articulate issues and themes as they emerge and
transform” (Shaw, 2005, p. 21).
A co-creative dialogue requires the teacher/facilitator to be very conscious of the
form of communication used.
Generally speaking, teachers should be good at asking questions and stimulating
students to ask questions themselves in order to create lively dialogue. In a quote
from the empirical material, one teacher stresses how important it is to listen to
the students: “It’s important for me to listen to the students and start the process
where they are. It is important for me that I can see that they are getting smarter and
more competent and that they are empowered” (Stavnskær, 2014). Furthermore, the
majority of the teachers focus on listening when facilitating co-creation between
teachers and students, as well as in student-student communication. Shaw recognizes
that listening is a central competence of the facilitator. The facilitating teacher listens
closely to what the students say, and to their associations. Ideas regarding the given
task or problem (content and form) should arise out of that listening (Shaw, 2002,
p. 5).
This also implies being able to balance different viewpoints and manage conflicts.
Students should be encouraged to express explicitly what they think – so that teachers
can relate their understanding to other approaches (Iversen et al., 2015).
A co-creative dialogue allows something new and unforeseen to emerge. Stacey
puts it this way: “We should expect not to see what we set out to achieve in the way
we originally intended” (Stacey, 2007, p. 812).
The majority of teachers emphasised that one has to be able to improvise in the
encounter with students, if something new is to arise. One teacher in particular
CO-CREATING KNOWLEDGE
19
stressed repeatedly in the course of the interview how important improvisation is
to her: “Innovative communication consists in being prepared for the unexpected-
in being able to improvise. I believe this to be a very important innovative
competence. It gives me energy and flow” (Stavnskær, 2014). Similarly, Shaw
mentions improvisation in her approach to facilitation: “a more improvisatory way
of approaching how we might go on together” (Shaw, 2002, p. 5). The essence is that
the facilitator of co-creation, in this case the teacher, should possess the ability to
improvise, be ready for it, and have the courage and ability to step into the unknown
together with the students.
These teachers’ approaches can be seen as similar to the learning processes
described by Chris Mowles et al. and Ralph Stacey. In their work, learning is
understood as something complex and non-linear, emerging in communication by
listening to participants, not by following a path staked out in advance by an expert
(Mowles et al., 2008; Stacey, 2007).
It is teachers and students, who know the complexity of their own reality and, on
that basis, who can find the way and create something together. One of the teachers
described something similar: “The most important thing for me is to be a catalyst.
Filter whatever the students carry with them, and put it in perspective, while at the
same time presenting them with new perspectives” (Stavnskær, 2014). Co-creation
is a mutual process amongst teachers and students where both parts contribute, as
the teacher here underlines.
However, the demands on teachers and students are not identical. The majority of
the teachers interviewed stressed the necessity of connecting with the students ‘where
they are’, so to speak: “Meeting others where they are sounds simple, but it demands
a certain didactical knowledge to be able to do it. It’s about engaging the students,
and getting them to engage themselves. It’s like digging for gold” (Stavnskær, 2014).
In other words, a precondition for finding gold is meeting students where they are.
The majority of teachers interviewed said that they are expected to have a large
methodological knowledge they can draw on and adapt to different target groups.
They mention that didactics has to be in motion all the time: “It’s important that
didactics don’t stiffen up, that they change to follow who the students are, that they
are dynamic” (Stavnskær, 2014). This implies that the teacher has to be able to be
flexible and able to create situation-based didactics out of his or her toolbox.
ROLES AND RESISTANCE
Under the title Unlearning how to teach Erica McWilliam (2008) introduces what
you could call a teacher typology – or a set of positions to describe the relation
between student and teacher in current education. Looking at teaching as a social
practice, she makes a point in comparing teacher roles and communication strategies
in teaching to societal changes and changes in cultural production in general. The
point being that relational habits which once served teaching well may be past their
expiration date and in need of revision.
A.-M. IVERSEN & A. S. PEDERSEN
20
McWilliam (2008) outlines three relational positions in teaching: sage on the
stage, guide on the side and meddler in the middle, arguing that the latter is a
possible equivalent to the unstable and ever-changing cultural conditions teaching is
embedded in. In short, sage on the stage is a position where the teacher is an expert
lecturing primarily one way, a classical auditorium situation. As a guide on the side,
the teacher is a coach following the learning process on the side. The meddler in the
middle:
… positions the teacher and student as mutually involved in assembling and
dis-assembling cultural products. It repositions teacher and student as co-
directors and co-editors of their social world. […] it means less time giving
instructions and more time spent being a usefully ignorant co-worker in the
thick of action, less time spent being a custodial risk-minimizer and more
time spent being an experimenter and risk-taker; less time spent being a
forensic classroom auditor and more time spent being a designer, editor and
assembler; less time spent being a counsellor and “best buddy” and more time
spent being a collaborative critic and authentic evaluator. (McWilliam, 2008,
p. 263)
The apparently paradoxical constellation of being a collaborative critic and an
ignorant co-worker makes way for a new interpretation of the relation between
teacher and student. This means neither leaving the responsibility of the learning
with the student nor placing the responsibility of the teaching on the teacher. It is
a position where the social space of teaching and learning is co-created in a cross-
field of emergence and control. With the teacher not playing the role of curricular
custodian and bearer of answers, knowledge can be regarded, then, as something
occurring in a shared space of teaching and learning.
Changing habits, however, requires the will to change. Habits. A somewhat
redundant statement, but nevertheless relevant. As teaching is a skill acquired over
time, the individual teacher, like all professionals, acquires a level of expertise by
doing certain things a great number of times. Changing strategies, consequently,
puts the teacher in a potentially vulnerable and anxiety-provoking situation. Otto
Scharmer talks about this challenge of not downloading:
What we do is often based on habitual patterns of action and thought.
A familiar stimulus triggers a familiar response. Moving towards a future
possibility requires us to become aware of – and abandon – the dominant mode
of downloading that causes us to continuously reproduce the patterns of the
past. (Scharmer, 2007, p. 119)
Experimenting and taking risks may not be the average state of teaching. And
venturing into a space of not knowing is not particularly common either. It is then, in
short, something completely “other” that is required by both teachers and students.
The challenge is mutual; teachers experimenting are at risk of exposing themselves
to disappointed expectations and frustrations on the students’ part. Or maybe even
CO-CREATING KNOWLEDGE
21
anger and aggression. An ability to manage and contain the potential anxiety in
students is seen as a central and necessary quality inherent in the role of facilitating
co-creative learning processes by most of the teachers we interviewed. One teacher
says:
You should be able to manage the frustrations of students, because […] you
are challenging them. […] So the contact you will have with them will be
closer than if your job was simply to deliver the sum of 2+2. The former
approach implies going into a more personal dialogue with them, where you
maybe put pressure on them. Some students appreciate it; others find it anxiety-
provoking. (Stavnskær, 2014)
Darsø (2011) describes this ability to contain anxiety as essential for something
new to emerge: “The teacher must train his ability to ‘hold space’, space which
is characterized by chaos, uncertainty, anxiety, and vulnerability” (p. 12). Another
teacher expresses something along the same lines. One should be able to: “contain
and manage the students’ uncertainty and insecurity. I should be able to handle all
the feelings that are circulating in the classroom” (Stavnskær, 2014). And a third
teacher adds that it puts a demand on the teacher to navigate on shaky ground, “It
requires that you as a teacher “put yourself at risk” (Stavnskær, 2014). As such it
takes a great deal of courage to become a ‘meddler in the middle’ or a co-creating
teacher; “Facilitation is not for wimps” (Ghais, 2005, p. 2).
All the teachers interviewed emphasised that when they engaged in the process
of facilitation in the search for innovation and co-creation, meeting resistance was
part of the process. This resembles the conviction held by Susanne Ghais: “Whereas
many books on facilitation treat conflict as an occasional snafu, I consider it as a
given” (Ghais, 2005, p. 3). One teacher puts it this way: “You get a few slaps in the
face.” The courage required is described by another teacher. In a teaching situation
she used a new creative method in a course, which led to one student leaving the
room in frustration:
I experienced a student who grabbed her bag and said, “this is simply too
much, I’m gone.” Then you stand there and hold your breath for 10 or 15
minutes. So you gamble a bit. But always with the idea in mind of creating
something new for the students. (Stavnskær, 2014)
One teacher mentions courage explicitly as a necessary element of a co-creative
approach. Adler & Hansen, too, identify courage as a central quality in creating
change: “Daring to care requires courage—the courage to speak out and to act.
Courage transforms convictions and compassion into action” (Adler & Hansen,
2012, p. 2). All this seems to indicate that courage is an essential quality for daring
to facilitate transformative processes in students, which means pushing them out of
their zones of comfort, as you do when being a co-creative teacher or a meddler in
the middle. It is clear from these quotes that courage is required if one is to persist
with co-creative dialogue when faced with resistance.
A.-M. IVERSEN & A. S. PEDERSEN
22
THE ‘CO’ AND THE ‘CREATION’
In co-creation both the ‘co’ and the ‘creation’ are significant. The ‘co’ signals that
the process is social and the ‘creation’, that something new appears as a consequence
of the process. Taking a closer look at the social aspect in co-creation, inspiration
can be found in the writings of Scharmer. He introduces a conceptual approach
that combines relation and communication as a set of “social fields” within which
different states of attention determine the quality of the communication, which on its
part determines the outcome of the situation (Scharmer, 2007). This is conceptualised
as a set of different ways in which the ‘I’ relates to the ‘you’, both the I and the
you being understood as generalised terms. Scharmer names the positions of four
different sources of attention from which social action can emerge (Scharmer, 2007,
p. 234). Each position combines a state of attention with a mode of communication.
The four positions are;
1. The I-in-me: the I relates to the you from a point where the focus is on the I itself.
The communication in this state would be a monologue or parallel monologues
where communication aims at confirming existing knowledge and perceptions and
avoiding relating to the other, who is simply an ear in the periphery of attention.
2. The I-in-it: the I directs the attention to the outer world. From a position of not
necessarily wanting to change, the attention is directed towards seeing the world
as it really is. The mode of communication is discussion and critical scrutiny.
3. The I-in-you: the I relates to the you with the intention of understanding beyond
the boundaries of the preconceptions of the I. Emphatic listening, dialogue, and
reflective inquiry characterise the communication of this position.
4. The I-in-now combines introspective self-awareness of the I with listening
beyond the I and entering a collective field of emergence. It is listening to both
the intention and preconceptions of the I and being part of a shared generative
space. The mode of communication is presencing – a hard to define term, which
we choose to name generative dialogue, partly for lack of a better expression and
partly inspired by earlier writings of Scharmer and Kaüfer (2000).
Most of the teachers interviewed describe how they establish a dialogue with the
students, and how their field of attention moves away from themselves towards the
domain of ‘I-in-you’: “Creating this kind of attentiveness and closeness is not so
simple. One needs to have both knowledge and the opportunity of training the skills
involved in practicing this kind of dialogue”.
Above and beyond listening and dialogue is the ‘I-in-now’ position, which is a
creative field of generative listening. The distance between teacher and student is
dissolved, and a process of co-creation arises:
The relationship with the students is more equal and more a co-creation
process. As a teacher I have more knowledge that I contribute to the shared
knowledge – where students also contribute. The knowledge I contribute and
CO-CREATING KNOWLEDGE
23
what the students bring is made into one collective pool of knowledge. It is
a broader and more diverse perspective on the new knowledge that emerges
between us. (Stavnskær, 2014)
It is neither clear nor important who contributes what in the dialogue, but something
new arises among the participants and the learning process is mutual. “Being with
students changes me.” The teacher role in the generative field resembles McWilliams
meddler in the middle.
The opposite teacher role is ‘sage on the stage’, where the students: “spent time
guessing what the teacher wants to know like a quiz.” ‘Quizzing’. We interpret this
as ‘listening downloading’ or ‘projective listening’, (Scharmer, 2007, pp. 275–276)
and being in the position of the ‘I-in-me’ where the teacher only hears what students
say insofar as it fits into the mental models that already exist in his or her own mind.
The rest of what students say is more or less ignored.
A MATRIX
Looking at modes of attention AND intention in the context of teaching is
highly relevant, as is the emphasis on communication. Taking steps towards
understanding how co-creating knowledge is related to communication as well
as roles and intention could then be done by combining the teacher typology
outlined by McWilliam with the set of social fields described by Scharmer. The
point of so doing would be to develop a hypothesis on how teacher position and
communication are related, when it comes to identifying prerequisites for co-
creation to take place in teaching. In a simple matrix we place communication and
mode of attention on the y-axis and teacher roles on the x-axis, generating a model
looking like this:
Figure 2.1. The co-creation matrix (Iversen & Stavnskær, 2016)
A.-M. IVERSEN & A. S. PEDERSEN
24
Drawing on both Scharmer and McWilliam and comparing their writings to
the experiences of the teachers interviewed, it would be our hypothesis that the
potential for co-creation to occur in teaching can be described as an outcome of
communication and teacher position. Moving from the lower left corner to the
upper right the potential increases. As sage on the stage, the teacher is not inclined
to include the students in knowledge production. Communication will tend to be
monological, since the teacher is regarded as the knowledge bearer. For the most
part, the teacher lectures and the students listen. As the guide on the side, the teacher
may join the students in a discussion or a critical scrutiny of the state of the world. Or
(s)he could be the empathic listener and dialogue partner. As meddler in the middle,
the description of teachers and students as co-directors and co-editors of their social
world (McWilliam, 2008, p. 263) matches the coming-to-be of a collective field of
emergence expressed as the I-in-now mode of attention. And generative dialogue,
then, is the type of communication that represents the highest potential when it
comes to co-creation in teaching. Generative dialogue – with teachers and students
as co-directors and co-editors – calls for a change in the way knowledge production
takes place in teaching, and in the design and framing of learning processes. Below
we suggest a possible approach to reframing teaching and operating from basic co-
creation principles.
FRAMING AND DESIGNING CO-CREATIVE LEARNING PROCESSES
Through years of personal experimenting with different types of participatory
approaches in teaching, a progression or design-model emerged. It describes phases
in a co-creation process customised to a teaching-learning environment. Its origin
is higher education but it most likely has a broader relevance due to its relatively
simple composition.
The design progression comprises five phases. Through all phases, teachers and
students co-operate through generative dialogue with a shared goal of developing and
carrying out curricular activities. Not as an extraordinary or extra-curricular activity,
but as a basic methodological approach to designing and performing education. The
five phases are as follows:
1. Framing/contextualising; defining the intention and understanding the field –
which journey are we embarking on? The where and the why
2. Finding the question(s); what are the challenges of the field we are entering? The
what
3. Co-designing micro-prototypes (of knowledge production); in which ways will
we try to engage with the challenges? The how
4. Co-operative performance
5. Evaluating
CO-CREATING KNOWLEDGE
25
Given a visual expression, the design progression will come out like this:
Figure 2.2. The co-creative learning process wheel
FRAMING/CONTEXTUALISING
Framing and contextualising is about clarifying both the where and the why. In what
specific context are teachers and students situated? Which course, class, lecture or
training session and so forth is the objective of the teaching situation? And what
are the formal requirements, the learning goals and academic demands of the
forthcoming process? All of these are potential subjects of discussion and shared
reflection among teachers and students. A shared awareness of these basic conditions
constitutes a platform from which direction can be taken for the design process.
Also, goals and objectives of a more informal character can be integrated during this
phase. For instance, both students and teachers may have personal aspirations and
ambitions related to the process.
FINDING THE QUESTIONS
The next phase is focused on finding the question(s) and looking at the challenges of
the field we are entering. In other words, defining the ‘what’ of the teaching.
Part of designing a learning process that facilitates co-creation is finding the
questions or challenges that the students strive to solve. A challenge and questions
where there are no pre-given or self-evident solutions or answers are more likely to
facilitate co-creation and co-creative dialogue than sage on the stage-type processes.
These challenges and questions could be real-life projects. This means that in the
preparation phase, either students or teachers, as part of preparing a specific project,
investigate who it would be relevant to work with, contact them, and agree on what
the project’s character and goals are. This is to say that, for the teacher, there is a
A.-M. IVERSEN & A. S. PEDERSEN
26
didactical balancing act between academic demands and a real-life challenge. The
point is that students, like the teacher, have to learn to balance the academic demands
of their disciplines with the challenges.
Or it could be simply by challenging or questioning knowledge domains.
CO-DESIGNING MICRO-PROTOTYPES
The expression “prototype” – or “micro-prototype” – is used regarding the different
potential solutions to the challenges established in phase one. In practice, these kinds
of prototypes can vary, from suggestions, to solving actual problems formulated by
external stakeholders and partners, to teaching design. The prototypes spring from
non-linear, open space, improvisatory processes involving students and teachers
as co-designers. Co-designing involves collective creativity and socio-epistemic
practice. Students and teachers are co-developers of whatever designs and solutions
emerge. There are no pre-defined answers.
There are points of similarity between this learning design and some of the factors
identified by Teresa Amabile as encouraging creativity. Amabile concludes, among
other things, that individuals must be offered a degree of autonomy if one hopes
to encourage the development of intrinsic motivation: “Autonomy around process
fosters creativity because giving people freedom in how they approach their work
heightens their intrinsic motivation and sense of ownership” (Amabile, 2002, p. 82).
One of the teachers interviewed describes the transformation occurring in students
when they encounter co-creative teaching design:
We see students with a long history of discouraging experiences with education
systems. They appear withdrawn and frustrated when they come to us, but we
see that they gradually and quietly discover that they actually have a pool of
competencies inside themselves. We see them straighten up, pull the hair back
from their faces, see light come back into their eyes. What a transformation! It’s
one of the most meaningful things we experience as teachers, and it happens
fairly often when you work in this way.
All in all, the interviews with teachers could indicate that the intention of dynamic
flow in the design of the co-creative learning process between (1) learning goals
and (2) challenges – between theory and practice – in some way has a potential
for creating new solutions and new knowledge. Brown and Isaac’s discussion of
learning in the following passage could lend support to the potential of this co-
creative way of designing the teaching:
It’s never enough just to tell people about some new insight. Rather, you have
to get them to experience it in a way that evokes its power and possibility.
Instead of pouring knowledge into people’s heads, you need to help them grind
a new set of sunglasses so they can see the world in a new way. (Brown &
Isaacs, 2005, p.12)
CO-CREATING KNOWLEDGE
27
This is not a new insight, as Ib Ravn points out: “For teaching to be effective and
learning to take place, educators must realize that students are actively engaged in
constructing their worlds […] They learn from engaging” (Ravn, 2007, p. 215). Ravn
continues his point with reference to older learning theories by Dewey, Piaget and
Vygotsky, which also emphasise that teachers often ignore the importance of context
and engagement, and instead teach in a way that pacifies students. And, we could add,
Carl Rogers in his groundbreaking book, Freedom To Learn, first published in 1969,
introduces significant learning with a set of characteristics similar to the points made
by Brown & Isaacs, and Ravn. Significant learning is self-initiated, has a quality of
personal involvement, and is driven by a sense of meaning to the learner (Rogers,
1983, p. 20).
CO-OPERATIVE PERFORMANCE
The name of the fourth phase indicates that this is the phase of enacting the
prototypes developed in phase three, be they teaching designs or prototypes related
to challenges put by external partners Or a combination of both. Types of action can
vary from carrying out courses, workshops, training programmes and so forth to
presenting and/or carrying out prototypes in co-operation with external partners. The
performance is co-operative in the sense that it progresses as a co-operative action
driven by shared knowledge production. Steps are taken on a basis of generative
dialogue and shared reflexion.
Integrating co-operative performance in teaching design facilitates action.
Consequently it stimulates both teachers’ and students’ capacity for action. And
at the same time – and more importantly – it stimulates the capacity for actually
creating sustainable proto-types. They are, so to speak, tested by action.
The action perspective is identified by researcher Anne Kirketerp as initiative-
taking didactics. (Kirketerp, 2010). Kirketerp explores different teaching designs
that support entrepreneurial initiative, and develops the SKUB (English: PUSH)
method, a method of integrative learning, which leads to changes in patterns of both
thinking and acting in students:
With regards to teaching entrepreneurship, it should be the norm that the
greater part of teaching must be action-oriented. The methods that encourage
initiative specially belong to the didactics of entrepreneurship. If one of the
goals is to stimulate innovation competence generally, one of the means to that
end is to push the students out into action. (Kirketerp, 2010, p. 258)
Teaching in this sense always involves practice alongside elements of reflexion and
analysis. The students and teachers are, in other words, pushed to act. Kirketerp’s
point is supported by Brown and Duguid (1991). They argue that there is a huge
difference between espoused practice and actual practice and that acquiring abstract
knowledge about, for instance, co-creation will have little or no effect on the capacity
A.-M. IVERSEN & A. S. PEDERSEN
28
of co-creating. Consequently, teaching design aiming at developing co-creation
skills in students must include co-creation practice.
EVALUATION
The last phase is evaluation. It consists of two parts. One part is the evaluation,
done by the external partners, of practical real life proto-types. Criteria for this are
the quality and the practical applicability of the proto-types in the context for which
the prototypes are designed. The second part of the evaluation is an internal one
with teachers and other students. In this part, both the quality of the teaching design
and the correspondence between learning goals, academic demands and the final
outcome of the entire process are evaluated.
From a teacher’s perspective, there are specific challenges that arise with
designing evaluation methods that can measure co-creative competencies. Co-
creative knowledge production, in some ways, constitutes an opposition to strict
academic norms. Standards for exams and evaluations for the most part stem from
the latter. Evaluation, then, to some extent will risk reproducing academic standards
far from the methodology in co-creative knowledge production. This remains a
challenge to be taken into consideration in a future perspective.
CO-CREATIVE KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION AND ITS FUTURE POTENTIAL
One of the aims of this chapter was to give some pointers towards preparing students
for becoming 21st century knowledge workers, and preparing them for an unknown
future. Another aim was to answer the question of what it takes to re-invent higher
education and for teachers to become 21st century educators and designers of
education characterised by a high degree of relevance to both society, and culture
and the to the coming generations of students.
The answer suggested in this chapter is building significant parts of knowledge
production and knowledge exchange on co-creative generative dialogue. The
purpose of this would be to develop new types of knowledge and subsequently
potential answers to the questions of our time. It would require breaking habits and
changing modes of communication. Building education round the emerging future is
no easy task. It is, however, a task to be taken on – and why not involve the students?
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Ann-Merete Iversen
University College Nordjylland
Anni Stavnskær Pedersen
University College Nordjylland

Supplementary resource (1)

... In the genesis of teaching there are the essential characteristics of the concept of co-creation of value, that is: interaction (student-teacher relationship) and active participation (student involvement). Studies on co-creation of value in the context of higher education have been on the agenda of many researchers (Tsourela et al, 2015;Ribes-Giner, et al, 2016;Blau & Shamir-Inbal, 2017;Chemi & Krogh, 2017;Ranjbarfard & Sureshjani, 2017). For this, the studies carried out by Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) and by Vargo and Lusch (2004 served as an initial basis. ...
... Contemporary researchers (Tsourela et al, 2015;Ribes-Giner, Perello-Marín & Díaz, 2016;Blau & Shamir-Inbal, 2017;Chemi & Krogh, 2017;Ranjbarfard & Sureshjani, 2017) believe that it is necessary to bring them into the debate the co-creation of value in the context of higher education to contribute on four fronts of understanding. They are: training students prepared to face the challenges of their academic and professional training, enabling student involvement in different stages of the service offered by higher education institutions, reducing costs and increasing satisfaction, confidence and loyalty. ...
... 'Co-creation' was the category defined based on Literature, in the light of the studies by Svensson and Wood (2007) and Halbesleben and Wheeler (2009) on the active participation of students, the interaction between students and teachers and the roles that the student can play in the teaching-learning relationship. The category 'Adoption' was defined based on research by Bailey (2000) and Chemi and Krogh (2017) on how educational institutions should motivate teaching, with guidelines that involve teachers in the training of students prepared for new and technological world settings. The consolidation of these two categories of analysis took place after data collection. ...
... In the genesis of teaching there are the essential characteristics of the concept of co-creation of value, that is: interaction (student-teacher relationship) and active participation (student involvement). Studies on co-creation of value in the context of higher education have been on the agenda of many researchers (Tsourela et al, 2015;Ribes-Giner, et al, 2016;Blau & Shamir-Inbal, 2017;Chemi & Krogh, 2017;Ranjbarfard & Sureshjani, 2017). For this, the studies carried out by Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) and by Vargo and Lusch (2004, 2006, 2008 served as an initial basis. ...
... Contemporary researchers (Tsourela et al, 2015;Ribes-Giner, Perello-Marín & Díaz, 2016;Blau & Shamir-Inbal, 2017;Chemi & Krogh, 2017;Ranjbarfard & Sureshjani, 2017) believe that it is necessary to bring them into the debate the co-creation of value in the context of higher education to contribute on four fronts of understanding. They are: training students prepared to face the challenges of their academic and professional training, enabling student involvement in different stages of the service offered by higher education institutions, reducing costs and increasing satisfaction, confidence and loyalty. ...
... 'Co-creation' was the category defined based on Literature, in the light of the studies by Svensson and Wood (2007) and Halbesleben and Wheeler (2009) on the active participation of students, the interaction between students and teachers and the roles that the student can play in the teaching-learning relationship. The category 'Adoption' was defined based on research by Bailey (2000) and Chemi and Krogh (2017) on how educational institutions should motivate teaching, with guidelines that involve teachers in the training of students prepared for new and technological world settings. The consolidation of these two categories of analysis took place after data collection. ...
... Across levels and geographies of academia, the notions of co-creation, staff-student partnership, students as partners (SaP) and related objectives are increasingly promoted as priorities at various institutional levels (see Bovill et al, 2016). The mainstreaming of such concepts can be traced to the influence on education from business management trends (Urbick, 2012;Dollinger et al, 2018), as well as widespread concerns for diminishing student engagement, motivation and wellbeing (see Chemi and Krogh, 2017). As the author's own university administration argued in a recent set of internal documents, co-creation is a means to counter "the feeling that a student's relationship with the University is transactional" and "the sense of disconnection and invisibility that is a genuine concern for many students." ...
... Finally, partnerships between staff and students present a potential cooperative, diplomatic channel to build empathy as a bulwark against emerging intergenerational antagonism, which may be manifesting in educational spaces. With so many factors contributing to the ubiquitous advocacy for co-creation, it is no wonder that it is now manifesting through an increasingly diverse array of spaces and practices (see Chemi and Krogh, 2017;Bovill et al, 2016). ...
... The paper then concludes by reflecting on the potential benefits and challenges of adopting pedagogical partnerships in design education contexts. Chemi and Krogh (2017) define co-creation broadly as "the process of creative (original and valuable) generation of shared meaning and development" (p. viii). ...
... The competencies provided by Higher Education curriculums are becoming more complex and demanding as the professional and personal requirements of academic and scientific staff are changing. Higher education institutions tend to focus more and more on providing effective learning, 6 and the importance of including co-creation activities has become clear. 7 There is a demand for this as companies and public sectors 8 increasingly turn toward user-center techniques for inspiration to develop innovative products and services. ...
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... Although the teaching can be highly interactive, they are rarely co-created and often simply replace traditional formats of talks and presentations. Projects striving for mutual capacity building and co-creation (Chemi and Krogh, 2017) are in need of innovative ways to deliver the bidirectional transfer of knowledge, the acquisition of new techniques as well as providing room for flexibility and discussion. ...
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... This is seen to add value in the quality and impact of education. Studies have been conducted on the impact that increased cooperation between education institutions and students has on education design and improves the institutions' service processes (Chemi & Krogh, 2017;Wardley et al., 2017). The benefit of co-creation is anticipated to influence successful service experiences, increased personalisation of study paths and students' positive relationship with their institution (Dollinger et al., 2018). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION Co-creation is an established method for creating value in cooperation between customers and companies (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004b). Co-creation has been a widely accepted value-creation tool in various contexts. In the educational context, co-creation enables different stakeholders to take part in and bring new perspectives to education design. This is seen to add value in the quality and impact of education. Studies have been conducted on the impact that increased cooperation between education institutions and students has on education design and improves the institutions' service processes (Chemi & Krogh, 2017; Wardley et al., 2017). The benefit of co-creation is anticipated to influence successful service experiences, increased personalisation of study paths and students' positive relationship with their institution (Dollinger et al., 2018). In lifelong learning (also continuous learning), personalisation and tailored courses are typical expectations. The focus of education is on skills, expertise and adequate knowledge of working life. Its provision is increasingly towards non-degree education. Effective lifelong education (also adult education or working-life-oriented education) must be directly linked to competence needs, and education must be accessible alongside work. In lifelong learning, close interaction between education institutions, employers and employees is necessary. However, co-creation has not been widely studied in the lifelong learning context. In this paper, we lay the foundation for an examination of the benefits of multi-stakeholder co-creation in lifelong education. It can be used to inform and guide best practices for designers of lifelong learning within higher education. We suggest that through co-creation methods, both the needs of those in working life and the conditions for education provision can be taken into account when designing education. Co-creation can thus help increase the personalisation of education and the utilisation of user experiences. In addition, participation in education design can strengthen learners' positive attitudes towards the phenomena of learning.
... As a tertiary institution, achievement standards must be set for students to attain through selfdriven learning. Since students of tertiary institutions are regarded as co-creators of knowledge [34], what the college must do is to create the enabling environment to promote student-centred learning. A typical strategy for promoting student-driven learning is to stretch students with challenging research-oriented tasks whilst supporting them as clients to accomplish the tasks [35]. ...
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The preparation of pre-tertiary school teachers by colleges of education in Ghana is beset by varied challenges of quality. A lot of the products of the colleges are unable to measure up to desired standards of competence. It appears that efforts at promoting quality teacher education seem to centre mostly on enhancing the academic capabilities of teachers to enhancing students' capability to act as agents of their own learning. This article brings to the fore, the drivers of student-centred learning and how colleges of education can empower students as clients with absolute responsibility to drive their own learning. It clarifies the role of the administrative staff in the implementation of students' relationship management and how their functions constitute the bedrock for effective teacher preparation.
... Therefore, most of recent research studies on value co-creation in education examine the methodical aspects of teaching which imply a wider role of students in creating educational content, generating knowledge and designing courses. Chemi and Krogh (2017) present a systematic view on the tools of in class co-production in HE, including Project based learning (PBL), learner-led teaching, collaborative dynamics and others. Bowden and D'Alessandro (2011) analyze how interactive classroom technologies may engage students in co-production and enhance their experience. ...
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Full-text available
The value co-creation concept has become a marketing answer to today’s challenges, the economy is facing. The field of higher education (HE) is experiencing the same pressure of outer factors as any other service industry. As a result, service providers (colleges and universities), as well as customers (students, graduates and employers) are dissatisfied with the quality of services and the level of generated value. The aim of this paper is to discuss how universities can use value co-creation concept to improve the situation. We consider social media to become engagement platforms for enabling value co-creation. Therefore, this paper discusses their current usage and perspectives for Ukrainian HE in creating mutual value. Top-five Ukrainian universities in the Webometrics rating are analyzed in terms of their SM activities on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. The value itself is considered a multi-dimensional category and the co-creation directions are analyzed in terms of the theory of consumption values (TCV) and from the perspective of two customer groups - students and employers. Recommendations include practical tools on engaging students and employers to the VCC process, grouped by the type of the value obtained. (1) (PDF) Increasing competitiveness of higher education in Ukraine through value co-creation strategy. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338586690_Increasing_competitiveness_of_higher_education_in_Ukraine_through_value_co-creation_strategy [accessed Feb 04 2020].
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While co-creation has long been promoted as a theoretical paradigm of strategic communication to understand the shared meaning-making between practitioners and public, it is rarely studied as a fitting pedagogical component when examining the interaction between strategic communication educators and students. In the wake of migration from face-to-face teaching to distance learning following COVID-19, we call for co-creation to be used within the teaching of strategic communication and understand how it is enacted in tertiary education practice. We reflected on two case studies, one from Singapore and one from Australia, to determine how meaningful learning is (re)constructed by taking a co-creational approach to teaching. We argue that a significant potential is available to mobilise students' agency, creativity, and ownership of learning through the digitally mediated, co-creational practices of students generating content, teams collaborating, and practitioners broadly engaging in various ways. However, we also acknowledge the barriers to normalising co-creational value because of the power imbalance between learning participants, student expertise levels, and institutional resources support.
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Co-creation has emerged as a way in which organizations combine strategic product development and strategic customer relationship building. This article takes a relational approach to co-creation and presents two typologies that can serve to facilitate strategic leadership of constructive collaboration between the parties in co-creation. The first typology concerns the strategic alliances in co-creation. It differentiates between the parties collaborating as a ”club of experts”, a ”crowd of people”, a ”community of kindred spirits” and a ”coalition of parties”. The second typology concerns the strategic agendas of co-creation. It differentiates between the creation of “ideas”, “designs” and “practices”. Taken together, these typologies show why there is no one best practice in co-creation, but different options and opportunities. Hence, co-creation requires on-going attention to and dialogue about the best fit between the key aspects of co-creation: The purpose, the participants, the processes and the product.
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This book explores the future of learning, work, and how we relate with each other in Knowmad paradigm.
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In a time of unprecedented turbulence, how can public sector organisations increase their ability to find innovative solutions to society's problems? "Leading public sector innovation" shows how government agencies can use co-creation to overcome barriers and deliver more value, at lower cost, to citizens and business. Through inspiring global case studies and practical examples, the book addresses the key triggers of public sector innovation. It shares new tools for citizen involvement through design thinking and ethnographic research, and pinpoints the leadership roles needed to drive innovation at all levels of government. "Leading public sector innovation" is essential reading for public managers and staff, social innovators, business partners, researchers, consultants and others with a stake in the public sector of tomorrow. "This is an excellent book, setting out a clear framework within which the practicalIssues involved in public sector innovation are explored, using insights drawn from extensive practical experience of implementing and supporting it. It draws on an impressive range of research and relevant wider experience in both public and private sectors and is written in a clear and persuasive style. The book offers an excellent synthesis of principles, practices and tools to enable real traction on the innovation management problem - and it ought to find a place on any manager's bookshelf." John Bessant, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer and Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Exeter Business School.
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We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: if you've got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you started out. But with opportunity comes responsibility. Companies today aren't managing their employees'careers; knowledge workers must, effectively, be their own chief executive officers. It's up to you to carve out your place, to know when to change course, and to keep yourself engaged and productive during a work life that may span some 50 years. To do those things well, you'll need to cultivate a deep understanding of yourself - not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.
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The aim of the paper is to answer some of these questions: What will the educational paradigm of the society of the future look like? (What "philosophy" will it be based upon?, What perspective on the world will it offer?, What will the ideal of education in the 21st Century be? Can we hope for a trans-humanist future?) How can we adapt the theory of trans-disciplinary thinking to the field of education? How can it be implemented in public education? How can we cross the bridge that relates trans-disciplinary knowledge to trans-disciplinary teaching-learning? (know-how). What would the ideal curricular model for the school of tomorrow be, so as to offer the student a holistic perspective on the world, a correct perspective of the unitary state of knowledge? The paper will have two distinctive parts that will address the issue at hand both theoretically and practically. The flow of the argument is nevertheless inductive, from the particular case to the general idea, from the practical experiment to the building of the theory.