Learning through Photography

My doctoral research Learning through Photography: Creativity as Concept and Process explored the concept of creativity within the context of photographic studies in higher education. Particular focus was given to the role of the creative process in enabling individuals to make connections between acquiring different forms of knowledge and skills and how this process can best be facilitated within an educational setting. Whilst the research was based in photographic studies, the areas I explored reached across a number of fields: learners and learner experiences, the learning community, teachers and teaching, pedagogic innovation and curriculum development, and arts education.

Learning through Photography (Click to Download)

Lange, S. (2010). Learning Through Photography: Creativity as Concept and Process. London, Institute of Education, University London. EdD

One of the concepts I developed in my thesis, Creative Conversations, was published as a discrete chapter in the international anthology Teaching Creativity – Creativity in Teaching  (ed. C. Nygaard et al., LIBRI Publishing, Oxfordshire, 2010). Prior to this, the co-authored paper with Andy Golding, The Interactive Photograph, a summary of findings on creativity related skills, was published in the Journal of the Arts in Society, and awarded runner-up for the International Award for Excellence in the Area of the Arts in 2007.

Broad Vision

From 2010 – 2015 I was the educational researcher for Broad Vision, an interdisciplinary pedagogic research project led by Heather Barnett  at the University of Westminster. Broad Vision provided a case study to research interdisciplinary learning, collaborative creativity and learning spaces. As the embedded educational researcher, I provided an outsider’s perspective on pedagogical aspects of the collaborative inquiry. I have been leading the educational research, supporting the evaluation of the impact of the project; running focus groups with staff and student researchers; identifying and developing ways of disseminating the project outcomes; and integrating the model effectively into the university curriculum.

The outcomes of the projects are myriad, including exhibitions in art galleries, national and international presentations at learning and teaching symposia and interdisciplinary conferences (almost all delivered jointly by students and staff), a website and books illustrating the various phases of the projects, including reflections on the process written by several participants – Broad Vision: The Art & Science of Looking, Broad Vision: Inspired by…Images from Science.

My enthusiasm about the project stemmed from its ethos of creating real live learning opportunities for students, and acknowledging them as co-researchers, co-creators and co-producers. In line with this philosophy, I invited students to co-author with me, resulting in an online publication: Collaborative discovery across disciplinary divides: promoting interdisciplinary learning via student-led extracurricular art / science research and practice.

I enjoy collaborating with others and welcomed the opportunity to co-author the chapter Promoting Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Learning via Migration between different Learning Spaces with John R.A. Smith, Imaging Science lecturer teaching on the project. The chapter considers learning spaces as conceptual, virtual and physical spaces in which opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary learning are fostered. It is published in an international anthology on Learning Spaces in Higher Education.

Innovators Grant 

In the summer of 2015, I was working with a group of seven researchers on the Innovators Grant 2015; a programme funded by Node in Berlin, Germany for investigating how thinking and strategies used in the arts can be applied for innovation in other sectors. During the two months residency a group of seven ‘innovators’ from different fields, including the arts, education, neuroscience and psychology developed prototypes for apps, workshops, and an online teacher’s tools kit. The Node blog provides a comprehensive account of the project.

Looking: Thinking: Making

In 2016, Claire Robertson  an I initiated a collaborative educational research project focusing on the values, roles and uses of digital capabilities, literacies and spaces that MA Fashion Communication  students at Central Saint Martins experience throughout their one-year course. The project provided a platform to explore and consider the anxieties and possibilities of being a creative practitioner in a digital culture that utilizes a wide range of modes of communication. In 2017 the project was awarded funding from the UAL Curriculum Development Fund, and we published early observations in Spark: How is digital culture influencing practice?  In the same year, the project team presented some of the findings during a panel discussion at the Digitally Engaged Learning Conference, held at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London.

Download a list of selected publications.