Senior lecturer Karl McCormack signed up for the Ideas World Cup 2022, sponsored by BIC Corporate Foundation, and set about organising his own Idea-thons for staff and students across the University.
Billed as a celebration of human creativity, the competition has attracted 34,836 ideas from 75 cities in 15 countries across the world.
“This year the Ideas World Cup is asking the question ‘how might we inspire creativity in education?’", explained Karl. “This is an area I feel passionate about but I don’t profess to have all the answers, so I enlisted the help of colleagues across the University.”
“It was tense for a time, but we outshone the competition from Casablanca and Miami for the most ideas submitted. We’re delighted to have generated the most ideas out of any city, making Stoke-on-Trent officially the most creative city in the world!”
Ideas submitted from Staffordshire University included solar poles in Africa with reading books attached so that children can sit around as a community to have stories read to them, building a teachers’ network to share examples of creativity and using simulation classrooms to explore theory and practice in a safe environment.
Karl added: “We have until May 20th to consider the feedback before moving on to developing the best ideas. We’re now on a mission to win the 5000 Euro prizemoney which will allow us to bring a project to fruition.”
Karl is himself an advocate of playful learning and in July last year he became the UK’s first Certified Pro Play facilitator – which means he uses Playmobil in his teaching.
So far Karl has run over 50 sessions across the University including icebreaker sessions for Student Recruitment and Education Liaison teams, event planning with Events and Architecture students and vision mapping sessions for businesses involved in the University’s Innovation Enterprise Zone. He is presenting on his innovative teaching style at conferences in Belfast and Leicester.
Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Annabel Kiernan said: “Karl has put in a tremendous effort and I have asked him to showcase his great work around the Ideas World Cup at our Learning and Teaching Festival. He is helping to lead the charge in terms of creativity in education and we really hope one of the ideas generated at the University makes it through to the final stages of the competition.”
Karl added: “I am so proud to have helped facilitate the ideas generated by staff and students. Next year it would be amazing to get the wider Stoke-on-Trent community involved as well.
“We are so fortunate to have many creative spaces to teach in at the university including our immersive suites and The Catalyst building. My playful outlook in teaching helps students explore concepts without the fear of failure, where learning is the focus and we have memorable experiences.”