1st Edition

The Artistry of Teaching in Higher Education Practical Ideas for Developing Creative Academic Practice

Edited By Helen King Copyright 2025
    268 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Introducing a fresh approach to conceptualising and actioning high-quality teaching in higher education, this essential volume fills a gap in current literature by expanding beyond the mere ‘delivery’ of teaching. Instead, it offers an evidence-based discussion of ‘artistry’ and demonstrates how this may be applied successfully within a higher education setting to enable better student learning. Key concepts such as improvisation, embodiment, knowing oneself and one’s students, and a compassionate and relational approach to facilitating learning are unpacked throughout.

    Filled with practical examples based on scholarship and experience from and applicable to a wide range of disciplines, The Artistry of Teaching in Higher Education is divided into three distinct parts which explore:

    • Creativity, improvisation and context;
    • Authenticity and professional identity;
    • Developing the artistry of teaching.

    An essential read for teachers, senior management, educational developers, and policy makers alike, this book acts as a call to action within higher education institutions to support and create space for learning, creativity and innovation, to the benefit of the development of their teachers’ expertise.

    Part I: Creativity, Improvisation and Context

    1:    Taking the “art” in “artistry” literally: an art-based theory of teaching expertise

           Mike Bryant

    2:    Blackholes and Revelations: understanding everyday creativity in higher education teacher practice

           Sam Elkington

    3:    The embodied realm of teaching

           Curie Scott

    4:    Love Expertise is . . . never having to say you are sorry: academic development and the artistry of improvisation

                Jennie Mills, Jenni Carr, Natasha Taylor & Catriona Cunningham

    5:    The artistry of teaching as culturally self-aware, learning-centred, imaginative co-creation
                Anna Santucci

    Part II: Authenticity and Professional Identity  

    6:    Authenticity in delivering contextual pedagogy and materials in cybersecurity

           Abdullahi Arabo

    7:    Developing online communities of practice through relational pedagogy

           James Layton

    8:    The MIPA model of professional identities of dance teachers: negotiating professional identities in and across higher education

           Michelle Groves

    9:    From disciplinary expertise to academic artistry: the shifting professional identity, expertise and artistry of the programme leader

           Jenny Lawrence

    10:   The many identities of a Learning Technologist (and how to make the most of them)

           Evan Dickerson

    Part III: Developing the Artistry of Teaching

    11:   Developing the artistry of teaching and approaches to learning: what we can learn from those teaching theatre improvisation

           Petia Petrova, Shaun Mudd, Imogen Palmer & Stephen Brown

    12:   The characteristics of expertise in online teaching in higher education

           Sarah Wilson-Medhurst & Mark Childs

    13:   Developing the artistry of language teaching through practitioner research

           Anna Costantino

    14:   Facilitating in the moment: being ready for change

           Lucy Nicholson, Ruth Spencer & Kerstin Wellhöfer

    15:   Professional development for artistry in higher education

           15.1: To ‘toy with’, ‘think about’ and ‘experiment with’: teacher development programmes as space for developing the artistry of teaching: Emma Kennedy & Martin Compton

           15.2:  Developing teaching expertise for disciplinary contexts – building the bridges between institution and discipline perspectives: Jackie Potter & Moira Lafferty

           15.3:  “What’s in it for me?”: Professional Services Colleagues and Teaching Expertise: Sarah Floyd & Fiona Smart

           15.4:  Engaging in feedback dialogue to enhance expertise in healthcare teaching: Lucy Spowart & Tristan Price

           15.5:  Sketching new horizons: what does evaluation of staff development events tell us about developing expertise?: Charlotte Stevens

           15.6:  Building confidence through appreciative self-study: Caitlin Kight          


    Helen King is Professor and Director of Learning Innovation, Development & Skills at Bath Spa University, UK. Her career in educational development spans nearly three decades including leading roles within three UK universities and several UK-wide learning and teaching enhancement projects and organisations and as an independent consultant collaborating nationally and internationally.