Stoke-on-Trent on the world map for most creative ideas

Stoke-on-Trent is in contention to win the 2022 World Ideas Cup – thanks to a lecturer from the University of Staffordshire. Karl McCormack signed up for the challenge, which aims to find as many ideas as can be generated to inspire creativity in education.

Billed as a celebration of human creativity, the competition attracted 34,836 ideas from 75 cities in 15 countries around the world. Karl set about organizing his own idea-thons for Staffordshire University staff and students.

Brainwaves included solar poles in Africa, to which reading books were attached so that children could sit in community to have stories read to them. Other suggestions ranged from creating a network of teachers to share examples of creativity to using simulation rooms to explore theory and practice in a safe environment.

READ: Stoke-on-Trent school ranked among the best in the UK

Karl said: “This year’s World Cup of Ideas asks the question ‘how can we inspire creativity in education?. It’s an area I’m passionate about, but I don’t claim to have all the answers, so I asked for help from colleagues across the university.

“It was tense for a while, but we surpassed the competition from Casablanca and Miami for the most ideas submitted. We’re delighted to have generated the most ideas of any city, officially making Stoke-on-Trent the most creative city in the world!

“We have until May 20 to review feedback before moving on to developing the best ideas. We now have the mission of winning the prize of 5,000 euros, which will allow us to carry out a project.

Karl is himself an advocate for playful learning and in July last year he became the UK’s first certified Pro Play facilitator, meaning he uses Playmobil in his teaching.

Vocational Vice-Chancellor Annabel Kiernan said: “Karl has worked hard and I have asked him to showcase his great work around the Ideas World Cup at our learning and teaching festival. It helps to lead the charge in terms of creativity in education and we really hope that one of the ideas generated at the university will make it to the final stages of the competition.

Karl added, “I’m so proud to have helped facilitate the ideas generated by staff and students. Next year it would be amazing to involve the wider Stoke-on-Trent community as well.

“We are so fortunate to have many creative spaces to teach at the university, including our immersive suites and The Catalyst building. My playful view of teaching helps students explore concepts without fear of failure, where learning is the focus and where we have memorable experiences. »

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