What participants say about ACT 1...


Inaugural "Creative Teaching" Conference
A Great Success 

by Barra O Cinneide & Patricia Ann Brock

It was a great privilege to have participated in the inaugural "Creative Teaching" conference in Lucerne.  There is something special (magical, even) about attending a pioneering event, as was the case with the first WACRA® meeting at The City University, London, organized by Dr. Roy Winterburn in 1984.  As with WACRA® summer conferences, the earnestness and conviviality of all participants become apparent from the start of the Lucerne meeting.  There was a very real sense of excitement as creative teaching methodologies were demonstrated at plenary sessions, with enjoyable and challenging assignments undertaken by all participants.  At the track presentations we all had many opportunities to share in and discuss the pedagogic experiences of colleagues in a wide range of topics, enabling us to gain valuable insights into innovative teaching/training approaches that have been successfully implemented.  A distinguishing feature of the conference was its ability to transcend disciplines with many presentations highlighting how creative approaches to teaching and learning should, and can, cross the all too prevalent boundaries between disciplines.
It is appropriate that "ACT" is the acronym for the Academy for Creative Teaching - the "new" organization supporting the Winter conferences, since the initiative has been specifically developed to be ACTion oriented (with particular emphasis on empowerment of students).  I look forward at future conferences to learning of comparative findings on the effectiveness of many creative methodologies that are obviously "out there," versus traditional teaching/learning practices.  Thanks to everyone who made Lucerne 1998 so enjoyable - hoping to see you all there next year!
Dr. Barra O Cinneide, University of Limerick, Ireland.
Member, WACRA® Advisory Board

Immersed within the 1910 "art deco" ambiance of Hotel Montana, overlooking Lake Lucerne, more than 40 educators and administrators convened for a multiple-day January conference to share ideas of Creative Teaching.  Organized by ACT - The Academy for Creative Teaching and WACRA® - The World Association for Case Method Research and Application, this interdisciplinary cadre of conferees from nine countries participated in presentations and interactive sessions.  Collaborative designing, partnered plenary periods, concurrent workshops and papers offered a myriad of opportunities to share creativity in practice and to validate the essential role of creativity in the learning process.

In addition to the rigorous daily scheduled professional agenda, conference delegates were invited to learn more about their Swiss environs through 'tour lead Old Town walks' and cultural visits as well as informal meandering through historic Lucerne or brief train trips to nearby cities.  Since Switzerland is a country of four national languages and cultures, the conference participants were provided with a wide choice of delicious cuisine and generous meals.  Whether fondue in a tucked away cafe on a cobble stoned street or salmon ravioli in an upscale restaurant on the edge of Lake Lucerne or a quick snack of hot chestnuts from a corner street vendor (all, of course, followed by some world renowned Swiss chocolate), all tastes were satisfied.
Furthermore, the professional and social opportunities encouraged collegial networking.  By the end of the conference, new partnerships for future research were established, new career possibilities were discussed, and new e-mail  and fax addresses were exchanged.
Although the formal conference schedule was finished, other ventures were just beginning.  This conference on Creative Teaching was a catalyst for creative collaboration crossing state, national and continental boundaries.  Undisputedly, the goals of the first ACT Conference were met; but, in addition, the positive side effects of this well organized conference were established: the seeds of creative collaboration for the next ACT conference.  Auf Wiedersehen until 1999!  I know I shall return.
Dr. Patricia Ann Brock is Professor at Raritan Valley College, NJ.
Reprinted with permission from WACRA® NEWS - Spring 1998 Issue, Vol. IX, No. 1