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Penny Hay's story – Bath Spa University

Dr Penny Hay is a Bath Spa alum whose passion for Arts Education has led her to become a Senior Lecturer in Arts Education, Reader in Creative Teaching and Learning in the School of Education and Research Fellow in the Centre for Cultural and Creative industries.

I'm passionate about every young person's right to a quality creative education. I have worked extensively in arts education and creative pedagogy across the UK and internationally.

I'm dedicated to transformative teaching and learning, underpinned by a clear set of values and a focus on imagination and creativity. I co-designed the Artist Teacher Scheme with NSEAD and Arts Council England with the first summer school at Tate Modern.

Now as a Research Fellow, I set up experimental sites of pedagogical innovation and research these alongside young people, educators and artists. My teaching and research both focus on developing agency and dynamic relationships through creative educational and artistic practices, encouraging deeper understanding of the value and role of creative learning and teaching.

Passion for education

Bringing creativity to teaching and research

I lead the Art sessions and the Arts Specialism for the Primary and Early Years PGCE course. I prioritise students as co-researchers in learning, in flexible learning environments that invite self-directed and co-enquiry in a creative and immersive learning environment. I encourage authentic learning in the arts and through imaginative, creative practice across the whole curriculum.

I am the strand leader for creative pedagogy in the Research Centre for Policy Pedagogy and Practice. I work internationally as a creative pedagogue with projects in Europe, India and Zimbabwe.

I also work across schools and research centres co-designing live projects with students (see City of Imagination). I am also co-chair of the research group eARTh, focusing on education, arts and environmental issues.

Career journey

I joined Bath Spa as a Senior Lecturer in Arts Education in 2007, having previously been a visiting lecturer.

I'm a Bath Spa alum, having been both an Art and Education student in the days of Bath Art Academy and Bath College of Higher Education. I was a primary teacher, advisory teacher and Arts Education lecturer at the Institute of Education, Goldsmiths University, Roehampton Institute and University of West of England.

I'm now a Reader in Creative Teaching and Learning in the School of Education and Research Fellow in the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries.

I'm also Director of Research for House of Imagination, a charity devoted to children and young people's creativity.

"Great teachers make a real difference - the arts especially can be transformational in children and young people's lives".

House of Imagination

House of Imagination is an arts charity that is devoted to the power of imagination especially in young people. We create places and spaces to research, share and celebrate the power of our collective imagination and creativity, building on the legacy of Sir Ken Robinson’s lifetime work in creativity and learning. Sir Ken was a Patron of House of Imagination for 20 years (his daughter Kate is now our Patron).

Forest of Imagination

Forest of Imagination is an annual participatory contemporary arts and architecture event that’s free and open to all, with a creative learning programme co-designed by a collaborative team of local organisations in Bath.

Forest of Imagination reimagines familiar spaces, inspiring creativity and heightening awareness of nature in an urban context. Co-founded with Andrew Grant, Grant Associates (famous for designing the SuperTrees in Singapore), Forest of Imagination is a unique collaboration between the creative and cultural industries and the community of Bath.

The event creates an arena which invites everyone to have a conversation about the importance of nature and imagination in a playful immersive environment for all ages.

"The project also shines a light on the importance of global forests, the capacity of Bath as a creative ecosystem, the natural wonder of the city and above all the capacity of forests to inspire creativity in everyone".

About Penny

I'm fascinated by nature and how it can genuinely improve our wellbeing. I love going for walks in wild places, especially forests! In addition, I draw, paint and read a lot. I'm a big fan of World Music (especially the WOMAD festival).

Learn more about Penny, her research, and current signature projects on her staff profile

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