Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Latukefu, L., O''Donnell, M., Hayes, J., Burns, S. G., Ellmers, G. N. & Stirling, J. "Fire in the belly: Building resilience in creative practitioners through experiential and authentically designed learning environments." The CALTN Papers: The Refereed Proceedings of the Creative Arts Learning and Teaching Network Sumposium. Ed. J. Holmes. Hobart: Creative Arts Teaching and Learning Network, 2013. 61-89.


This paper presents part of a study carried out in 2011 by researchers in the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. The purpose of the project was to customise nationally developed Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLO) for the Bachelor of Creative Arts degree in the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong (UOW). The participants in the study included both full and part-time faculty staff from the Performance, Graphic Design and Journalism programs at UOW. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were carried out to determine what each participant understood by the terms Standards and Graduate Qualities in relation to discipline and course specific outcomes. A common theme that emerged during interviews and focus group discussions was the need for graduates of the creative and performing arts to be resilient. A return to the literature on resilience showed a strong congruence between the principles of experiential and practice-based learning which, underlie programs in the Faculty of Creative Arts, and parts of the literature on building resilient professionals. This similarity in key elements in the literature on resilience and the literature on experiential, practice based learning would seem to support the argument of this paper that approaches to teaching described in this paper have potential to produce informed and creative students who will become seasoned, flexible resilient practitioners ready to contribute to their communities.