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School of Education

Dr Kerry Chappell

Dr Kerry Chappell

Associate Professor in Education


 +44 (0) 1392 724991

 North Cloisters NC121


North Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


Kerry is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Exeter, where she leads the MA Creative Arts in Education Programme and provides dance expertise to the course. Kerry also leads the Creativity and Emergent Educational Futures Network and is a PhD and EdD supervisor. Her research investigates creativity in arts, science and transdisciplinary education and educational futures, alongside participatory research methodologies. Kerry continues to work as a dance-artist within Exeter-based dance lab collective.

Kerry is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre of Creativities, Arts and Science in Education at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway where she contributes dance and creativity in education expertise.


PCAP/Senior Fellow of HEA, University of Exeter; PhD Dance Education (Trinity Laban); MA Oxon Experimental Psychology

Research group links

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Research interests

My research investigates how we conceive of and teach for creativity in education (generically, in transdisciplinary ways and within arts/dance) and developing this within effective and meaningful educational futures. Currently this focuses on both Higher Education and school settings in the context of responding to Anthropocentric problems.

My original grounding in dance education (as academic and practitioner) has allowed me to develop a unique perspective by theorising embodied dialogue as the key driver of creativity. This offers an alternative perspective to accounts of educational creativity which see it as an individualised, mind-based, measurable endeavour. Grounded in embodied dialogue, I articulate creativity as collaborative, as incorporating questions of ethical value and affect, and, crucially, as related to the materials and environment in which it happens. I research creativity in a complementary way, using mixed methods, researching ‘with’ teachers/lecturers and children/young people rather than ‘on’ them, and seeking to develop creative teaching and learning practices which respect teachers/lecturers’ professional wisdom and children’s perspectives. 

Research projects

STEAMer (2022-2025) (Horizon European funding). Kerry is PI with Lindsay Hetherington as Co-I (50/50). Share of funds: £55,000 (Total: £109,146)  “Developing a STE(A)M roadmap for Science Education in Horizon Europe”, working with 11 partners in Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Malta and the Netherlands to create a plan of action that will provide guidance to the EU's key funding programme for research and innovation on how to encourage more interest in STEM through the use of artistic approaches involving creative thinking and applied arts. 

Transdisciplinary Pedagogy Network (2022) Kerry is PI with Professor Nicky King (CEMPS) and Dr Caitlin Kight (Academic Development) with £2.6k (Chappell share £900) funding from Research and Impact Strategy, Research-Education Ecosystem strand) to run two cumulative /university-wide events which build capacity around Transdisicplinary pedagogy alongside TransD research, feed into the new Exeter Education Innovation Institute plans and look at the best way to establish the network bearing in mind the new faculty structure.

Creativity Collaboratives with Penryn College (2021-2024) (Arts Council England) Kerry is PI (100%). Part of piloting a national cohort of Creativity Collaboratives to test a range of innovative practices for teaching for creativity: £35,000 including RA Ursula Crickmay (Total grant £350,000)

SciCulture (H2020 Erasmus+, UoE £75k) 2018 - 2021 - Kerry is the UoE PI on this project, working with Co-I, Lindsay Hetherington. This Europe-wide SciCulture team are creating and researching intensive 5 day HE courses for university students and researchers. Participants are being facilitated to co-create solutions to shared problems through business, science and the arts. The project will culminate in the development of transdisciplinary HE modules and a transdisciplinary model and toolkit. 

Dance and Health Transformative Research Project, (Wellcome Centre UoE, £20, 000) 2019-20, PI, exploring the relationship between arts-based health interventions, creativity, and health.

Science|Arts Creativity Resource Development (ESRC Impact Accelerator): PI. 2019-20 (£7, 900) Developing and sharing a new resource for science/arts creativity teaching in primary and secondary shcools.

UoE Education Incubator (Internal funding, £14k) 2018-2019 - Kerry was Co-I on this project working with Katie Natanel in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies also at UoE. Digital innovation in project-based learning: toward a model for praxis explores how ‘project-based learning’ (PBL) can be enhanced through digital technologies and creative pedagogies in HE classrooms, which work through face-to-face interaction and virtual learning environments (VLEs). Following module development through networking with UoE colleagues, ideas were piloted in Dr. Natanel's course 'Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Palestine/Israel', and findings shared at an interdisciplinary workshop in summer 2019. The peer-reviewed paper from this work is currently under review.

Ocean Connections (H2020 Erasmus +, UoE £65k) 2018 - 2021 - Kerry is the Co-I on this project working alongside PI Lindsay Hetherington and Co-I Justin Dillon. This Europe-wide project is focusing on developing Ocean Literacy for primary and secondary school students through creative pedagogies, Virtual and Augmented Reality and the Arts.

CREATIONs (EUH2020, £120k) 2015-18 - Kerry was PI on this project at Exeter, working with Co-I Lindsay Hetherington, and Research Associates Hermione Ruck Keene and Charlotte Hathaway. The project developed engaging science classrooms across Europe using arts-based and creative approaches developed from work carried out by researchers from the Centre for Creativity, Sustainability and Educational Futures (incorporating CREATE). The project includes an array of activities with science and arts teachers and their students

CREAT-IT (funding EU Comenius Fund, �40k) 2013-15 - Working with Anna Craft, Sarah Hennessy, Charlotte Slade, Margo Greenwood and Alison Black and collaborating with six other European partners. The aim of the project was to develop and support science teachers by integrating creative and cultural activities derived from the arts into their curriculum, therefore engaging students to participate in collaborative, project and case study based activities. 

NEXT CHOREOGRAPHY with SIOBHAN DAVIES DANCE - (funding Paul Hamlyn Foundation, �6.6k) 2014-18 - Working with Charlotte Slade and Amy Phillips to evaluate and research the development of choreographic understanding and wise humanising creativity for 14 - 20 year olds within this SDD project. The project final report is available on the SDD website.

CREATIVE POTENTIAL - (funding Paul Hamlyn Foundation, �10k) � Working with Debbie Watson and Anna Craft to act as critical friends to the Education team of Wayne McGregor/Random Dance Company in their development of the Creative Potential creativity teaching resource. The project completed during 2014.

CAROUSEL COLLECTIVE RESEARCH (2013-16) (funding (�3k) - this project involves working with a group of early years practitioners and artists researching their practice collectively. The group have investigated what defines the approach they take in their work and what the children taking part get from this. The project completed with the production of a short research film available at the Devon Carousel Project website.

CHILDREN'S VOICES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING workshops. These workshops have been developed from the Aspire project, a co-participative research project putting student as researchers at the centre of school transformation. �The Aspire university research team, including Anna Craft, myself and Margo Greenwood worked with Pearson plc to develop a Children's Voice training workshop to facilitate schools to run their own student voice for transformative change projects.

DANCE PARTNERS FOR CREATIVITY (AHRC funded). 2008 - 2011. Working with Professor Anna Craft, and Linda Rolfe at Exeter, and collaborating with Veronica Jobbins at Laban, as well as a team of dance-artist/teacher partnerships, the core question at the heart of this research was 'What kinds of creative partnerships are manifested between dance-artists and teachers in co-developing the creativity of 11-14 year olds, in dance in education, and how do these develop? The research culminated in the publication of Close Encounters: Dance Partners for Creativity published in late 2011. The book presents ideas and provocations for developing practice and thinking about creativity in education in the 21st century, drawing on dance education. It argues that young people's creativity doesn't have to be restricted by standards and that their creativity can thrive alongside attainment. The book concludes by offering practical ideas for ensuring that creative professionals and students can thrive rather than just survive in the current educational climate.

CREATIVITY WITHIN THE DANCE CENTRES FOR ADVANCED TRAINING: 2007-8 collaborating with Dr Sanna Nordin-Bates this project involved qualitatively and quantitatively investigating what creativity is and how it is nurtured within the dance specialists Centres for Advanced Training. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the research culminated in practitioners' professional development, a CAT report, a peer-reviewed article and a creativity questionnaire.

CARA2 RESEARCH (September 2006 - October 2007). Researching the operation and impact of the Creativity Action Research Awards 2, a national initiative funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Director Anna Craft. Funded by DfES. Budget: �25K.

Research grants

  • 2018 European Union
    The Europe-wide SciCulture team are creating intensive HE courses for university students and researchers. These participants are being facilitated to co-create solutions to shared problems through business, science and the arts.
  • 2018 European Union
    Ocean Connections aims to develop Ocean Literacy for primary and secondary school students across Europe using creative pedagogies, virtual and augmented reality and the arts.
  • 2018 University of Exeter
    Digital innovation in project-based learning: toward a model for praxis explores how ‘project-based learning’ (PBL) can be enhanced through digital technologies and creative pedagogies in HE classrooms, which work through face-to-face interaction and virtual learning environments (VLEs). Read more at
  • 2015 EU Framework 6
    The project aims to increase science education engagement through the arts and creativity. The Exeter team's creativity theories are positioned at the heart of the project within the 8 pedagogical features which inform the developing teaching practices in 11 European partner countries:
  • 2008 Arts and Humanities Research Council
    Dance Partners for Creativity Research Project (2008-10) within the School of Education and Lifelong Learning. Working with Professor Anna Craft, and Linda Rolfe at Exeter, and collaborating with Veronica Jobbins at Laban, as well as a team of dance-artist/teacher partnerships, the core question at the heart of this research is 'What kinds of creative partnerships are manifested between dance-artists and teachers in co-developing the creativity of 11-14 year olds, in dance in education, and how do these develop? Beginning in April 08, the research has three key research areas: investigating partnership roles and relationships which push boundaries;gaining understanding of, and developing, how creativity is conceived and facilitated; questioning and challenging practice; and understanding the problems faced by partnerships.

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Chappell KA, Rolfe L, Craft A, Jobbins V (2011). Close encounters: Dance partners for creativity., Stoke on Trent: Trentham. Abstract.

Journal articles

Hetherington LEJ, Chappell K, Ruck Keene H, Wren H, Cukurova M, Hathway C, Sotiriou S, Bogner F (In Press). International Educators’ Perspectives on the Purpose of Science Education and the Relationship between School Science and Creativity. Research in Science and Technological Education
Chappell K, Hetherington L (2024). Creative pedagogies in digital STEAM practices: natural, technological and cultural entanglements for powerful learning and activism. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 19(1), 77-116. Abstract.
Chappell K, Ben-Horin O (2023). Global Science Opera: Enacting Posthumanising Creativity. Journal for Research in Arts and Sports Education, 7(3), 78-94. Abstract.
Chappell K, Witt S, Wren H, Hampton L, Woods P, Swinford L, Hampton M (2023). Re‐Creating Higher Education Pedagogy by Making Materiality and Spatiality Matter. The Journal of Creative Behavior Abstract.
Chappell K, Natanel K, Wren H (2021). Letting the ghosts in: re-designing HE teaching and learning through posthumanism. Teaching in Higher Education, 28(8), 2066-2088.
Chappell K (2021). Researching Posthumanizing Creativity: Expanding, Shifting, and Disrupting. Qualitative Inquiry Abstract.
Chappell K, Redding E, Crickmay U, Stancliffe R, Jobbins V, Smith S (2021). The aesthetic, artistic and creative contributions of dance for health and wellbeing across the lifecourse: a systematic review. Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being, 16(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Chappell KA, Swinford E (2019). Artful Humanizing conversations: improvisation in early years dance. Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance Abstract.
Chappell K, Cremin T (2019). Creative pedagogies: a systematic review. Research Papers in Education, TBC(TBC), 1-33. Abstract.
Chappell KA, Hathaway C (2019). Creativity and Dance Education. Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Education Abstract.
Chappell KA, Hetherington L, Ruck Keene H, Wren H, Alexopoulos A, Ben-Horin O, Nikolopoulos K, Robberstad J, Sotiriou S, Bogner F, et al (2019). Dialogue and materiality/embodiment in science|arts creative pedagogy: Their role and manifestation. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 31, 296-322. Abstract.
Walsh C, Chappell K, Craft A (2017). A co-creativity theoretical framework to foster and evaluate the presence of wise humanising creativity in virtual learning environments (VLEs). Thinking Skills and Creativity, 24, 228-241.
Ben-Horin O, Chappell KA, Halstead J, Espeland M (2017). Designing creative inter-disciplinary science and art interventions in schools: the case of Write a Science Opera (WASO). Cogent Education, 4(1). Abstract.
Chappell KA, Cremin T (2017). Remembering Anna Craft. Education 3-13: the professional journal for primary education, 6(42), 572-574.
Chappell KA, Walsh C, Kenny K, Wren H, Schmoelz A, Stouraitis E (2017). WISE HUMANISING CREATIVITY: CHANGING HOW WE CREATE IN a VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 7, 4
Chappell KA, Pender T, Swinford L, Ford K (2016). Making and being made: wise humanising creativity in interdisciplinary early years arts education. International Journal of Early Years Education, 24(3), 254-278. Abstract.
Craft AR, Chappell KA (2016). Possibility thinking and social change in primary schools. Education 3-13, 44(4), 407-425. Abstract.
Chappell KA, Cremin T (2014). Anna Craft and beyond. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 14
Cremin T, Chappell K, Craft A (2013). Reciprocity between narrative, questioning and imagination in the early and primary years:. examining the role of narrative in possibility thinking. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 9, 135-151.
Watson DE, Nordin-Bates SM, Chappell KA (2012). Facilitating and nurturing creativity in pre-vocational dancers: Findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training. Research in Dance Education, 13(2), 153-173. Abstract.
Chappell K, Craft A, Rolfe L, Jobbins V (2012). Humanising Creativity:. valuing our journeys of becoming. Acta Alimentaria: an international journal of food science, 13(8), 1-35. Abstract.
Craft A, Cremin T, Burnard P, Dragovic T, Chappell K (2012). Possibility thinking: culminative studies of an evidence-based concept driving creativity?. Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education
Craft A, Chappell K, Rolfe L, Jobbins V (2012). Reflective creative partnerships as ‘meddling in the middle’: developing practice. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives
Craft AR, Chappell K, Rolfe L, Jobbins V (2012). Reflective creative partnerships as 'meddling in the middle':. developing practice. Reflective Practice, 13(4), 579-595.
Chappell KA, Craft A, Rolfe L, Jobbins V (2012). Valuing our journeys of becoming: humanising creativity. International Journal of Education and the Arts, 13(8).
Chappell KA, Craft A (2011). Creative learning conversations: producing living dialogic spaces. Educational Research(3), 363-385. Abstract.  Author URL.
Chappell KA, Craft A (2009). Creative Science Teaching: New Dimensions in CPD. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 4(1), 44-59. Abstract.
Chappell KA, Craft A, Rolfe L, Jobbins V (2009). Dance partners for creativity: Choreographing space for co-participative research into creativity and partnership in dance education. Research in Dance Education, 10(3), 177-197.
Craft A, Chappell K, Twining P (2008). Learners reconceptualising education: widening participation through creative engagement. Journal of Innovation in Education and Teaching International, 45(3), 235-245.  Author URL.
Chappell, K. (2008). Mediating creativity and performativity policy tensions in dance education-based action research partnerships: insights from a mentor's self-study. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 3(2), 94-103.  Author URL.
Chappell K, Craft A, Burnard P, Cremin T (2008). Question-posing & question-responding at the heart of possibility thinking in the early years. Early Years, 28(3), 267-286.
Chappell, K. (2008). Towards Humanising Creativity. UNESCO Observatory E-Journal, 1(3).
Chappell, K. (2007). Creativity in primary level dance education: Moving beyond assumption. Research in Dance Education, 8(1), 27-52.
Craft A, Cremin T, Burnard P, Chappell K (2007). Teacher Stance in Creative Learning:. A Study of Progression. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 2(2), 136-147.
Chappell, K. (2007). The Dilemmas of Teaching for Creativity: Insights from Expert Specialist\r Dance Teachers.\r. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 2007(2), 39-56.


Hetherington L, Chappell K, Ruck Keene H, Wren H (2020). Creative Pedagogy and Environmental Responsibility: a Diffractive Analysis of an Intra-Active Science|Arts Practice. In Burnard P, Colucci-Gray L (Eds.) Why Science and Art Creativities Matter Re-configuring Steam for Future-making Education, Leiden: Brill - Sense, 271-299. Abstract.
Chappell KA (2018). From wise humanising creativity to (post-humanising) creativity. In Snepvangers K, Thomson P, Harris A (Eds.) In A. Harris, P. Thomson & K. Snepvangers Creativity Policy, Partnerships and Practice in Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Springer. Abstract.
Slade C, Chappell KA (2017). Next Choreography: Transformative potential for young people in choreographic practice. In  (Ed) Exploring identities in dance: Proceedings from 13th World Congress of Dance and the Child international, Australia: Ausdance. Abstract.
Craft A, Horin OB, Sotiriou M, Stergiopoulos P, Sotiriou S, Hennessy S, Chappell K, Slade C, Greenwood M, Black A, et al (2016). CREAT-IT: Implementing Creative Strategies into Science Teaching. In  (Ed) New Developments in Science and Technology Education, Springer Nature, 163-179.
Chappell K, Swinford E (2015). Improvisation in early years dance: artful humanising creativity. In  (Ed) The Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance.
Chappell K, Jobbins V (2015). Partnerships for Creativity. In  (Ed) Dance Education Around the World, Taylor & Francis, 149-160.
Chappell KA, Jobbins V (2015). Partnerships for Creativity: Expanding Teaching Possibilities. In Svendler Nielsen C, Burridge S (Eds.) Dance Education around the World, Routledge.
Chappell K, Young S (2011). Inside-outside: Exploring learning and creativity in early years dance education. In Faulkner D, Coates E (Eds.) The expressive nature of creativity in childhood, Routledge.
Chappell, K. (2008). Embodied Narratives, in Parry, S. Nicholson, H. & Levinson, R. (Ed.), Creative Encounters. In  (Ed) , Wellcome Trust:.  Author URL.
Chappell, K. (2008). Facilitating creative learning in dance education in Craft, A. Cremin, T. & Burnard, P. (Eds), Creative Learning 3-11 and How We Document it: What How & Why?. In  (Ed) , Trentham.
Craft A, Chappell K (2007). Fostering Possibility Thinking through co-researching creative movement with 7-11 year olds. In Blenkinsop S (Ed) The Imagination in Education: Extending the boundaries of Theory in Practice, USA:.


Keune A, Ruiz-Cabello P, Peppler K, Chappell K, Rowsell J (2022). Mapping Posthuman Methodological Innovation in the Study of Learning. Abstract.
Rolfe L, Platt M, Jobbins V, Craft A, Chappell K, Wright H (2013). Co-participative Research in a Dance Education Partnership: Nurturing Critical Pedagogy and Social Constructivism.
Chappell, K. (2006). Creativity as Individual, Collaborative and Communal.
Chappell, K. (2006). Teaching for Creativity: Spectra of Approach.

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External Engagement and Impact

Evidence of impact on policy and professional practice

In 2021, named one of 100 female graduates of the University of Oxford Experimental Psychology course who has ‘made a contribution to society'.

Co-convenor of the British Educational Research Association Creativities Special Interest Group, (2018 onwards). 

Editorial Board for Thinking Skills and Creativity and Research in Dance Education

Advisory board member Possibilties Network

Advisor to One Dance UK Children and Young People Advisory Group 

Board member for MED Theatre

Teaching and consultancy for M level Dance Education course National School of Performing Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark

Appointed Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (2016)

Member of British Educational Research Association (2006 onwards)

National Dance Teachers Association now One Dance UK (2001 onwards)

Foundation for Community Dance now People Dancing (1998 onwards)

Consultant Researcher on the Centres for Advanced Training Research Project Creativity Strand (Laban) funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2008-2011)

Consultant to Norfolk Dance on Action Research project 'Can movement be used as an effective evaluation tool? (2008-2011)

Supervisor to Kenneth Tharpe, Executive Director, The Place Contemporary Dance Trust - Clore Leadership Fellow dissertation focused on Creativity & Partnership in secondary level dance education. (2008)

Referee for articles submitted to Thinking Skills and Creativity (2006-) and Research in Dance Education (2007-)

Projects Supervisor, Teamworks 2 Project run by National Theatre funded by NESTA (2006-7)

Consultant Evaluator, Navigating the Unknown funded by NESTA: evaluating the final phase of University of Middlesex RESCEN’s Navigating the Unknown (2006)

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