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Learning Enhancement and Development

Session 2A

Murder, diamonds and walking: using walks in your teaching practice through an exploration of Hatton Garden

Rosa Benato – City, University of London, School of Health Sciences

Anise Bullimore - City, University of London, Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD)

Emily Allbon – City, University of London, The City Law School

This session shares a variety of methods for using walking as an innovative and engaging educational practice as well as a means of exploring excellent teaching.

Participants are asked to come prepared to walk for around half an hour*.  This may include wearing comfy shoes, leaving heavy bags at the conference venue and sun or rain proofing.

* Attendees with any concerns about participating in a walking activity or with specific requirements should contact LEaDevents@city.ac.uk so that we can ensure you are able to participate.

“Only thoughts that are reached by walking have value” (Nietzsche, 1895).

In this workshop, relevant to all teaching staff across the institution, we will demonstrate the range of ways in which walking can be used to enhance your teaching and learning practice.

Walking is an active, immersive practice which can add a dynamic and experiential element to the teaching and learning experience, enhancing engagement, creativity and reflection (Raelin, 2002; Zundel, 2012). Walking has been linked to ‘internal’, psychological processes such as improved cognitive performance (Schaefer et al, 2010), enhanced creativity (Oppezzo and Schwartz, 2014), better reflection (Zundel, 2012) and enabling the increased empowerment of participants (Shellman, 2014). Walking has also been used for more ‘external’ processes such as team-building and coaching (Raelin, 2002; Jordan, 2010; Holman, Pavlica and Thorpe, 1997).

During the workshop we will give a brief overview of the evidence to support walking as a teaching method as well as explore the benefits and variety of ways in which walking can be used in an educational context. This will be done indoors. We will then split the workshop participants into three groups, each of which will be led by one of the three workshop facilitators who will lead participants on three distinct walks lasting 35 minutes in the Hatton Garden area. These are designed to demonstrate the three ways in which the facilitators incorporate walking into their own individual teaching and learning practice.

Participants can only choose one walk from the following:

  • a guided local health and history walk
  • an activity-driven, self-guided walk
  • a reflective discussion walk

The last 15 minutes of the workshop will be a facilitated reflective discussion on the walks and how participants may wish to use this method in their teaching practice.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main debates in the literature relating to the use of walking in teaching and learning
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the benefits and potential practical challenges associated with using walking in teaching
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the range of ways in which walking can be used to enhance teaching
  • Work collaboratively on a group task (the chosen walk)


Holman,D; Pavlica,K & Thorpe, R(1997). Rethinking Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning in Management Education. Management Learning 28(2):135-148

Jordan,S (2010). Learning to be Surprised: how to foster reflective practice in a high-reliability context. Management Learning, 41(4): 391-413.

Nietzsche, F (1895). Twilight of the Idols or How to Philosophise with a Hammer. (Maxim 34).English translation: Kaufamann, W and Hollingdale, RJ http://www.handprint.com/SC/NIE/GotDamer.html Accessed 9/3/16.

Oppezzo, M; Schwartz,DL (2014). Give Your Ideas Some Legs: the positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. 2014. Vol 40(4), 1142-1152

Raelin, JA (2002). “I Don’t Have Time To Think!” versus the art of reflective practice. Reflections: 4(1): 66-75

Schaefer,S; Lovden,M; Wieckhorst,B; Lindenberger,U (2010). Cognitive Performance is improved while walking: differences in cognitive-sensorimotor couplings between children and young adults. European Journal of Developmental Psychology 7:3, 371-389.

Shellman, A (2014). Empowerment and Experiential Education: a state of knowledge paper. Journal of Experiential Education, 2014, Vol 37(1), 18-30.

Zundel, M (2012). Walking to Learn: rethinking reflection for management learning. Management Learning, Vol 44(2), 109-126