Here are some of my publications, not including other kinds of writing, conference presentations, talks and anything predating 2013 etc. (I’m also on editorial and advisory panels for internal and external journals).

Do forgive it being a bit ‘scrolly’ and not very pretty.

Works in progress currently are

  • an open source compendium on the use of LEGO for learning in HE with Dr Chrissi Nerantzi, coming out in December 2018
  • guest editing, with Chrissi (MMU) and Dr Alex Avramenko (Abertay University) of a special issue of the International Journal of Management and Applied Research: discovering innovative applications of LEGO® in learning and teaching
  • a chapter on Play and Playful Learning in Higher Education for The Encyclopaedia of Educational Innovation, edited by Michael A Peters and Richard Heraud, to be published in 2019 by Springer.


The Power of Play in HE: creativity in tertiary learning co-editor with Chrissi Nerantzi, (MMU). Palgrave Macmillan. Due out December 2018/January 2019

James A, Brookfield S (2014) Engaging imagination: helping students become creative and reflective thinkers. San Francisco. Jossey Bass

Online publications

James A (2015) Innovative Pedagogical Practices: Innovating in the Creative Arts with LEGO. Commissioned by the Higher Education Academy. Available at

Book chapters (published unless otherwise stated)

In production: James A (2018) “Moveable feasts: unusual learning in unexpected places” in Reframing space for learning: Empowering Excellence and Innovation in University Teaching and Learning. Institute of Education.

James A (2017)Connecting research, inquiry and communities in the creative curriculum”, chapter in Fung, D., Carnell, B., and Tong, V., (ed) Disciplinary Approaches to Connecting the Higher Education Curriculum.

Open Access link

James, A (2017) Case study “Transition as metaphor: how building with LEGO® helps students navigate teamworking for an external client” in Transition: in, through and out of higher education Eds Matheson., R, Tangney., S, Sutcliffe., and Poole, N. Taylor & Francis.

James, A. (2016) invited chapter “Play and 3D enquiry for stimulating creative learning”  in Watts, L. and Blessinger, P. (Eds) Creative Learning: International Perspectives and Approaches in Higher Education. (Routledge)

James A and Brookfield S, (2016) “The Serious Use of Play and Metaphor” pp118-133, revised and updated chapter in Wang V (ed) Adult Education in the Digital Age. IGI Global. ISBN. 9781522509295

James, A. (2015) “Learning in three dimensions: using LEGO SERIOUS PLAY for creative and critical reflection across time and space”. in Lake, P and Layne, P. (Eds) Transgressing Boundaries. Global Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Vol 11.  Pp275-294. ISBN. 978-3-319-10481-2. Switzerland. Springer.

Medland, E. , James, A., Bailey, N. (2018) ““Messy and precise”: peculiarities and parallels between the performing arts and higher education.” Chapter in Pedagogical peculiarities: conversations at the edge of university teaching. Leiden, The Netherlands. Brill:Sense.

Selected Journal/pressArticles

James, A. (2017) “Why Play Matters in a World of REF, TEF and What the Jeff.” In Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 10, No.3. University of Greenwich. ISSN 2044-0073

James, A. and Barton, G. (2017) “LEGO SERIOUS PLAY, Threshold Concepts and Systems Thinking: Towards a Combined Methodology” in PESTLHE ISSN 1750-8428Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.Vol 10 Special Issue: Threshold Concepts and Conceptual Difficulty. Eds.  Land, R., Rattray, J. & Matthew, R.

James, A. (2015) “Call it anything you want, just don’t call it the real world” blogpost for the Times Higher December 2015, online and print

James, A. (2015) “Developing Leadership Through Play”. Invited article for Developing Leaders Magazine http://www.iedp.comPrint and online article.

James, A. (2013) “Lego Serious Play. A three dimensional approach to learning development” in the Journal for Learning Development In Higher Education.   Issue 6, November 2013. ISSN:1759-667X