03 SES 07 A, Creativity in Education
The European Commission’s (EC 2012) desire for creativity and innovation continues to influence the direction of education policies across member states (see for example Education Scotland, 2012). However this aspiration is not new, creativity and imagination are familiar and enduring constructs in education. Too familiar perhaps, the words loosely woven through policy documents, their traits unproblematically linked to pedagogies and pupils, professionals and practitioners, practices and performances, their meanings all too often unquestioned and uncontested. The present resurgence of interest in creativity, one of many during the post Sputnik period (Kelly, 2009), is closely aligned to a global policy drive for economic sustainability but seems to promote an instrumental interpretation linked closely to the ‘skills for work’ agenda (see for example SG, 2009). This somewhat narrow economic ‘policy imaginary’ (Ritzvi and Lingard, 2010) is in contrast to Greene’s (1995) ‘social imaginary’ which invites school communities to ‘to look at things as if they could be otherwise’ in an attempt to address the ever-present issues surrounding social justice and democracy.
In acknowledging the temporal nature of the discourses of imagination and creativity, this study was designed to trouble these seemingly straightforward constructs, not merely to trace or audit their inclusion in the secondary curriculum - but rather to invite a secondary school community to put these constructs to work in exploring their imaginings for future secondary education.
This paper examines the findings from two of the questions in the study, namely:
- What are a school community’s imaginings for secondary education 25-30 years ahead?
- What does a secondary school community desire in future education?
A mapping of the discourses of creativity and imagination in national and European education policies established the policy context for this study, whilst a bricolage of ideas assembled from literature on imagination, creativity, curriculum and policy both helped to critique this context and inform the methodology.
The theoretical framework was developed from readings of concepts drawn from the creative philosophical stance of Deleuze and Guattari (2004). Concepts such as smooth and striated spaces, desire and becoming were selected from Deleuze and Guattari’s toolbox in an attempt to open a smooth, creative space for analysing the school community’s perceptions, imaginings and desires.
Buchanan, I. (2000) Deleuzism A metacommentary. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press European Commission (2012) RETHINKING EDUCATION: Investing in Skills for better socio-economic outcomes at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2012:0669:FIN:EN:PDF [Accessed 31 January 2013] Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (2004) A Thousand Plateaus – Capitalism and Schizophrenia London: Continuum. Education Scotland (2012) The curriculum in Scotland , Education Scotland at: www.educationscotland.gov.uk/thecurriculum/ Eisner, E. W. (1985)The Educational Imagination – On the Design and Evaluation of School Programs (2nd ed.) New York: MacMillan. Greene, M. (1995) Releasing the imagination Essays on Education, the Arts and Social Change San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Hope Mason, J. (2003) The value of creativity; the origins and emergence of a modern belief. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Jackson, A.Y. and Mazzei L.A. (2012) Thinking with theory Qualitative Research viewing data across multiple perspectives. Oxon: Routledge. Kaufman, J. C., and Sternberg, R. J. (eds.) (2006) The International Handbook of Creativity New York: Cambridge University Press. Mazzei, L. M. (2011) Desiring silence: gender, race and pedagogy in education, British Educational Research Journal, 37 (4), pp. 657-669. Neilson, T.W., Fitzgerald, R. and Fettes, M. (eds.) (2010) Imagination in educational practice: a many-sided vision, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing Owen, H. (1998) Open Space technology: a user’s guide (3rd ef.) San Francisco: Berret-Koehler Publishers Inc. Priestley, M. and Humes, W., (2010), The development of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: amnesia and déjà vu, Oxford Review of Education, 36(3), pp. 345-361. Rizvi, F. and Lingard, B.(2010) Globalizing education policy. London: Routledge. Scottish Government (2009) BtC4 Skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work Edinburgh: Scottish Government Tuck, E. (2010) Breaking up with Deleuze: desire and valuing the irreconcilable. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 23 (5), 635-650. Vygotsky, L.S. (1964 / 2004) Imagination and creaticity on childhood. Journal of Russian and European Psychology, 42 (1), 7-97.
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