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Encouraging imagination and creativity in the teaching profe

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Morwenna Griffiths

on 8 April 2016

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Transcript of Encouraging imagination and creativity in the teaching profe

Encouraging imagination and creativity in the teaching profession

Morwenna Griffiths
University of Edinburgh

Education, creativity
and the economy

Becoming an excellent teacher:
The case of pedagogic relationships

Creativity and innovation
Teacher education policies: Creativity and the economy
Possibilities for Europe: Examples of contrasting UK policies
Creativity & innovation
The value of education
The value of creativity
The economy: peace, prosperity, and political engagement
EU policy
The conference theme
Part of the good life
Part of the good life
The economy: peace, prosperity and political engagement
Flamenco flash mobs protesting the banking crisis policies.
Teacher, student(s), subject matter
Dyadic, associational,
instrumental, subject-based
Bodies in context:
Who and what we are
Time: age, experience,
political changes
"Educational researchers know that educational actors have the power to unlock the creative, innovative and critical potential of the young. At the same time, educational researchers care about what happens when a basic capacity for curiosity, experimentation and creativity is directed toward serving economic activity in an innovative society." ECER 2013 l
"In acting and speaking, men show who they are, reveal actively their unique personal identities … while their physical identities appear without any activity of their own in the unique shape of the body and sound of the voice. This disclosure of ‘who’ in contradistinction to ‘what’ somebody is – his qualities, gifts, talents, and shortcomings, which he may display or hide – is implicit in everything somebody says and does." Arendt 1958: 179
Creativity and innovation
What is 'creativity'?
Ambiguous, overlapping concepts
Creativity: "Imaginative activity fashioned so as to produce outcomes that are original and of value." NACCCE 1999: 29
Innovation: "The implementation of new ideas to create something of value, proven through its uptake in the marketplace" Craft, 2005: 20
Avoiding the scientistic impulse to analyse categorise and measure it.
"A common approach in coming to understanding the conceptual basis of creativity research was to construct binary or categorical concepts that characterize its distinguishing features, methods and uses. This in itself was a telling strategy for it reflected the predominance of a scientific mindset in analyzing and synthesizing creativity as an individual and social construct." Sullivan, 2011: 108
Aspects of creativity useful in this talk
Craft: every day small c creativity
Boden: three levels of newness
Saunders: subjective experience
Greene: social imagination
Exploration of conceptual space
Transformation of conceptual space
"The common world we are trying to create may be thought of as a fabric of interpretations of many texts, many images, many sounds. …When Hannah Arendt wrote about a common world (1958), she put her stress on the innumerable perspectives through which that common world perceives itself." Greene, 1997: 9
"Creativity, however is not merely a distinctive habit of mind, rather it becomes manifest through individual agency and creative social action." Sullivan, 2011: 108
Becoming an excellent teacher: a life-long task
Upskilling & subject knowledge
Reflective, critical, creative, adaptive
"Our own best purposes" Hogan 2013
Public discussion and deep democracy
Partnerships teachers, researchers, policy
"Living contradictions" Whitehead, 1989
The economy: peace, prosperity and political engagement
Derived from the Greek word oikonomos, meaning "one who manages a household"
Political economists? Moral philosophers? Mill, Smith, Hayek.
"[For Adam Smith] wealth consists of the annual produce of the ‘necessities and conveniences of life’ and equality was not just about an equality in the consumption of ‘necessities’, which had already been achieved in ‘savage’ societies prior to civilisation. [Smith] extolled the improvements of civilised society and the fact that many conveniences were also accessible by the civilised poor majority." Kennedy 2011:55
Originally 'political economy'.
"How do we know what is good, where to find hope, love, rejoicing, joy? ...What I propose is very simple: it is nothing more than to think what we are doing." Arendt 1958, 5
Openness to students' creativity
Must all Europe go in one direction?
National responses:
Histories, political contexts
The EU is keen on education mainly for economic reasons: it thinks it will help improve Europe's market position and competiveness. It is keen on creativity and innovation for the same economic reasons.
This is too narrow an understanding of education, the economy, and creativity; it is also self-defeating. As are the education policies drifting towards increasing managerialism and standardisation in teaching.
Education and creativity are good for economic reasons, but in the original moral and political meaning of economy; not only prosperity but also life-long peace, well-being and political engagement.
Arendt, H (1958) The Human Condition, The University of Chicago Press
Boden, M (2004) The creative mind: myths and mechanisms, second edition, Routledge
Boden, M (2007) Creativity in a nutshell, Think 5 (15) 83-96
Craft, A. (2005) Creativity in schools: tensions and dilemmas, Routledge
Donaldson, G, (2011) Teaching Scotland’s Future, Edinburgh: The Scottish Government 4. http://scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/01/13092132/0
Furlong, J (2013) Globalisation, Neoliberalism, and the Reform of Teacher Education in England, The Educational Forum, 77 (1): 28-50,
Greene, M (1997) Teaching as Possibility: A Light in Dark Times, The Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism & Practice, 1 (1): 1-11
Hogan, P (2013) Cultivating human capabilities In venturesome learning environments Educational Theory 63 (3) 237-252
Kennedy, G (2011) Adam Smith and the role of the metaphor of the an invisible hand, Economic Affairs, 53-57
National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education (1999) All our futures: creativity, culture and education, NACCCE
Sahlberg, P (2013) What if Finland’s great teachers taught in US schools? http://pasisahlberg.com/what-if-finlands-great-teachers-taught-in-u-s-schools/
Saunders, L (2012) Silences and silence in ‘creativity’, London Review of Education, 10 (2): 215-225,
Sullivan, G (2011) Artistic cognition and creativity, In M Biggs and H Karlsson (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts, Routledge
Whitehead, J. (1989) Creating a living educational theory from questions of the kind, 'How do I improve my practice?' Cambridge Journal of Education, 19, (1): 41-52

England: Schooling is fundamentally concerned with the maintenance and transmission of an agreed upon cultural heritage. Inspirational teachers do not need a teacher education.
Teaching is a craft and it is best learnt as an apprentice observing a master craftsman or woman. Watching others, and being rigorously observed yourself as you develop, is the best route to acquiring mastery in the classroom” (Gove. Quoted in Furlong 2013: 43)
Scotland: Teachers must undertake a five yearly Professional Update through Professional Review and Development, which provides a framework for self-evaluation and reflection, not a mechanism to test teachers nor to “weed out” bad teachers.
Some see teaching as a relatively simple task that depends heavily on techniques, subject knowledge and personality...but 21st-century education is far more complex and challenging and requires the highest standards of professional accomplishment and commitment. Teacher education must...develop expertise, scholarship, collegiality and creativity. (Donaldson, 2011)
Creativity is essential in education, for the processes of teaching and learning as well as for outcomes. It is a way of using and expressing the imagination, individually, collaboratively, socially and politically. It is not the same as innovation.
Good teaching is difficult, requiring principled adaptation to contexts which change with embodied, social, demographic and political changes. This is why teaching is such a good life.
Principled adaption feels risky: it requires critical, creative, courageous and collaborative reflection. Such a risky and difficult task requires creative and critical teacher educators not teacher trainers.
This is good for the economy in its original sense.
European policy acknowledges wider economic concerns. So national educational policies are able to develop space for teaching and learning which is productive of peaceful political engagement and well being as well as of prosperity.
Such policies will improve teaching but mean policy makers lose managerial control of teachers and teacher educators.
Creativity and social imagination
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