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MIND THE GAP

A discussion about creativity and research for learning
by

Adele Flood

on 16 June 2011

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Transcript of MIND THE GAP

MIND THE GAP In research we are asked to fill a gap in the literature. To fill such a gap first we must identify what we know and then identify what we don’t know. We have to take the time for discovery and allow ideas to emerge. “Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms. Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss calls "the waiting place." the London Underground is such a space across which you must make a small leap to ensure your continued journey. Courage to make that leap of faith and a vision that extends beyond the immediate situation or experience are needed to move ideas forward. This is the essence of creativity. This view counters the concept of a gap being a void and in fact suggests that such space is vital in the ongoing dialogues and constructs of knowledge. It allows us to revision ideas and spaces within a new or different context; to allow the improbable to become the possible or ultimately the real. A gap is a space between the knowns: it is the zone between delineated areas of knowledge. In between the known zones of knowledge exist the places of the new: and the pathways to finding the new. In between the young and the old in our communities exist the stories of experience and knowledge; the created and the possibilities of creating. The nature of the human mind is to inquire and explore; to discover new horizons. after a gap of 359 years, Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair had been handled, and officially conceded that the Earth was not stationary. Reframing the Gaps Nicos Komninos (2002) writes about Islands of Innovation Courage to make that leap of faith and a vision that extends beyond the immediate situation or experience are needed to move ideas forward. This is the essence of creativity. Creativity in Teaching
To think of teaching in isolation from learning creates a tendency to “fill gaps” for students rather than to create the spaces that allow ideas to enter free fall. The enthusiastic teacher who wants to tell the students everything they need to know is the gap filler. The creative and thoughtful teacher is the one who
• allows the student to find the gaps
• provides just enough information to allow the learner the opportunity to begin
to fill the gaps themselves.
• Allows the student to begin the adventure of learning for themselves.
• Can identify gaps themselves Why must we undertake research into creativity? Is there still within our hypervisibility, transparence, virtuality, a place for an image? A place for an enigma? (Baudrilard. 1997. p16) What if we were to look at such gaps in a different frame? What if we saw them as the positive and dominant spaces within which reside the content of our thoughts or actions. We could view them as we do a gap in a mountain range; a pass that leads to new horizons and an opening WE must ask ourselves why is our teaching and learning too often about replication? Do our societies want us to replicate the past, to flounder in the banality of the present or do they want to us to reorient ourselves to a future in which practices can change? Remember. Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself. (Number 42 Mau 1998) We sit on a wealth of tacit understanding and practice that needs to be made available through research that helps others understand the experiences of re-creating the self through reflective and creative practice. Imperatives for the Future: Artists have provided lenses of past present and future and the world to its peril has not always recognised the significance of those observations. We must pay attention to the three essential elements of good practice in teaching, those of:

1. Creativity,
2. Individuality
3. Authenticity. Creativity – Extending the boundaries. What does it mean to extend the boundaries of thinking?

How do you find new directions?

Does one need to know the boundaries before one can change direction?

If you can see the boundary are you searching enough for the gaps?

Is being on the edge the place where you can begin to think creatively experiment and gain experience.

develop skills and knowledge.

elaborate upon and enhance ideas.

support the learner’s desire to transfer experiences into tangible results.

reflect

change and develop further without fear of censure An essential requirement in teaching should be the desire to provide students with opportunities for independent, original thought and action and this is fundamentally caught up in their sense of self, and autonomous behavior. This comes back to the essential position that learning is fundamentally a dialogue between learner and teacher with each providing to and gaining from substance to the discussion. In learning, authentic responses do NOT come from:
• Repetitive exercises that re interpret established or given ideas,
• Skill exercises that don’t include further student ideation,
• Activities that are teacher directed and didactic in nature.
• Incoherent and non-developmental programs – the “supermarket” grab bag approach to learning. You must look for meaning not only in the words but also in between the letters of the words, for such are the ways of the mystics and also the writers of paradox.”(p.76) Within arts learning there are many opportunities for creating and debating paradoxical situations: to make seemingly contradictory statements that encompass the tensions of error and truth simultaneously. Thus allowing for active student participation to reveal underlying meanings. Communication Strategies in Art and Art Education. Identify and articulate the essential conceptual understandings

Identify what is known

Identify what we need to find out (the Gaps in the literature)

Create a knowledge data base

Develop a common discourse

Start writing in groups of common interests.

Tackle big issues from the Creative arts Perspective: write, draw, paint, make, act, compose.

Become active practitioners ourselves

Become researchers of our own teaching practice Avoid fields. Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields. ( Mau: Number 40 Incomplete Manifesto) Every man (sic) is a special kind of artist, and in his originating activity his play or work..he is doing more than expressing himself, he is manifesting the form which our common life should take in its unfolding”(Read: p.308) We should not be looking for sameness and repetition but rather the different, the misunderstood and ignored; the enigmas and dilemmas; the gaps in our world.
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