ISSN 2050-5337 - ISSUE 5

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Dr Marilyn Fryer

Dr Marilyn Fryer

Marilyn is a Director of the Creativity Centre UK Ltd, and Chief Executive of the Creativity Centre Educational Trust - a voluntary role. A chartered psychologist and author, her work has been presented and published internationally.

Marilyn enjoys talking about creativity education in the UK. This was the theme of her keynote presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychology in Shizuoka, Japan; the Torrance Lecture Series, Athens, Georgia; and the International Forum on Creativity at the opening of the Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur where she was also a panel member for Forging the Creative Agenda for Malaysia. Marilyn has also undertaken consultancy on the development of creativity for various government bodies in the UK and overseas.

Before co-founding the Creativity Centre with Caroline, Marilyn spent much of her career in the university sector undertaking research and teaching creativity education, developmental and cognitive psychology. At Leeds Metropolitan University, where she was Reader in Psychology, she set up the cross-university Centre for Innovation and Creativity (CIC) as well as devising and delivering a series of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in applied creativity, supervising research and undertaking her own research into creativity in education.

One of the things Marilyn most enjoys is meeting people from all over the world and collaborating with them to create publications and learning resources in the area of creativity and human development, which is one reason why she enjoys being an editor of this journal.

Monday, 07 November 2016 22:36

Anglo-Japanese Collaborations

This special issue of Japanese papers, guest edited by Emeritus Professor, Dr Kenichi Yumino, is the latest of a series of collaborations between our Japanese colleagues and ourselves. This began in 2001 when I was commissioned by a government body to evaluate programmes internationally which were designed to develop creativity, with a particular emphasis on certain countries and this included Japan. My investigations led me to Professor Yumino who provided me with some really helpful information.

In 2002, he took part in our Creativity & Cultural Diversity international conference and then contributed to our internationally-authored book of the same name. Over the years, I became increasingly intrigued by Japanese methods of creative problem solving, especially KJ Ho, and when I was invited to talk about Creativity Education in the UK at the annual conference of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychology in Shizuoka, I was glad of the opportunity to learn more about KJ Ho, especially as it was little known outside Japan.

Following my visit to Japan, some of our distinguished Japanese colleagues, who had learned KJ Ho from its originator, Professor Jiro Kawakita, kindly offered to run a KJ Ho workshop for our charity in Leeds. This was the first such workshop to be held in English and outside Japan and was very well received by delegates from across Europe. We then introduced Creative Scotland to this opportunity and they held similar events.

More recently, Dr Toshio Nomura, in collaboration with Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke, has delivered a KJ Ho project for Torbay Hi Tech Forum. The Hi Tech sector is an important and thriving part of our local economy. This project was sponsored by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (GBSF), Torbay Development Agency, South Devon College and Spirent Communications Inc.

Briefly this project explored the Innovation Potential of the Hi Tech Forum and this was the first such KJ Ho project in England. Torbay Development Agency confirmed that the recommendations of this working party would be implemented and, just as important, we and the other participants now have a good understanding of the KJ Ho process which is informing our work and we thank our Japanese colleagues for making this possible. GBSF have also sponsored subscriptions to our e-journal for a number of Japanese universities, and we thank them for this.

Our Anglo-Japanese collaborations are continuing. This includes our collaboration with Chika Yamamoto of Tokoha University who is currently undertaking a comparative investigation into the employment of early years’ staff in Japan and the UK. We are looking forward to being involved in continuuing Anglo-Japanese collaborations in the field of creativity and human development.

Monday, 07 November 2016 22:32

Creativity in Japan - an introduction

We are delighted to showcase a series of articles by our esteemed Japanese colleagues which provide a valuable insight into creativity development in Japan, guest edited by Emeritus Professor Dr Kenichi Yumino. This includes a fascinating account of creativity at the Sony Corporation, how to rapidly generate a wealth of creative ideas, the role played by serendipity in creativity, and actions currently being taken to augment creative production in the Japanese workplace, higher education and in Japanese schools.
Complementing this series, is an article on the popular Japanese KJ Ho (method) of creative problem solving by Professor Dr Toshio Nomura and we thank him and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (GBSF) for supporting this special series of articles.
You may also be interested in a related article by artist, Alex Devereux, whose recent visit to Japan is inspiring his work.

Our links with Japanese creativity experts began in 2000 when I was commissioned by a government body to review creativity development programmes internationally, with a special emphasis on certain countries including Japan. This led me to our guest editor, Professor Kenichi Yumino. Since then our links have been strengthened through our collaborations and research visits between our two countries which are continuing today. It has been a most valuable experience for us to learn about Japanese creativity development and to experience this at first hand.

Michelle has a passion for supporting and enabling children’s creativity and she has created this book with that very much in mind. Her interactive book provides many opportunities for children to write, paint and draw - stimulated by stories, poems, and her own very individual artwork. These are supplemented with interesting sections of relevant information.
This book would appeal especially to children of junior age (circa. 7-10 years). Many will be able to undertake the activities with little or no adult support, others may benefit from this and from seeing photographs of the creatures they are invited to draw. To an extent this depends on their country of origin. For example, children in the US may well know exactly what a zebra finch looks like whilst UK children could struggle with that. Alternatively, they could be encouraged to invent their own version.

Nevertheless, this book has a great deal to commend it. I particularly like the way in which children are invited to become equal partners in completing its contents and to have their contribution acknowledged by an invitation to sign their names alongside the author’s. Equally powerful is the way in which the book enables children to deepen their understanding of the natural world in an effortless way and develop their artistic skills. More than this it is a book which encourages them to question, to imagine and to express that imagination productively - thus helping them develop their creative abilities.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 21:41

The ethics of creativity

This thought-provoking book explores in some depth the relationship between creativity and ethics.  This is achieved by bringing together the work of an impressive number of distinguished authors from these two fields of study. The book aims to explore the effect of creativity on people and on their fundamental values, what constitutes good and evil, right and wrong, and how creativity might disrupt these beliefs – not necessarily with negative consequences.

Following an introduction on the ‘Crossroads of Creativity and Ethics’ by Seana Moran, the rest of the book is divided into four sections. The first explores the ‘Moral Mental Mechanisms Involved in Creativity’ and their development, the second examines the reasons for creativity leading to positive and/or negative impacts. This is followed by a treatment on the role played by ethics in supporting or thwarting creativity. The final section comprises a useful concluding commentary and overview of the book.

Readers from many different disciplines will find both interesting and relevant material in this book. It is not a quick read and I suspect that most people will, as I did, explore first the chapters most relevant to their own area of work, but will then be tempted by other intriguing topics. This book certainly serves as a useful resource and the editors are to be applauded for addressing the collision between creativity and ethics from a wide range of different perspectives each focusing on one or more different areas of work.

Monday, 10 November 2014 13:48

Prof Anna Craft 1961-2014

We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Professor Anna Craft, who worked tirelessly to champion creative education and touched so many people's lives.
Our research interests were highly congruent and our paths often crossed. I first met Anna in the late 1980s, shortly after I completed my doctoral research into the views of over 1000 UK teachers on creativity, teaching and learning. Anna was working at the Open University and began a similar study in which she incorporated some of my measures.
We each independently introduced creativity courses into the curriculum of our respective universities, as well as publishing widely in the field. We both contributed to the development of All Our Futures: Creative and Cultural Education - the report of the UK's National Advisory Committee on Creative & Cultural Education (NACCCE) led by Sir Ken Robinson - and also to the work of the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority for England (QCA) on creativity education which culminated in the QCA's publication: Creativity: Find it; Promote it!
Sometime later, Anna invited me to Milton Keynes to talk to a group of Open University academics about the Centre for Creativity & Innovation (CIC) which I had set up in my university as they were also planning establish a creativity centre at the Open University.
The last time we met was when she contributed to our international conference, Creativity & Cultural Diversity, and an internationally-authored book of the same name. More recently we each set up creativity journals - Anna was founder and co-editor of Thinking Skills & Creativity with Rupert Wegerif, whilst we set up Creativity & Human Development.
Anna will be very much missed, and we offer our sincere condolences to her family and all those who knew her.

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