What does a creative aging program organization do? Arts for the Aging has delivered best practice creative arts programs to the greater Washington, DC area for more than two decades. A leader in the field, Executive Director Janine Tursini shares her perspective on the possibilities and challenges, and a glimpse of the rich programs AFTA offers.
What are the factors contributing to the constraints on creativity implementation in teaching within higher education? This contribution briefly explores some answers to this question drawing on research based on an interdisciplinary collaborative enquiry group in the National University of Ireland, Galway. It also points out some implications for education policy.
Creativity, higher education, constraints, education policy, social imaginary, interdisciplinarity, change
In the context of great social and economic change, creativity in higher education teaching has become, over the last decade or so, a fundamental political concern. Top-down instrumentalist policy discourses about creativity are however often disconnected from the reality of teaching practices within universities and hardly implemented on the ground. Some researchers (e.g. Craft, 2005; Craft & Jeffrey, 2008; Moran, 2010) have already investigated factors contributing to confinement on creativity in teaching and learning within schools. However, few investigations, of which Fryer (2006) is one example, have been made on creative teaching confinement specifically within higher education, notably in the Irish system.
Drawing on research based on an interdisciplinary collaborative enquiry group in the National University of Ireland, Galway, this contribution offers a combination of empirical and theoretical findings to explain some limitations to creativity implementation in teaching practices within higher education. The research revealed that academics' perceptions of the constraints on their creative teaching is not entirely coherent with the reality of their practices. Castoriadis' (2007) conception of the social imaginary is used to examine the relationship academics have with their disciplines, and how it can contribute to creativity confinement. The contribution also stresses the potential of interdisciplinary collaborative groups, as part of staff development programmes, to encourage change in academic practices towards more creativity, and ultimately to support the critical enquiry role of the university. Finally, some implications for efficient education policy on creativity are developed.
We are delighted to introduce Diane Kessenich, Founder Member of Creativity & Human Development and New York publisher who totally shares our creative vision for the journal and the work of our charity, CCET. Diane has many creative achievements. These include the development of a stand-alone Curriculum Learning Management System (Read & Click & Learn) which can be accessed globally. Much earlier, she published the annual Creativity's Global Correspondents, edited by Morris I Stein, Emeritus Professor (Psychology) New York University – a means of enabling creativity researchers and others all over the world to easily share what was happening in their countries in the area of creativity. We value her enthusiasm, her wisdom and her support and we warmly welcome her.
The capacity to imagine is a key aspect of creativity and, in this paper, it is argued that it is this capacity which needs to be harnessed in history education for young people. Although the creation of fiction and the use of imagination has tended to be regarded as a literary method, in this paper it is argued that it has an important role to play in helping young people discover history – something which might normally be seen as a purely scientific process. An interdisciplinary approach is needed. Researchers who study pedagogy confirm that in contemporary education, how teachers are interested in their subject and how they use their imagination is becoming increasingly important (Zeldin 1995). The problem is not particularly ontological (what to present in a history class) – instead, it is epistemological (how to present it). The choice of material stems partly from the topic but even more from the approach to the topic. It also depends on the target audience (e.g. children of various ages and carrying out various roles), the values of the society and ideological choices (what we are trying to tell the students about a topic).
After 11 years in Engineering, Tom qualified as a Craft, Design and Technology teacher in 1976 and as an advocate of lifelong education was awarded a PhD in Education in 2010. Now, as ‘possibly the oldest teacher in Lancashire’, he continues to teach 11 – 18 year olds and claims that he has at least ten more good years to offer.
Having got so much out of teaching, Tom is driven to ‘give something extra back’. Having witnessed the remorseless drive for conformity in education, he intends to help promote a more creative, exciting and rewarding approach. His view is that, despite decades of quality academic research, creativity in schools has had sporadic and limited success. A major reason for this is the lack of a simple practical conceptual framework around which teachers may operate with confidence. In his paper Tom offers his interpretation of such a framework.
Tom’s academic and teaching interests include: creativity theory, design studies, product design, pupil self assessment strategies, developing thinking skills, computer programmes, and student mentoring. Tom’s personal interests and activities include reading, writing (including poetry), art, golf, humour and (yes he still plays) squash. He and his wife, Cathie, have four children and five grandchildren. After them, his main love is for teaching which he still regards as a privilege.