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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.
Power is often vested in those that are in the elite group within a profession. It is recognised that in most professions, whether at a senior executive level or at board level, it is harder for women to reach the top. There are a host of factors for this which have been well covered by others and the Cultural and Creative industries are no exception. Of course influence can be exerted by reaching a high level, but the beauty of influence is that it does not depend on Power, even though it can be powerful, and it can emerge from any part of the creative and cultural ecology. We wanted to provide a platform for some of those women who have for a variety of reasons established themselves as thought leaders, opinion formers, exceptionally creative or entrepreneurial and through their activity have become influential. Sometimes they have been gutsy or provocative and sometimes they have just gone about their business in a confident, steady and assertive manner. They have all managed to attract a degree of attention, so here are some of those who have caught ours.
This time we profile Margriet Leemhuis, Deputy Head of Mission at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in London.