What's in a word? the discursive construction of 'creativity'.
Authors: Readman, M.
Conference: Bournemouth University; Media SchoolAbstract:
This work begins with the idea that creativity is a problematic concept generally and in education particularly. I argue that it is necessary to shed a belief in an ʻessenceʼ of creativity in order to understand how knowledge about creativity is produced. In a review of different approaches to creativity I identify the ways in which ʻtruth effectsʼ are produced in scientific and popular texts. Of particular interest here are approaches and assumptions (expressed through language and operations) in the domains of psychology, education and the arts.
A post structuralist analytical methodology, drawing particularly on Foucaultʼs work, is justified in relation to the significance of concepts such as discourse, ideology, rhetoric and myth which, I argue, are crucial in understanding how creativity is made meaningful.
The primary analysis is of key documents from the last decade which have sought to inform education policy on creativity: All our futures (NACCCE 1999); Creativity: Find it, promote it (QCA 2004); Nurturing creativity in young people (Roberts 2006); Learning: Creative approaches that raise standards (Ofsted 2010a). Attention is given to the discursive processes of authorising particular models of creativity in these documents, the ways in which tensions and contradictions are dealt with and the implications for ʻcreativityʼ in education. An explicitly reflective mode is adopted where appropriate, in order to highlight my epistemological development during the course of the research. This takes the form of ʻinterruptionsʼ between chapters. I argue, ultimately, that there is a case for only operating with the term ʻcreativityʼ in a reflexive, meta-discursive way and that this is a particular necessity in education.
Preferred by: Mark Readman