The Rhetorics of Creativity: A Literature Review
By Shakuntala Banaji and Andrew Burn with David Buckingham, Creativity, Culture and Education, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2010, 82 pp, ISBN 978-1-907264-02-3
These three authors of the Institute of Education, University of London, take as their basic premise the notion that the idea of creativity is constructed as a series of rhetorics: claims emerging from the contexts of academia, research, policy and practice. The purpose of such an approach is to help educators and practitioners to see more clearly how such constructions work, what claims are being made, and how they might locate themselves in relation to these rhetorics.
There are nine rhetorics distinguished in this review, with number of themes which cross-cut them and open new questions: creative genius; democratic and political creativity; ubiquitous creativity; creativity as a social good; creativity an economic imperative; play and creativity; creativity and cognition; the creative affodances of technology and the creative classroom.
The conclusion details these themes under four key questions, which ask whether creativity is an internal cognitive function or an external cultural phenomenon; whether it is a ubiquitous human activity or a special faculty; whether it is inevitably “pro-social” (orientated towards social conformity and/or culturally specific, accepted definitions of collective well-being) or can also be dissident or even anti-social; and what the implications are for a creative model of teaching and learning.
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