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Creative Society Lab

Creative Society Lab

Situated Creativity and learning – Lene Tanggaard

Starting in 2007, the project aims to uncover the relations between learning and creativity. The aim is to develop a situated understanding of creativity as well as suggest possible means of working with creativity and learning in pedagogical and educational contexts. What makes the project unique is its situated perspective on creativity. This means that I regard creativity as something people do, understood within the analytical framework of social practices in which new forms of human participation unfold. Greatly inspired by Lave and Wenger’s (1991) work on situated learning in social practices, I have sought over the past decade to develop the concepts associated with this research. Anchoring my work in a range of empirical studies, I have shed light on terms such as learning trajectories (Elmholdt & Tanggaard, 2007), boundary crossing, and identity in relation (Tanggaard, 2007). On the basis of studies concerning students who move across contexts in the educational system, I have become especially interested in how people connect their learning across time and space, thereby developing new ways of relating to ideas – in other words, how people display creativity (Tanggaard, 2008). This project thus seeks to develop the situated conceptual framework in such a manner as to allow analyses of not just learning (or rather, the learning of that which is) but also of creative learning (learning to create). See also Tanggaard (2011) Stories about Creative Teaching and Productive Learning. European Journal of Teacher Education. Vol. 34, nr. 2, 217-230.

PACE – Promoting A Culture of Entrepreneurship: Unleashing enterprising creativity through novel Pedagogy – Lene Tanggaard

(project-leader Professor Helle Neergaard, Aarhus University).

To nurture the talent of the next generation, novel educational measures are needed and teachers have to become more entrepreneurial in their choices of effective teaching interventions. This project builds on participant’s prior micro-scale teaching interventions, which show that alternative learning initiatives may enhance enterprising thinking among students. We aim to show what works and what does not in specific educational environments to contribute to the evidence-based development of entrepreneurial education. The proposed project applies an explorative approach to develop new solutions and practices as well as providing transferable teaching models. Its methodology is based on the reasoning underlying practice-based inquiry and triangulates action research with ethnographic methods and surveys. Combining seven Work Packages, one to establish the overall framework for the project; four centring on developing novel interventions, and two aiming at evaluating student learning, we bring into play four crucial dimensions of enterprising activity: the genesis of opportunities; the entrepreneurial mindset; transformation processes; and context construction. We focus on instilling enterprising behavior through a process of changing mental schemes. Individually and collectively the interventions represent gateways to Entrepreneurship. Interventions will be developed in an interplay between students and teachers. The project is financed by the Strategic Research Council in Denmark.

Creativity and craft – Vlad Glaveanu

Starting in 2008, this project aims to uncover the ways in which creativity is expressed in craft activities. As part of the creativity of everyday life, folk art is a phenomenon that engages entire communities in joint acts of creative production. Vlad Glaveanu focused his doctoral work on the craft of Easter egg decoration in urban and rural communities in Romania: "Creativity and culture: towards a cultural psychology of creativity in folk art". This is a cultural practice with old roots in the country, situated at the intersection between religion, folklore, art, and a growing national and international market for the distribution of these products. Egg decoration is simultaneously a symbolic and material type of activity relying on an intricate system of motifs and a set of tools specific for decoration with wax and colour. This research focused on three main aspects in relation to the craft: a) the representations of creativity held by members of different professional groups such as ethnographers, priests, artists, and folk artists themselves; b) the creative action of decorating eggs and its specificities in urban and rural contexts; and c) the development of creativity and the ways in which children from different communities engage with this craft. This study used a mix of qualitative methods, from interview and observation to subjective cameras, miniature devices placed at eye-level and recording activity from the perspective of the creator. Challenging common conception of crafts as rooted in routine and fixed habits of work, this research demonstrates that egg decoration fosters creativity at multiple levels and is based on the translation and re-interpretation of motifs as well as the generation of new ones. Tradition is not the antithesis of creativity but, on the contrary, a vital and dynamic part of the creative process. The next stages of the creativity and craft project include the study of other crafts and everyday life activities with the analytical and methodological framework developed within this context.