My model of the Creative Curriculum is an ongoing research project that seeks to bring together elements from research on evolving models of curriculum with best practice thinking on assessment and on transferable skills education and graduate identity. I first presented on this in Poster form at the 2007 National Assessment Roundtable in Sydney and at the Pedagogical Research in Higher Education conference Conference in Liverpool.
This research project aims to address the question: What are the principles and practices that lead to the development of a curriculum that supports creativity in professional disciplines? I will be conducting further research with educators over the next twelve months and this site is one of the ways that I will be documenting my own ongoing encounters with curriculum renewal.
The model draws on a variety of research but has been particularly influenced by three areas of research:
Reflection-in-action: Donald Schon’s work on the reflective practitioner has been widely influential. Lynette Sheridan Burns (2002) has applied this to journalism arguing that journalism education should help students map journalism outcomes as an integrated suite of decision-making processes.
Knowledge artefacts: Seymour Papert’s constructioNism – a reformulation of Piaget’s constructiVism – developed at MIT’s Media Lab, highlights the personalised production of “knowledge artefacts” as well as the social nature of the learning processes. Papert shifts the epistemological emphasis from universals to “individual learners’ conversation with their own favorite representations, artifacts, or objects-to-think with.” (Ackerman nd: 4). In a production-oriented discipline like journalism or any of the creative arts this insight about “objects-to-think-with” becomes particularly pertinent.
Convergence is the key professional imperative currently driving journalism education in a media environment that is undergoing a major shift with the rapid integration of web-based multimedia into all aspects of news and entertainment media production. Jenkins (2006) argues that we must understand media convergence as the intersection of technological, economic and cultural processes including globalisation, cultural hybridity and “a new participatory folk culture”. This emergent paradigm – convergence/multimodality/hybridity – has important implications for pedagogical practice as well as professional outcomes in journalism and media arts education.
The current revised version of the model incorporates graduate identity statements derived from our research on journalism curriculum renewal and graduate qualities
Ackerman, Edith, nd. “Piaget’s Constructivism, Papert’s Constructionism: What’s the difference?”
Barnett, Ronald, Gareth Parry & Kelly Coate, 2001, “Conceptualising Curriculum Change” Teaching in Higher Education, Vol. 6, No. 4 p.437
Herrington, J., Oliver R., and T. C. Reeves, “Patterns of Engagement in Authentic Online Learning Environments,” Australian Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2003, pp. 59–71.
McWilliam, Erica, 2007, “Is Creativity teachable? Conceptualising the Creativity/Pedagogy Relationship in Higher Education,” in Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship, Proceedings of the 30th HERDSA Annual Conference [CD-ROM], Adelaide, 8-11 July
Sheridan Burns, Lynette, 2002, Understanding Journalism, London: Sage .