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Education (4)

Creativity for Development (Crea4dev) is a new open access course from UNITAR. This short course is aimed at creative entrepreneurs, those who work with or are interested in the creative industries, and policy makers. Its aim is to enable them to promote cultural diversity and use creativity to promote sustainable development. This goal has much in common with the aims of this journal and indeed our charity’s work as a whole. For example, in 2002 we ran the first UK international conference on Creativity & Cultural Diversity and this triggered much of our later work including this journal.

The Unitar Creativity for Development consists of four modules:

  • Creativity and Creative Economy
  • Places, Networks and Connectivity
  • Characteristics of the Creative Labour Market
  • Creative Business.

Each module has a similar format starting with a short video, followed by an assessment in the form of a quiz. These core elements are complemented by useful additional material (videos, reports and articles) for those who want to ‘dig deeper’ - and this is highly recommended. Another valuable feature is the Learning Forum where participants can share their ideas with others and reflect on the course material. And there is a support centre, Ask and Talk, for help with any aspect of working through the course.

This self-paced course can be accessed online. Registration is open until 20 December 2016 (course completion date: 23 December 2016). It is suggested that the basic course can be completed in four hours, but it is likely to take rather longer for those who choose to delve into the additional material. Those who complete the course with a pass rate of 60% or more can receive a certificate for which a fee of $50 USD is payable.

My only slight niggle is not with the course itself but rather with its reference to the term ‘creative industries’. This terminology is widely accepted and understood, but I find it misleading since surely creativity is needed in all industries and indeed in everyday life as well? Having said that, this course provides a valuable introduction to this fascinating field and has much to recommend it.

To register for the course use this link: Creativity for Development

Parents and teachers have a lasting impact on the development of creativity. Results of this narrative and art-based inquiry support the theory that positive and adverse interactions with parents and teachers create rippling effects that extend well into adulthood. 

Monday, 01 December 2014 22:55

Changing How We Interact with the Printed Word

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The year was 40,000 BC and the artist(s) unknown. But here in the Aurignacian caves in Spain, the first evidence was recently found of human beings leaving their thoughts for others. Some 20,000 years elapsed when in the remote caves of Lascaux, France more drawings were recently discovered. These drawings were well executed, showing not only the ability to create color pigments, but also the placement on the rocks depicting an understanding of perspective that was very sophisticated. The ability to critically analyze and problem solve is indeed evident in these unique drawings from humankind's early stages. Most importantly, their need not only to express themselves¸ but to communicate to others their thoughts in a more lasting way was a significant find.

Friday, 25 July 2014 16:51

Creativity Implementation in Teaching

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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.

Key words:

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.


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