Creative Learning Cultures (2011)


Doctoral student: Lars Norqvist, Umeå University

ABSTRACT (by Lars Norqvist): In school as well as in learning activities outside of the formal school system there is an ongoing challenge in how to teach to prepare and foster learners for the future. In this research, this challenge will be met from the perspective of creativity. The main question is how to support and validate such situations where creativity is taking place to increase the perceived value of ideas in collaborative creative processing?

In addition, to show the relevance of this research in an European perspective it aims to address the issues described below that are read in connection to the flagship initiative, Youth on the move: "Higher education institutions should be encouraged to improve the quality and relevance of the courses they offer, so as to encourage a wider range of citizens to enroll in higher education, while learning mobility for all young people should be promoted throughout the education system" (The role of education and training in the implementation of the Europe 2020, p. 01)

To get an insight of what this research is about this abstract will be divided into four key parts; support and validation, creativity, perceived value of ideas and collaboration.

  1. The concept of "support and validation" is useful to ask about the different forms of support that are needed to enhance the creation of knowledge and the recognition of experiences where creativity is taking place. In this research such a support is defined as strategies, methods and technical devices. The term validation refers to how to document this situation of creativity in such a way that it is possible to see the value of the ideas coming out of the creative situation. In this research study, two different methods for validation will be used in different empirical fields; ELD (Experience, Learning and Description) and Youthpass.
  2. Creativity in this research study is mainly connected to the learning process, the creation of new knowledge (social co-construction) and how to foster creativity as an important part of education that fosters successful learners.
  3. The perceived value of ideas highlights the subjectivity in the reception of what creativity in education is. Allowing this subjectivity in the fostering of creativity in education can be seen as a natural development connected to the teachers role in a school where the teacher no longer is the 'expert of knowledge' but a mentor that foster the students to be successful lifelong learners.
  4. The creative, social co-construction of new knowledge needs collaboration. Collaboration is seen from a perspective of peer-peer learning and assessment but most of all the theories for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL). The research will look upon technical mobile devices as a tool to support the implementation of strategies that will take on the challenge to teach to foster successful learners. To what extent is ICT useful for the support and validation to foster creative learning?

It is planned to conduct the research in several fields; Schools in Denmark and Sweden for the ages 6-16, Preschool teacher's education at a University as well as in the trainings for the European Voluntary Service in Sweden. The research will be a qualitative study with a mix of methods, e.g. interviews, on-line surveys and formative evaluations.

The main and derived research questions will be:

  1. How to support and validate such situations where creativity is taking place to increase the perceived value of ideas in collaborative creative processing? (RQ 1)
  2. What happens in the organization when a specific strategy that is supposed to foster successful learners gets introduced/implemented in the organization? (RQ 2)
  3. What is expected to happen from the organizations point of view? (Before) How does the work progress? The development of the teachers design connected to the strategy that is being implemented in each field? (During) What happened? (After) (RQ 3)

A possible outcome of the research after four years is a generalized framework knitted together by the outcomes from each empirical field. This framework is supposed to be very concrete so it can support organizations in both formal and non-formal learning in the issue of How to support and validate the situations where creativity is taking place to increase the perceived value of ideas in collaborative creative processing.