Larry O Farrell

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  • 1.  
  • 2.
    • Part of an international, multi-modal study of creativity and creative teaching in drama/theatre education
    • Aud Berggraf Sæbø—Norway
    • Larry O’Farrell—Canada
    • Laura A. McCammon—USA
    • Brian Heap—Jamaica
  • 3.
    • Teachers and students of drama/theatre and arts have a good idea of what they mean by creativity, others are not sure.
    • Teachers of drama/theatre and arts believe that they are responsible for fostering creativity, others are not sure.
    • Drama/theatre teachers see selves as creative teachers, others are not sure.
    • Arts students, teachers and administrators often see the teaching of creativity differently from one another.
    • Assessment of student achievement in creativity is a problem area.
    • Safe spaces are essential for fostering creativity.
  • 4.
    • Arts magnet school—all students take theatre, music & visual art through grades K-11
    • Focus on Structured Interviews
      • Teachers of all three arts
      • Two administrators
      • Nine grade 9 students
      • Five grade 10 students
  • 5.
    • Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim
    • Analyzed and coded for common words and ideas
    • Inductive approach – codes emerged (ATLAS-ti software)
    • 33 unique codes collapsed into themes and organized according to the research goals.
    • (Thanks to Annie Casson)
  • 6.
      • Ability to take risks
      • Ability to solve problems
      • A playful attitude
      • New insights or ideas
      • Development of something entirely new
      • An ethical commitment
      • A collaborative activity
      • Challenging the status quo
  • 7.
    • Creativity and innovation are the new markers of success in an economy that is increasingly moving towards knowledge-intensive industries. Exceptional scientists, engineers, architects, entertainers, high-tech workers and business people all share important skills: the ability to apply new, innovative approaches to old problems and to try something radically new. (Di Cocco, 2006)
  • 8.
    • “ The teachers have to feel, and appreciate feeling that they’re going to feel supported, listened to…I know that in some traditional schools the door is closed, very difficult to be able to communicate with the immediate superior, which is not the case here.” (VP1, p. 6)
  • 9.
    • “ I’ll often end up telling my students ‘I’m giving you recipes, but whatever you concoct with them is yours’.” (T2, p. 3)
  • 10.
    • I think it’s a way of expressing yourself it’s just like being able to be just say what you want and be yourself through a form [an art form] . . . (Grade 9 student)
  • 11.
    • Public policy makers focus on problem solving for results (An external/intellectual view)
    • Drama/Arts students focus on self expression (an internal/emotional view)
    • Drama/Arts teachers – less personal, more focused on pedagogical strategies
    • But both students and teachers of drama/arts agreed on a need for a playful attitude and risk taking as essential for creativity (i.e. Need a safe space)
    • (Canadian case study)
  • 12.
    • To me it’s like an open door. The first thing that you notice if that person has an open door is can they take a risk, because being creative is actually about taking a risk—you go on a limb. (Visual art teacher)
  • 13.
    • “ I think it’s [like] Leonardo da Vinci. He decided to do the Mona Lisa and no one was doing that, so he decided to take a risk and see if it would get him somewhere in the art business, and yeah, there we go.” (S4, p. 1)
  • 14.
    • Agreement in the literature that creative capacity can be enhanced
    • Deficit Model—skills & abilities can be learned
    • Barrier Model—assumes creativity capacity in everyone & concentrates on removing barriers (Ripple, 1999)
  • 15.
    • Deficit Model
    • “ You can see that teachers that are really creative, their group will become very creative because the teacher pushes them to be.” (Canadian principal)
    • Barrier Model
    • “ You have to allow yourself to play. You have all these barriers that we have around – you have to break them.” (Canadian teacher)
  • 16.
    • Drama/Arts students saw creativity as inate in themselves and expected the school to provide opportunities for creative activity
    • Drama/Arts Teachers saw their role as facilitating creativity through a positive environment (safe space)
    • And both appear to favour the barrier model
    • (Canadian case study)
  • 17.
    • Just being as this school, it kind of rubs off, like the impressions rub off on me, that just have fun and be creative (Canadian grade 9 student)
  • 18.
    • Students in an elementary school can be creative if their teachers know how to encourage risk taking in a safe space (Saebo 2009)
    • Students with a lot of drama/arts experience take ownership of their own creativity
    • Teachers without drama training seem to favour the deficit model – the students must be taught to be creative (Saebo 2009)
    • Drama/arts teachers favour the barrier model – students are already creative but need a safe space in which to create
  • 19.
    • Provide safe, supportive environment
    • Encourage playfulness, risk-taking, and the challenging of authority
    • Provide opportunities for creativity (projects)
    • Provide tools for creative expression
    • Adopt an inclusive perspective on creativity
    • Accept a range of possible outcomes
    • Provide examples of creativity and set a creative example, yourself.
  • 20.
    • I wouldn’t have had this advantage [being in an arts school], this knowing about creativity, because you’re in a normal school and they don’t teach arts as much. I probably wouldn’t know as much about creativity – except for creativity of how to draw a pie graph or something. (Canadian drama/arts student)