Making space for creativity

Author(s) Contributors: Richard Morris, Paul Martin, Steve Kilgallon, Angela Rogers, Jon Rimmer, Vivien Martin
Editor(s) Dr Paul Martin
Publisher Electronic version
Published 2010
Pages 136
Price Free download
ISBN 9781905593125
Reviewed by Dr Liane Purnell
Newman University College
Review published 26 August 2010

This interesting book is divided into five sections:

Section I: in the beginning: an introduction to the Creativity centre and its education and research philosophies
Section II: theoretical perspectives on creativity in Higher Education
Section III: putting creativity into practice
Section IV: The Creativity Project
Section V: findings and reflections

Each with chapters focussing on individual aspects of that part of Creativity.

There is a helpful list of abbreviations up front and details in relation to the contributors. The overview is very helpful for orientation and sets the scene as an ‘accumulation of thoughts, ideas, observations, practical methods, questions and suggestions from a lived experience’. (Martin). Guidance is given on how to approach the book depending on whether you are an academic manager, administrator or leader; a teacher or facilitator or a designer. This evidences the team’s sound engagement with its audience.

The Creativity Centre ‘developed a broad vision:

•    To explore and enhance creativity in learning
•    To explore and enhance creativity in the facilitation of learning
•    To explore and enhance knowledge and practice in the creative process.’

It begins with an interesting discussion in relation to learning and the creative process, discussing barriers and linking to theorists. The research philosophy is carefully explained as are the aims of methods of ‘not defining but exploring’.

References are included at the end of each chapter. The short history of creativity in Chapter 3 is very interesting and thought provoking. Section III putting creativity into practice considers imaging better ways of working and drawing the spaces between us: using drawing encounters to explore social interaction. The case study by Richard Morris in Chapter 7 describes the challenge, the working space, the pedagogy and is a very coherent discussion. Good use of images illustrates points being made and the three references would definitely aid those going to try this approach. Viv Martin’s chapter on practical approaches to creativity was the one that did it for me as it addressed workshop design for experiential learning and clarified this approach beautifully. If you only read one chapter read this one! I have tried the introducing literature approach and am going to do it again now. In section 3 there is a discussion of the learning space created and I can see how I would use this as a stimulus for my PGCE ITE students when considering their teaching and learning spaces in secondary schools; again good use of images enhances this section.

Chapter 10 contains really useful information regarding resources and technology and the successive chapter discusses their use of technology within that space. I found the review of ‘what worked and why’ very interesting and rooted in common sense and practicalities. Specific examples are given in the next chapter and chapter 14 discusses the very interesting Creativity Fellowships which were available. Teachers’ conceptions of creativity brought many of the themes addressed back together. The final section Findings and Reflection ‘comments on some of the main ideas presented’ and ‘raises key challenges facing educators’. It is very coherently written in bullet points and is inherently practical and sensible and therefore possible. The summary of findings for academic leaders, managers and administrators needs to be given to them immediately so that they too will see the need for this creative approach and will make it happen!

The final chapter entitled ‘give birth to a dancing star’ is exactly what this will do and I can’t wait to try it now! Almost wish term started now and not a month away!

You Tube video links:

Making Space for Creativity Part 1

Making Space for Creativity Part 2