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Classrooms, creativity and everyday life : a continuing inquiry

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posted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Brenton DoeckeBrenton Doecke, D McClenaghan
The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, as well as documents published by the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACARA) in the lead up to the implementation of the national curriculum, all highlight the importance of students becoming ‘confident and creative individuals’ who are capable of meeting the demands posed by the 21st Century. These texts have prompted us to think again about ‘creativity’ and how the knowledge and experience embodied in the traditions in which we operate as English teachers might provide a context for implementing the national curriculum and for continuing the work that we have always done in encouraging young people’s imagination and creativity. The essay breaks up into four parts, including a reflection on the Ghosts of Curriculums Past contained in an old filing cabinet, a dialogical analysis of ACARA rhetoric about ‘creativity’ and a narrative written by Douglas in which he examines the creativity of his Year 8 students when they explored the potential of the ‘Quest’ story as a literary genre. We wrap up by locating our thinking about creativity within what, in the course of our inquiry, has emerged for us as a salient theoretical framework for understanding the creativity that young people display in classroom settings, namely the work of Raymond Williams. The sections of this essay are more or less self-contained, but we hope that cumulatively they point beyond the circumscribed notion of creativity at the heart of the ACARA documentation. The fact that the publication of The Australian Curriculum: English has motivated us to conduct this inquiry suggests that the professional practice of English teachers will always be richer and more multifaceted than this document’s attempt to contain what happens in English classrooms. The best way for teachers to respond to the new curriculum is to continue to engage in reflective practice, exploring the disjunction that will inevitably emerge between the intended curriculum and the curriculum they enact in their local settings.

History

Title of book

Creating an Australian curriculum for English : national agendas, local contexts

Chapter number

3

Pagination

35 - 53

Publisher

Phoenix Education

Place of publication

Putney, NSW

ISBN-13

9781921586538

ISBN-10

1921586532

Language

eng

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2011, Phoenix Education

Extent

16

Editor/Contributor(s)

B Doecke, G Parr, W Sawyer

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