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Creativity and Enjoyment in Education Professor Bart McGettrick LIVERPOOL 24 April 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Creativity and Enjoyment in Education Professor Bart McGettrick LIVERPOOL 24 April 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creativity and Enjoyment in Education Professor Bart McGettrick LIVERPOOL 24 April 2008

2 In contemporary society the main function of education is – The flourishing of humanity including attainment and achievement and personal and social well-being.

3 There is a professional ethical imperative in all that we do in education At the heart of education is the development of humanity. If we are to see humanity flourish the language we use has to move from the technical to the humane The attitudes and values also have to reflect that great gifts to humanity… The Arts, The Sciences, Technology,.. All human development.

4 Education is concerned with exposing children to good, to truth, to beauty, to honesty, to love, to compassion, to integrity. These are the qualities which must inspire education…. It is only possible to know about these qualities of life when we have experience of them. Experiencing music, the arts, the beauty of science, and the joy of learning are enriching parts of life.

5 How does education serve the needs of society? Setting up places of formation of the whole person … …a healing place in society … a place for human flourishing … a place for the flourishing of all humanity … a place for the continuity of culture and tradition... a place of enjoyment!

6 Amongst the most significant purposes of education are: Forming people  Of love, care and compassion  With a deep sense of hope  Who appreciate beauty and wonder  Who will serve the world by their gifts

7 We educate young children to have the capability of serving their communities in the common good. This includes a concern for creativity, so readily developed through the arts, physical education and “practical aspects” of subjects

8 The priorities that are expressed in society include a concern for creativity, and also for attainment and achievement. The challenge is that these are contradictory, so long as attainment is assessed by cognitive measures… e.g. test items.

9 Creativity is recognised as being a priority by government. The question really is whether this is capable of being developed adequately while other pressures of cognitive accountability are so severe? Enjoyment is a martyr in the pursuit of effectiveness, performance and efficiency.

10 The fully educated person is not risk averse. Risk, to some degree at least, is required for creativity and for progress. A world without risk rapidly becomes a world of compliance and of dependence on the here and now. It contains with in the seeds of its own destruction, by forming the man-made manacles for ourselves. A world of compliance is a world of mediocrity and conformity.

11 The intellect has become free through the later part of the twentieth century; and the emotions remain in chains. Education needs both to flourish for the development of the whole person.

12 Courage, joy and humility are three characteristics of human flourishing. Is there a hierarchy of pre-conditions for growth and flourishing? Above all there is Love Justice and Happiness

13 “Education thus presents itself as at once preparation for life and an irreplaceable part of life itself: Hence the good school is to be assessed not by any tale of examination successes, however impressive, but by the extent to which it has filled the years of youth with security, graciousness and ordered freedom, and has thus been the seed-bed for the flowering in due season of all that is of good report.” Secondary Education : A Report of The Advisory Council on Education in Scotland, 1947

14 A Model for Learning Content – Principles, Knowledge, Concepts, Ideas, Skills Dispositions to Learning – Learning to Love Learning RelationshipsEmotional and Spiritual Space

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16 Jerash, Jordan – Roman columns Spaces

17 It is the active participation of both learning and teaching which characterises an effective education. The educator is most effective as “a witness” or “role model”, and this has a profound impact on the learner. In so many ways the creative educator is also a creative learner.

18 This will mean putting dignity before price, and humanity before economy. Creativity is not susceptible to complete description by measured outcomes and identifiable targets. Setting prescribed targets for learning always results in sub-optimal attainment.

19 Qualities for Education  To remember all people have memories  To encourage and feed dreams  To express our care for those who learn  To rid society of the pain of the fearful heart  To encourage risks and know there is safety in the place of learning.

20 Areas for Consideration  Teaching approaches … personalise learning  The climate and ethos for learning  The relationships established by the educator  What is to be learned and how this takes place (“context”)

21 We should not continue to see creativity as a marginal concern of the elite or the eccentric. We have to re-orientate our concerns in education towards a world of, care, love, compassion and so develop a society which genuinely values the creative impulse.

22 The greatest challenge for all educators is how young people can benefit from the richness of experience and feel the quality of culture in the practical aspects of daily life …. The sounds of the town and the many varied places of education, the artwork on display, the movement and dance at celebrations, etc.

23 Doubt must have a central part to play in education. It is doubt that nourishes the enquiring mind. It is doubt that avoids compliance. It is doubt that encourages the conviction of one’s own thoughts. At its heart is creativity.

24 How could I have come so far? And always on such dark trails? I must have travelled by the light Shining from the faces of those I have loved Thomas McGrath


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