Anna Craft Memorial Lecture

The video recording of the first of the Anna Craft memorial lectures, which took place on 5th March 2015 in the OU Camden with over 100 colleagues and at the University of Exeter with 40 colleagues, is now available.

A memorial lecture will be held annually in memory of this influential educator and teacher whose work in creativity in education remains an important force in the shaping of theory and practice in this field. The lectures are being jointly organised by the two universities in which Professor Craft worked at the time of her death: The Open University and the University of Exeter.


This research network is no longer active.  The activities undertaken within CREATE have now become part of the Centre for Research in Creavitity, Sustainability and Education Futures

The CREATE group organised a number of seminars, below are a few of the most recent held.

Creative Learning in the Primary School
Bob Jeffrey – Honorary Research Fellow - will lead a talk and discussion of creative learning from 16.00 to Monday 22 February 2016 in room BC101.  
Descriptions and analysis of creative learning is an essential check on the effectiveness of creative teaching. The documentation of creative teaching has more validity if the outcomes of it can be seen to be taken up as creative learning by pupils and students. This session will focus on ethnographic research carried out over some years on the nature of creative learning in the primary school and will show how, given a creative teaching context, young people develop creative skills and understandings. We will examine how they act in relevant creative situations, bring ownership and control to their learning practices and how innovation is developed.  Some aspects of the research process will be exemplified to indicate how teachers and prospective teachers might research, identify and encourage creative learning. There will be an opportunity for group discussions. 

Enjoying ethnographic writing
Bob Jeffrey – Honorary Research Fellow - will lead a talk and discussion about the writing process while carrying out ethnographic and qualitative research at 16.00 on Tuesday 23 February 2016 in room BC201.
Bob has spent over 20 years researching primary school using ethnographic methods and he will show the importance of writing to qualitative research in different literary forms. The intention of the session is to show how detailed written accounts of the contexts of research brings authenticity to the readers of research findings in the way accounts are re-presented in literary forms. He will emphasise the value of the use of literary forms in the research process both in the field and when examining data some distance from the fieldwork.  He will suggest that by using the imagination and creative writing skills the researcher can enhance the legitimacy and validity of their ethnographic research. There will be an opportunity for group discussion. 

Anna Craft and beyond: what next for Creativity?
Education leaders gather in Exeter to celebrate the life of influential Professor
Friends and family of Professor Anna Craft were joined by leading figures in education and the arts at Exeter University on Saturday 10th October to celebrate the life of one of the region’s most influential thinkers and to ask “What next for Creativity?”  Full details of the event available here.

Workshop with Bob Jeffrey and Margo Greenwood
Writing descriptive fieldnotes: Literary opportunities, thick description and the reflexive perspectives
Qualitative researchers have to produce the descriptive data that both reflect these characteristics and provide data for analysis. In the main this involves the ethnographer writing or/and recording these descriptions in the form of fieldnotes. There are many types of fieldnotes and ways of recording them but one major aspect is the creative fieldnote. These portray, in a literary form, a description of the environment in which our respondents work and live and the part people play in managing it and influencing it. The researcher, in the case of ethnography, is the instrument through which written data is collected and they use many literary forms to construct data that reflects the lived reality of those we research.

This workshop focussed on some of these imaginative and creative forms from the extensive work carried out by Bob Jeffrey over 20 years of ethnographic field work and Margo Greenwood followed this with a discussion on the value of a reflexive voice in the construction of qualitative data.

CREATE workshop debate: Cultures of Encounter: How not to get steam rollered by the system and create a new one….. with Michael Fielding, Kerry Chappell and Nick Givens
A workshop debate about if and how it is possible to engender meaningful cultures of encounter that allow for democratic education within the educational system. It began with short provocations from Michael Fielding, Kerry Chappell and Nick Givens drawing on research and experience of democratic schooling cultures and methods, some more radical stand-alone models, some more focused on what might be referred to as quiet revolutions from the inside.

Open session led by Bob Jeffrey, Honorary Research Fellow
Managing performative imperatives and creative teaching and learning and the implications for professional identity
The first part of this open session reviewed some of the ways primary teachers managed these two practices and the effects upon their professional work and identity based on ESRC research carried out between 2005-8.
The second part of the session provided an opportunity for those attending to discuss these findings in the light of their own current experiences in schools or in teacher education.

Dance Educator Action Research sharing event
An action research event presented by the University of Exeter Dance team and DNA (dancenetworkactive).  Two Devon dance educators, Lucie Tullet and Amelia Holst, have been researching their own dance teaching practice, with the support and guidance of one of University of Exeter’s research lecturers, Dr. Kerry Chappell.    

Malcolm Ross (Honorary University Fellow, University of Exeter)
Art’s Work
Malcolm updated the Exeter CREATE group on his syncretic model of creativity in the arts, first developed in his bookCultivating the Arts in Education and Therapy (Routledge, 2011).

Dr Keith Sawyer (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Wednesday 8 October 2014
‘‘Learning how to create - Toward a learning sciences of art and design’’
A virtual seminar with Dr Sawyer who presented his current work on empirical studies of pedagogical practices in professional schools of art and design.  A recording of this seminar is available for University staff and students.  

Bob Jeffrey (Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter)
Managing performative imperatives and creative teaching and learning and the implications for professional identity
For the last 24 years teachers have been managing new performativity reforms focused on more accountability, testing, target setting and inspections alongside attempts to maintain their creative teaching, particularly in primary schools. As the performative agenda and practices became embedded in the late 1990s and the early 2000s a major government programme worth over £130m developed and encouraged a creativity discourse and related programmes across the whole of the education sector.

The first part of this open session reviewed some of the ways primary teachers managed these two practices and the effects upon their professional work and identity based on ESRC research carried out between 2005-8.  The second part of the session provided an opportunity for attendees to discuss these findings in the light of their own current experiences in schools or in teacher education.

Sue Cheesman, Senior Lecturer in Dance Education, University of Waikato (Inclusive dance specialist)
Inclusive Dance Workshop.  Hosted by University of Exeter and DNA, this was an opportunity for University of Exeter students to take part in a dance/movement workshop.  The workshop provided a practical insight into inclusive dance pedagogies and practices drawing on Sue’s experience as a workshop leader for Touch Compass Dance, mixed ability NZ Dance Company.

Emeritus Professor Michael Fielding (Institute of Education, University of London) 
Beyond Student Voice: Patterns of Partnership and the Demands of Deep Democracy.  In this seminar the speaker offered an intellectual typology and practical tool patterns of partnership intended to assist in the process of intergenerational learning and democratic development.

Kerry Chappell (University of Exeter), Lizzie Swinford and Suzie West (Dance in Devon)
University of Exeter Catalyst Public Engagement Project and Dance Network Active seminar: Public engagement: being in-between

Exploration of outcomes of three connected pieces of public engagement research within dance education funded by the University's Catalyst Seed Fund project.  The presentations from the seminar are available below plus a link to one of the presenters' prezis. 

Bob Jeffrey (Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter)
Using ethnographic approaches in qualitative research: Problems, issues and resolutions  
An interactive session between the participants and Bob drawing on the participants' own experiences.  The session began with a very brief outline of the main characteristics of using ethnographic approaches in carrying out qualitative research followed by debate/discussion of participants' problems or issues concerning ethnographic research.

Anna Craft, Dr Emese Hall and Rebecca Costello (University of Exeter)
Creative Teaching in Higher Education: An International Collaborative Enquiry
In this session we shared the research design and early findings from our current study examining creative teaching in higher education in England, Malaysia and Thailand.

Margo Greenwood and Jo Cursley (Research students, University of Exeter)
Adolescence as opportunity: working creatively with young people in Alternative Provision and a Youth Offending Institution.  How can creative pedagogy connect with young people in challenging circumstances? Margo Greenwood and Dr Jo Cursley shared some of their findings from and experiences of their doctoral studies in their respective settings. Margo focussed on how a creative pedagogy fits into a pedagogy of care; whilst Jo explored how creativity can change perceptions of identity. 

Ben Neild, Jo Cursley and Tom Magill
Arts in prisons
Arts in Prisons presentation (pdf, 39.7Kb)

Malcolm Ross (Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter)
Cultivating the arts in education and therapy.

Emma Metcalf (Write Team) and Dr Anthony Wilson (University of Exeter)
The Write Team.

Bob Jeffrey (The Open University)
The trials and tribulations of ethnography

Prof Carey Jewitt (Institute of Education, University of London)
The challenges of researching digital interaction

Juan-Ann Tai (Tainan University of Technology, Taiwan)
Examining the Development of Dance as an Institutional Power in Taiwan through a Bourdieuian Approach.

Prof Werner Jank (Univeristy of Music and Performing Arts Frankfurt am Main)
Bildung: On a Key Concept in the German Tradition of the Philosophy of (Music) Education

Kevin Barton (QCDA), Prof Anna Craft and Dr Kerry Chappell (University of Exeter)
Policy and Research: key issues

Dr Sanna Nordin (Trinity Laban) and Dr Kerry Chappell (University of Exeter).
Creativity in dance education.

Professor Kieran Egan (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
Developing minds and imaginations.

Penny Hay and Mike Young
5x5x5 = creativity

Professor Guy Claxton (University of Winchester, and Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter)
How creativity and educational futures can be related in research, practice and policy.

Svanborg R Jonsdottir (PhD Student, University of Iceland and Honorary Research Assistant at the University of Exeter)
“It was just related to everything ...” Perceptions of teachers and students of innovation education in Icelandic compulsory schools.

Dr Kerry Chappell, Professor Anna Craft & Linda Rolfe (University of Exeter) with Veronica Jobbins (Laban)
"Choreographing research in the third space: exploring co-participative research in dance education"

Dr Peter Twining (The Open University)
Real learning – virtual world? A talk about Schome Park, and the issues surrounding how we can engage more creatively with learners in ways that blend school and home (schome). You can listen to the seminar below: