Dr Kerry Chappell
Senior Lecturer

Research

Research interests

My research interests are:

  • the contribution creativity in arts education can make to educational futures debates
  • the interdisciplinary study of creativity
  • methodologies for participatory research

My research involves developing understanding of wise humanising creativity (see Chappell et al, 2017; Chappell et al, 2016; Chappell et al, 2012). As part of my working method, I use creative learning conversations (developed with Anna Craft; see Chappell & Craft, 2011) to research with teachers, practitioners and students. The aim is to create space for us all to develop our practice and learning as educators and researchers. 

My earlier professional background is as a freelance dance artist/educator and dance education manager (Laban, 1998 - 2002), as well as practicing the martial art of aikido (Ni-Dan). I still work as a dance-artist within the Exeter-based dance lab collective alongside Pam Woods, Lizzie Swinford and Martin Harvey. All of these experiences inform my own practice as a researcher.

Research projects

CREATIONs (EUH2020, £120k) 2015-18 - Kerry is PI on this project at Exeter, working with Co-I Lindsay Hetherington, and Research Associates Hermione Ruck Keene and Charlotte Hathaway. The project is developing engaging science classrooms across Europe using arts-based and creative approaches developed from work carried out by researchers from the Centre for Creativity, Sustainability and Educational Futures (incorporating CREATE). The project includes an array of activities with science and arts teachers and their students www.creations-project.eu

CREAT-IT (funding EU Comenius Fund, �40k) 2013-15 - Working with Anna Craft, Sarah Hennessy, Charlotte Slade, Margo Greenwood and Alison Black and collaborating with six other European partners. The aim of the project is to develop and support science teachers by integrating creative and cultural activities derived from the arts into their curriculum, therefore engaging students to participate in collaborative, project and case study based activities. http://creatit-project.eu/ 

NEXT CHOREOGRAPHY with SIOBHAN DAVIES DANCE - (funding Paul Hamlyn Foundation, �6.6k) 2014-18 - Working with Charlotte Slade and Amy Phillips to evaluate and research the development of choreographic understanding and wise humanising creativity for 14 - 20 year olds within this SDD project.

CREATIVE POTENTIAL - (funding Paul Hamlyn Foundation, �10k) � Working with Debbie Watson and Anna Craft to act as critical friends to the Education team of Wayne McGregor/Random Dance Company in their development of the Creative Potential creativity teaching resource. The project completed during 2014.

CAROUSEL COLLECTIVE RESEARCH (ongoing) (funding (�3k) - this project involves working with a group of early years practitioners and artists researching their practice collectively. The group have investigated what defines the approach they take in their work and what the children taking part get from this. The project completed with the production of a short research film available at the Devon Carousel Project website.

CHILDREN'S VOICES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING workshops. These workshops have been developed from the Aspire project, a co-participative research project putting student as researchers at the centre of school transformation. �The Aspire university research team, including Anna Craft, myself and Margo Greenwood worked with Pearson plc to develop a Children's Voice training workshop to facilitate schools to run their own student voice for transformative change projects.

DANCE PARTNERS FOR CREATIVITY (AHRC funded). 2008 - 2011. Working with Professor Anna Craft, and Linda Rolfe at Exeter, and collaborating with Veronica Jobbins�at Laban, as well as a team of dance-artist/teacher partnerships, the core question at the heart of this research was 'What kinds of creative partnerships are manifested between dance-artists and teachers in co-developing the creativity of 11-14 year olds, in dance in education, and how do these develop? The research culminated in the publication of Close Ecounters: Dance Partners for Creativity published in late 2011. The book presents ideas and provocations for developing practice and thinking about creativity in education in the 21st century, drawing on dance education. It argues that young people's creativity doesn't have to be restricted by standards and that their creativity can thrive alongside attainment. The book concludes by offering practical ideas for ensuring that creative professionals and students can thrive rather than just survive in the current educational climate.

CREATIVITY WITHIN THE DANCE CENTRES FOR ADVANCED TRAINING: 2007-8 collaborating with Dr Sanna Nordin-Bates this project involved qualtiatively and quantitatively investigating what creativity is and how it is nurtured within the dance specilalists Centres for Advanced Training. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the research culminated in practitioners' professional development, a CAT report, a peer-reviewed article and a creativity questionnaire.

CARA2 RESEARCH (September 2006 - October 2007). Researching the operation and impact of the Creativity Action Research Awards 2, a national initiative funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Director Anna Craft. Funded by DfES. Budget: �25K.

Research grants

  • 2015 EU Framework 6
    The project aims to increase science education engagement through the arts and creativity. The Exeter team's creativity theories are positioned at the heart of the project within the 8 pedagogical features which inform the developing teaching practices in 11 European partner countries: http://creations-project.eu
  • 2008 Arts and Humanities Research Council
    Dance Partners for Creativity Research Project (2008-10) within the School of Education and Lifelong Learning. Working with Professor Anna Craft, and Linda Rolfe at Exeter, and collaborating with Veronica Jobbins at Laban, as well as a team of dance-artist/teacher partnerships, the core question at the heart of this research is 'What kinds of creative partnerships are manifested between dance-artists and teachers in co-developing the creativity of 11-14 year olds, in dance in education, and how do these develop? Beginning in April 08, the research has three key research areas: investigating partnership roles and relationships which push boundaries;gaining understanding of, and developing, how creativity is conceived and facilitated; questioning and challenging practice; and understanding the problems faced by partnerships.

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