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What counts as creativity?

Pauline Ridley
Gill Johnston

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InQbate, the Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL) in
Creativity, is a joint initiative by the University of Sussex and the
University of Brighton. Part of its work is carried out through the
Creativity Development Fund, which provides funding for the development and enhancement of innovative learning and teaching across the two universities and by research into the nature of the creative process in existing courses and activities.  The fund aims to support a range of imaginative and rigorous projects that might extend our understanding and experience of the complex notion of creativity in the context of higher education.
     This paper will report on and review two challenges presented by the aims of this fund:

First, to solicit projects that would be genuinely creative in some way,
without providing guidelines or prescriptions about what might be thought to constitute 'creative learning' (which might rather arbitrarily restrict imagination and innovation).

Secondly, to be creative ourselves in finding innovative ways to monitor and evaluate projects, so that those participating in different ways are able to recognise and articulate their experience and understanding of creativity, without placing undue and unattractive additional burdens on project leaders.

Projects discussed may include:

1 Learning to Look - The Creative Medical School:  a photography course for 1st year medical students
2 Creative responses to the Holocaust -  interacting with artefacts:  a course for Year 2 art history and cultural studies students.
3 Access to Art - the Overalls project
4 Reading into Creativity - An investigation into the new relationship
between technology and scholarship: Media students from a range of

The intention of the paper is to stimulate discussion about how we can
maximise and get most benefit from opportunities to work and teach
creatively within the current framework of constraints and expectations.

Author Bio(s)

Pauline Ridley is based in the University of Brighton Centre for Learning &Teaching, and provides educational development and research support to the CETL in Creativity and its funded projects.  An art historian and former member of  the HE Academy Subject Centre for Art Design Media, she is also coordinator of the Visual Practices learning area within the LearnHigher CETL, a consortium of 16 universities.

Gill Johnston is based in the University of Sussex Teaching and Learning Development Unit. She co-ordinates the Creativity Development Fund and all evaluation and dissemmination activities of the CETL in Creativity.