Copycat or Creative Innovator? Re-production as a Pedagogical Strategy in Schools

Stine Ejsing-Duun, Helle Marie Skovbjerg

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Abstract

This article explores how student behavior and interactions change when teachers use “producing” as a primary pedagogical strategy (Papert, 1980; Ejsing-Duun and Karoff, 2014). Based on student and teacher actions and responses, as well as on students’ production—observed during fieldwork—this paper emphasizes the importance of understanding how students explore creativity and playfulness while producing in learning situations. This paper is based on a large research project called “Children as Learning Designers in a Digital School (2013–2015),” funded by Denmark’s Ministry of Education. The study includes fieldwork in five Danish public schools, involving about 500 students, and it is based on six interventions in the first, second, fifth, sixth, and tenth grades. The article’s empirical data consist of observations, participatory observation, and productions students created during the interventions. This paper presents an analysis of how students are creative and playful while producing learning material as games, during three interventions in the research project. The study is based on a specific understanding of the creativity with a point of departure at Boden (2004) and Tanggaard & Wegener (2015), and playfulness (Karoff, 2013) that occur in learning situations. We want to approach creativity and playfulness as new ways of playing it safe when using material, through six areas of change that inform “how today’s kids play and learn, and, more generally, how they see themselves, relate to others, dwell in place, and treat things” (Ackermann, 2013, p. 119). As a result, this paper contributes to the field by analyzing and discussing how educators deal with children’s production processes in a school setting and how teachers can conceptualize and nurture play and creativity as drivers for learning. In this context, the importance of skills and acknowledgement of re-production and re-mixing existing materials is discussed. We further argue that playfulness is necessary for creativity to occur. From this point of view, understanding how learning activities can support creativity—an essential twenty-first century skill—becomes more accessible.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftElectronic Journal of E-Learning
Vol/bind14
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)83-93
ISSN1479-4403
StatusUdgivet - 17 maj 2016

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