Copycat or creative innovator? Reproduction as a pedagogical strategy in schools

Stine Ejsing-Duun, Helle Marie Skovbjerg

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

6 Citationer (Scopus)


This article explores how student behaviour and interactions change when teachers use ‘producing’ as a primary pedagogical strategy (Papert, 1980; Ejsing-Duun and Karoff, 2014). Based on observed student and teacher actions and responses, as well as students’ production, 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, which included fieldwork in five Danish public schools, involved about 500 students, and comprised six interventions in the first, second, fifth, sixth, and tenth grades. The project’s empirical data consist of observations, participatory observation, and productions students created during the interventions. This paper presents an analysis of how students were creative and playful while producing learning material as games during three of the project’s interventions. The study is based on a specific understanding of the creativity with a point of departure (Boden, 2004; Tanggaard and Wegener, 2015) and playfulness (Karoff, 2013) that occur in learning situations. We approach creativity and playfulness as new methods of learning, 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: 119). This paper investigates how educators handle children’s productive 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 reproducing and re-mixing existing materials is discussed. We further argue that playfulness is necessary for creativity to occur. From this point of view, it is possible to understand how learning activities can support creativity—an essential twenty-first century skill (Levinsen and Sørensen, 2015).

TidsskriftElectronic Journal of E-Learning
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)83-93
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2016


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