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EQ102-15 Creativity, Culture and Learning

Education Studies
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Juliet Raynsford
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Rather than simply advocating the creative agenda, this module invites you to take a critical and reflective view on what creativity, creative teaching and creative learning are. As part of this we explore how these concepts can be seen to have evolved within contrasting educational, political and economic frameworks.

Module web page

Module aims
  1. To critically examine contrasting definitions of creativity drawn from a range of subject domains.

2). To investigate how contrasting perspectives on creativity affect how the concept of 'being creative' is interpreted in different socio-cultural contexts.

3). To critically examine a variety of definitions of the concept of culture.

4). To explore the role of creativity and culture in the production of self, with particular reference to the influence of creativity and culture on the formation of young people's identity. Here, a particular emphasis will be placed on analysing case studies that look at different manifestations of 'youth culture'.

5). Through a range of creative exercises that emphasise theory relating to socio-linguistics and play theory, explore how creativity, culture and language interact and evolve as learners, especially young children, construct meaning and knowledge of the social worlds they inhabit.

6). Critically explore the influence of culture-based creativity on social, economic and political policy and practice.

  1. Through analysis of the concept of subculture, analyse the role creativity plays in constructing collective and individual forms of aesthetic expression, voice and agency.
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

'Creativity' is often used promiscuously and uncritically in educational policy and practice. Therefore, rather than simply advocating the creative agenda, this module invites students to take a critical and reflective view on what creativity, creative teaching and creative learning are. As part of this students will explore how these concepts can be seen to have evolved within contrasting educational, political and economic frameworks. This exploration of creativity will be juxtaposed with critical analysis of the concept of culture in which students will be encouraged to identify the ways in which cultural identity, values and beliefs impact on personal and collective attitudes to what 'being creative' is. Students will be invited to analyse the role they perceive creativity to have in contrasting aspects of their lives, for example, where do they consider themselves to be most creative? How does the concept of creativity manifest itself within their university experience? Practical workshops will be used to explore how expressive pedagogies, such as those that draw upon the disciplines of drama, theatre, play, visual art, movement and digital media, can be utilised within learning so as to foster key 'creative' behaviours. As part of this students will be encouraged to reflect upon how learning through aesthetic disciplines can be seen to affect aspects of learner experience such as those relating to voice, agency and quality of engagement.

By the end of the module students should be able to idenify the distinction between a range of theoretical and philosophical definitions of creativity and be able to identify and articulate how different forms of creative thinking, behaviour and learning can be encouraged via the use of contrasting forms of creative pedagogy.

Key topics may include:

  • What is creativity?
  • What is culture?
  • How do the concepts of creativity and culture relate to the production of 'self'?
  • What is the role of creativity in how people learn?
  • What role does creativity have to play in education?
  • Subcultures and Subversion: Exploring 'insider/outsider' manifestations of creativity
  • Voice, agency and embodiment
  • Children's creative narratives: Play, imagination and emergent language
  • Developing digital literacy through creative pedagogy
  • Exploring how creative pedagogies can foster reflective and critical practice amongst learners.
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • 1. To become familiar with key debates and concepts relating to creativity.
  • 2. To develop a critically focused capacity to reflect on and analyse the application of creativity within contrasting educational frameworks.
  • 3. To understand the role of ideology in shaping personal, local, national and global attitudes to conceptualising and enacting 'creative' forms of thinking, behaving and learning.
  • 4. To be able to critically debate and evaluate what a creative learning experience is as distinct from a non-creative learning experience.
  • 5. To be able to critically evaluate how creativity and culture shape one's own identity as a learner, researcher and teacher.
Indicative reading list

Abbs, P. (2003) Against the flow: education, the arts and postmodern culture, London, RoutledgeFalmer.
Carey, J. (2006) What good are the arts? Oxford University Press
Craft, A. (2005) Creativity in Schools: Tensions and Dilemmas Routledge
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996) Creativity, Harper Collins Publisher
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990) Flow: the psychology of optimal experience, HarperPerrenial
De Bruyne, P. & Gielen, P. (eds) (2011) Community art : the politics of trespassing, Amsterdam: Valiz
Faulkner, D. & Coates, E. (Eds) (2011) Exploring Children's Creative Narratives, Abingdon, Routledge
Jeffrey, B. & Woods, P. (2009) Creative Learning in the Primary School, New York, Routledge.
Morgan, G. & Ren, X. (2012) The Creative Underclass: Culture, Subculture and Urban Renewal, Journal of Urban Affairs, Volume 34, Issue 2, pages 127–130
NACCCE (1999) Creative and Cultural Education, in All our Futures: creativity, culture and education, London, Department for Education and Employment.
Hall, C. and Thomson, P. (2007) Creative Partnerships? Cultural policy and inclusive arts practice in one primary school, British Educational Research Journal, 33(3). 315-329.
Holden, J. (2008) Democratic Culture: Opening up the arts to everyone, Demos Publications.
Neelands, J. & Chou, B. (2010) The English model of creativity: cultural politics of an idea, International Journal of Cultural Policy Volume 16, Issue 3, Special Issue: Creativity and Cultural Policy
Robinson, K. (2001) Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative, Capstone
Robinson, K. (2009) The element: how finding your passion changes everything, Allen Lane
Sawyer, R. K., John-Steiner, V., Moran, S., Sternberg, R., Feldman, D.H. Nakamura, J. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2003) Creativity and Development, New York, Oxford University Press
Sefton-Green, J., Thomson, P., Jones, K. & Bresler, L (2011) The Routledge Handbook of Creative Learning, Routledge
Sternberg, R. (ed) (2000) Handbook of Creativity, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Winston, J. (2010) Beauty in Education, Routledge

View reading list on Talis Aspire


Explores the concept of creativity through multiple lens - sociological, psychological, philosophical and educational.

Subject specific skills
  • the underlying values, theories and concepts relevant to education

  • the diversity of learners and the complexities of the education process

  • the complexity of the interaction between learning and local and global contexts, and the extent to which participants (including learners and teachers) can influence the learning process

  • the societal and organisational structures and purposes of educational systems, and the possible implications for learners and the learning process

  • constructively critique theories, practice and research in the area of education

  • plan for, and where appropriate implement, play and the curriculum, assessment, evaluation and improvement of creative learning opportunities, taking account of young children's health and emotional well-being

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the interrelationships between political, economic, cultural and ideological contexts in the lives of children and their families and communities

  • recognise and challenge inequalities in society, and embrace an anti-bias approach

Transferable skills
  • Active listening
  • Analysis and decision making
    Cognitive flexibility
  • Common sense
  • Communication skills
  • Coordinating with others
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
    Initiative and also follow instructions
  • Intellectual ability
  • International cultural awareness
  • Interpersonal and communication
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Management of learning
    Personal development skills
  • Persuading/influencing
  • Planning and organisational skills
    Problem solving
    Team working

Study time

Type Required Optional
Lectures 10 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Seminars 10 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Tutorials (0%) 2 sessions of 15 minutes
Practical classes 10 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Private study 120 hours (80%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Independent study hours include background reading, completing reading/other tasks in preparation for timetabled teaching sessions, undertaking research using the library resources, follow-up reading work, working on individual and group projects, the completion of formative and summative assignments, revision.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Essay (2000 words) 100% 30 hours
Feedback on assessment

Electronic feedback on assignment\r\nTutorials\r\nWhole group feedback\r\n


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UEQA-X35B Undergraduate Education Studies