Full Seminar Details

Sylvia Truman

 Sylvia Truman
Aligning learning and creativity in education: Music composition as a domain to explore creative learning
This event took place on Monday 13 December 2004 at 12:30

When learning about a subject area in the classroom, the acquisition of a set of core concepts is often perceived as a prerequisite for students being able to comment intelligently on the subject domain, this generally involves the student's individual accumulation of teacher presented concepts. However, contemporary perspectives on learning suggest that learning is most effective when the learner is an active participant (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Duffy & Cunningham, 1966), constructing content for themselves within a social system. Similarly, creativity within a domain involves the active construction of new ideas and content within the social context of other members of the field. Therefore, collaborative creativity need not be the preserve of experts, but can be regarded as an inroad to learning the core concepts generally seen as a prerequisite to active participation. Few have suggested that there exists an inherent relationship between learning and creativity; however, the similarities between the two are evidently striking (Karnes et al, 1961; Torrance, 1981; Guilford, 1950). It is suggested here that theories advocating learning as a socially constructive process may shed light upon creative phenomena.

With the advancements in technology, creativity research has progressed towards the development of software programs designed to encourage creative thinking. Traditionally aimed at art and design professions (Proctor, 1991) contemporary programs have targeted aspects pertaining to musicality (Bamberger, 1986; Holland, 1999). Music composition is an area which has long been linked to creativity, and researchers within the domain have conducted investigations pertaining to methods of enhancing creativity in music composition (Swanwick & Tilman, 1986; Levi, 1991; Kratus, 1991). It is suggested here that music is a suitable arena through which the relationship between creativity and learning can be effectively studied.

This talk presents a general overview of my research in progress. Beginning with a discussion of the synthesis between social learning theory and creativity, the theoretical basis for my generative framework of creativity will be explained. Uses of the framework will also be discussed along with an example of its application to classroom-based music composition. An example of a software program guided by the framework during its design will be demonstrated in the form of SoundScape (a creative-collaborative environment for music composition).

Background Information / Reading:
A framework for learning and creativity

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