Recovering creative teaching and learning: Using critical events
The predominant response during the 1990s to the reforms in primary schools ‘was one of incorporation, in which many teachers were able to adapt the changes into existing ways of working – at least to some extent’ (Osborn et al. 2000, p. 68 – original emphasis). There were a few isolated examples of appropriation (Woods 1995; Jeffrey and Woods 2003) or creative mediation (Osborn et al. 2000) in which teachers managed to preserve what they thought best about their practice and protected children, to some degree, from what they considered to be the worst effects of the change. As we saw in the last chapter, in the early 2000s some primary schools attempted to manipulate the heavily prescribed curriculum and pedagogy to ensure some creative teaching and at the same time others created spaces for it, legitimising their actions by invoking some of the policy statements that employed the creativity discourse. These situations have been seized upon by teachers and schools recently to first confront constraint and then begin to re-establish creativity teaching and learning through the reintroduction of a series of ‘critical events’. This is the focus of this chapter in which two schools used the critical other (Woods 1995; and see Chapter 5) to lever open opportunities for creativity teaching and learning.