chapter  9
7 Pages

The future of creative learning

There are a number of favourable conditions for achieving innovation. On the basis of our researches, a form of democratic participation would appear to be the management structure most conducive to pupil empowerment (Carrington and Short 1989; Trafford 1993). Social constructivism, with its emphasis on pupil ownership of knowledge and control of learning processes and social context, seems the most favourable learning theory (Pollard 1991); though it needs to be ‘strong’ rather than ‘weak’ constructivism (Watts and Bentley 1991). The latter might suffer the fate of Plowdenism and become transformed into an ideology (Alexander 1992). Pupil involvement in control of their learning (Oldroyd and Tiller 1987; Rowland 1987) and in the evaluation of their work (Armstrong 1992; Towler and Broadfoot 1992; Quicke and Winter 1993) is necessary. In general, pupil ‘voices’ need to be heard (Fielding 2007). As Qvortrup (1990, p. 94) argues, ‘If we seriously mean to improve life conditions for children we must, as a minimum precondition, establish reporting systems in which they are heard themselves as well as reported on by others’ (see also Paley 1986). We also need a curriculum where the central aim is the ‘promotion of the student’s well-being as a self-determining citizen …’ (O’Hear and White 1991, p. 6). Above all, perhaps, there can be no innovative students without creative teachers, which, as we have noted, intensification and the culture of performativity does not encourage.