Serious and Playful Inquiry: Epistemological Aspects of Collaborative Creativity

By Sullivan, Florence R. | Educational Technology & Society, January 2011 | Go to article overview

Serious and Playful Inquiry: Epistemological Aspects of Collaborative Creativity


Sullivan, Florence R., Educational Technology & Society


The purpose of this paper is to further our understanding of collaborative creativity among middle-school students. National technology standards expressly discuss creativity as a desired learning outcome for K12 students (International Society of Technology in Education, 2007). This may be due to an envisioned need to address increasingly complex societal problems through innovation. Sonnenburg (2004) argues that collaborative teams will be an essential aspect of such creative work in the future. Collaborative creativity, then, is an important yet relatively new focus of research (Sawyer & DeZutter, 2009). As such, there is a limited amount of K12 educational research related to this topic. The research that does exist has shed light on two areas of collaborative creativity: group dynamics and local classroom practices.

Developing a shared understanding of a task through intersubjectivity is a key aspect of successful collaborative problem-solving (Roschelle & Teasley, 1995). However, it seems that for creative solutions, some level of disagreement or conflict regarding the task increases the groups' overall creativity (Chiu, 2008; Kurtzberg & Amabile, 2001), whereas personal or processual conflict will negatively affect the groups' creativity (Etelapelto & Lahti, 2008). Vass, Littleton, Miell, and Jones (2008) found that for a collaborative creative-writing task, students' emotional reactions to the assignment also affect the quality of their creative work.

Researchers have identified local classroom practices that bear on collaborative creativity. These practices include language play, musing, singing, humor, acting out, and role-playing games (Fernandez-Cardenas, 2008; Vass, et al., 2008). These practices serve to open a space for all students to engage and offer ideas for consideration. Collaborative creativity also includes practices such as planning together, sharing opinions, building on and integrating one another's ideas, arguing for one's ideas, negotiation and coordination of viewpoints, and seeking agreement on points of discussion (Rojas-Drummond, Albarran, & Littleton, 2008, p. 186).

This early research has begun to lay an empirical foundation for understanding phenomena involved in collaborative creativity. Yet, as Sonnenburg (2004) argues, we are still in need of a strong theoretical basis for understanding collaborative creativity, and as Sawyer and DeZutter (2009) point out, we know little about how creative ideas develop within a group. In this paper, I address both of these issues by examining the interactions of a small group of sixth graders solving a robotics problem. I analyze their interactions based on Bakhtin's (1981, 1986) theory of dialogism, providing a dialogic analysis of how a small group develops a creative solution to a technology problem.

Dialogism

Dialogism (Bakhtin, 1981) is a theory of communication that refers to the constant interplay of social forces on the meanings we make of the words we speak. In Bakhtin's formulation, the meanings of words are not fixed but are dependent on the socio-ideological position of the speaker of the words and the situation in which the words are spoken. Bakhtin (1986) theorizes that all communication is historically situated and responsive to the anticipated understanding and response of the addressee. In this way, each utterance is multi-voiced and temporally dynamic, containing the voices of previous speakers and shaped by the anticipated voice of future speakers.

Bakhtin (1981) argues that people develop their frameworks for knowledge by appropriating the discourses of others. These appropriated discourses constitute the lens through which experience is filtered. Bakhtin has identified two types of discourse: authoritative discourse and internally persuasive discourse. Authoritative discourses emanate from hierarchical sources, demand to be accepted as they are, and are not open to the perspective of the other. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Serious and Playful Inquiry: Epistemological Aspects of Collaborative Creativity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.