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Open Access The contradictions of policy and practice: creativity in higher education

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Whilst much of the rhetoric of current educational policy champions creativity and innovation, structural reforms and new management practices in higher education run counter to the known conditions under which creativity flourishes. As a review of recent literature suggests, surveillance, performativity, the end of tenure and rising levels of workplace stress are all closing off the space for real creative endeavour, characterised as it is by risk-taking, collaborative exploration and autonomy. Innovation, as conceived in this policy context (i.e., that of the UK and Ireland), is narrow in scope and leaves little room for critical re-examination of the nature of education itself or radical reconceptions of curriculum, raising the question as to whether such are more likely to arise extra mural, from new forms of organisation.

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Keywords: CREATIVITY; HIGHER EDUCATION; INNOVATION; PERFORMATIVITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2012

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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