The Community Creativity Collective: Introducing and Refining a Community-Based Model for Creative Curriculum Development
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Calls for more creative teaching and learning in classrooms are often matched by increasingly stringent accountability measures. Negotiating the creativity/accountability paradox is difficult for teachers, who are often isolated as they interpret, design, and deliver curriculum in their classrooms. This dissertation introduces and refines a 7-stage process called the Community Creative Collective (3-C) designed to generate solutions to three problems that derive from this paradox. First, narrowing of curriculum inhibits the ability of teachers to generate creative teaching and learning. Second, factors, including time constraints and teacher training, limit teachers' ability to develop the creative habit. Third, inclusion of family and community members as co-creators of curriculum provides a potential source of creative curriculum development. Three research questions guide the exploration of the process: 1. How does the 3-C process allow teachers and community members to collaboratively generate creative teaching and learning opportunities for their students? 2. What are the distinguishing features of this collaborative curricular process? 3. How does such a process impact teachers' interpretations of their role as interpreters, designers and deliverers of curriculum? Using a Design Based approach, these questions investigate the process as it was implemented in a 5th-grade classroom. The first question uses a case study methodology to trace the development of the 3-C process as it was developed and implemented. Findings demonstrated that communication at multiple stages impacted the generation of creative ideas. The second question uses qualitative data from documents, interviews, audio and video recordings and observations to extrapolate some of the distinguishing feature of the process. Key features included the Ideational Speed Dating (ISD) process for idea-generation, the 3-C process as a peak flow experience and the impact of parent and community expertise to generate creative classroom content. The third question uses interviews with the participating teacher to examine the impact of the 3-C process on her interpretation of her role in the classroom. The process influenced her view on family and community involvement, providing space through which tensions can be resolved and creative engagement can flourish. Finally refinements for future iterations are discussed in addition to implications for future research.