Creativity and performativity: counterpoints in British and Australian education

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Burnard, Pamela and White, Julie (2008) Creativity and performativity: counterpoints in British and Australian education. British Educational Research Journal, 34 (5). pp. 667-682. ISSN 0141-1926 (Print) 1469-3518 (Online)


This article explores the complex interplay of power between performativity and creativity agendas—a mutual tension that resides in British and Australian education. Accountability constraints and conflicting policy debates are problematised against the wider imperatives of similar government agendas. This ‘counterpoint’ of freedom and control has significant implications for pedagogy and, through accommodating performativity, teacher agency and professionalism are under threat. The authors propose a ‘rebalancing’ where pedagogy transforms from a site of struggle for control, to one where a higher trust is placed in teacher professionalism. The idea of ‘rebalancing pedagogy’ offers a way for teachers to navigate and be supported through the opposing demands of performativity and creativity. It acknowledges the importance of teacher agency and where teaching is judged against the characteristics of a systemic approach that facilitates the building of creative learning communities capable of supporting any curricula or content‐focused programmes in and beyond schools.

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Special Issue: Creativity and performativity in teaching and learning: tensions, dilemmas, constraints, accommodations and synthesis

Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/01411920802224238
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Historical > FOR Classification > 1399 Other Education
Historical > FOR Classification > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
Citations in Scopus 115 - View on Scopus
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