The importance of creativity in human flourishing has a long and significant history. From its earliest associations with ‘divine powers’ and the creative genius, significant interest has been devoted to the relationship between creativity, the arts, aesthetics, and culture. It is only relatively recently, however, that preoccupations with ‘higher order’ creativity has given way to more comprehensive lines of analysis focusing on such things as cognition, personality, and social theories to explain the creativity of 'ordinary people within the education system' (Craft and Jeffery, 2001; Craft 2011). In tandem with this widening of creative scope in education, governments have been quick to lay claim to the educational possibilities of creativity for entrepreneurial purposes as means of generating new commodities to increase market share. Meanwhile, many non-western traditions of creative practice are less preoccupied with innovation and problem-solving and instead place greater value on self-realisation and spiritual expression (Lubart, 2010 Runco and Albert, 2010). Hence, the implications for creative education are as significant as they are multi-dimensional. Creativity in the pastoral education, however, has received only limited attention and it is this domain of education that the editors aim to address in this special edition.
Pastoral welfare in the contemporary educational context is confronted with a number of interrelated challenges. On the one hand educators have the task of adequately addressing the escalating needs of children and young people as they navigate increasingly complex social conditions, while, on the other, re-evaluating provision, curriculum and practice in what for many has become an inhospitable educational context overridden by external performative pressures. Amongst the contributing factors we can include: increased mobility and migration; advances in micro-technologies and the proliferation social media; improved opportunities for the expression of ethnic, physical, cultural, and sexual identities; globalisation and new trans-national risks of terrorism and cyber criminality - all of which combine to make a potent combination of multidimensionality, indeterminacy, and ambiguity. It is this context that creativity in and for pastoral education offers, amongst others, the possibility of innovative forms of engagement, new directions in personal agency and expression, liminal creative spaces, and powerful conduits to access and support the welfare of children and young people.
This special edition is, then, a response to the contemporary landscape of creativities and complexities. In this undertaking the editors invite papers that address creativity in pastoral education from a wide range of interdisciplinary and practice perspectives. We seek contributions that:
- consider the relationship between creative engagement as a pastoral purpose;
- projects and pedagogies that highlight pastoral benefits and effects through creative means; and
- creative approaches that help children and young people to positively respond to the navigation of complex lifeworlds.
In tackling these issues, and any other aspects of creativity in pastoral education, we welcome both empirical and theoretical work. To this end, we aim to represent a diverse range of international standpoints interests and approaches.
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