Faculty of Education and Language Studies
I came to the OU in the early 1990s from a background in primary teaching, initial and in service education at another University, and national curriculum development work. Since 2003 I have held a Visiting Scholar appointment at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. From January 2007 I take up a part-time appointment as Professor of Education at the University of Exeter, alongside a continuing fractional appointment as Reader in Education, here at the OU, and some freelance work in the area of Creativity in Education.
I currently teach on the Ed D and Foundation Degree programme, and am particularly involved in the areas of creativity and education, teacher development, nature and notions of professionality, issues in primary education, as well as early childhood education and care.
Lifewide creativity is my passion. Recent books include Creativity Across the Primary Curriculum (Routledge, 2000), Creativity in Education (edited with Bob Jeffrey and Mike Leibling, Continuum, 2001), Creativity and Early Years Education (Continuum, 2002) and Creativity in Schools: Tensions and Dilemmas (Routledge, 2005). Current interests include creativity and wisdom, progression in creative learning, the nature of possibility thinking in classrooms, the documenting of creative learning among children aged 3 - 11 in particular, the aspirations of young people and learning models implicit in creative learning partnerships and reflective practice among early childhood professionals. With Bob Jeffrey, I initiated the Open Creativity Centre in 2001. I also co-lead the BERA Special Interest Group, Creativity in Education, with Teresa Grainger (Canterbury Christchurch University) and Pam Burnard (Cambridge University). I work closely with policy makers, practitioners, researchers and development projects to nurture lifewide creativity. I have several books in preparation, all due for publication in 2007: Craft, A., Gardner, H. and Claxton, G. (in preparation), Creativity and Wisdom in Education, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Craft, A., Cremin, T. and Burnard, P. (Eds) (in preparation), Creative Learning 3-11 and how we document it. Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books Paige-Smith, A. and Craft (Eds), (in preparation) Reflecting on Practice - exploring issues in early years education and care. Buckingham: Open University Press
Projects listed here are those located at the Open University. Other projects are also in process, within the freelance element of my work, including the directorships of a large-scale evaluation of Creative Action Research Awards funded by DfES, and several research commissions for Creative Partnerships funded by DCMS. ASPIRE PILOT (February 2006 - January 2007). Co-Director of this project exploring aspirations of 11 - 19 year olds for future learning systems that they believe would nurture their creativity and engagement with learning. With a substantial e-dimension the project involves the identification of virtual and other environments/provocations through which prototypes of learning systems can be evolved, with the support of creative experts as a resource to the young people involved. Funded by National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). Budget: £45K. Managing team of three and leading Steering Group. An invited presentation on this project was given at Danfoss Universe in Denmark, in May 2006. A conceptual paper on models of learning and pedagogy implicit in this project is in development. An empirical paper has been accepted for presentation at the peer refereed international conference Creativity or Conformity? To be held in Cardiff, January 2007. Progression in Creative Learning (January 2005 - February 2006). Director of this pilot project exploring the nature of progression in creative learning across three domains: English, Music and ICT. Funded by the Arts Council and DfES. Budget: £29K. Papers have been presentedd at BERA in 2006 and 2006, and at Hong Kong Institute of Education in a Public Lecture in November 2005. A paper on the project is in review with Journal of Creative Behavior. Possibility Thinking in Creativity (October 2004 - December 2006). Director of this pilot project, exploring the role and nature of possibility thinking in creative learning, in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Involves a team of five practitioners, five university based researchers and two consultant researchers. Funded by Cambridge University and the Open University. Budget: £9K. Papers from this project have been presented at ESRC Creativity Seminar Strathclyde University October 05, the Imaginative Curriculum Conference in Vancouver July 2006, University of Massachusetts, September 2006 and University of Southampton, October 2006. Papers have been published in Journal of Early Years Education and Journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity, both during 2006. Chapters have been commissioned for two books.