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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Creativity: performativity's poison or its antidote?
Authors: Munday, Ian
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Keywords: performativity
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: Munday I (2014) Creativity: performativity's poison or its antidote?, Cambridge Journal of Education, 44 (3), pp. 319-332.
Abstract: A common move in the study of creativity and performativity is to present the former as an antidote to the latter. Might we, therefore, see work on creativity in education as heralding an era of post-performativity? In this paper I argue that the portrayal of performativity in the literature on creativity presents an overly simplistic (vulgar?) understanding of what the former involves. In this literature, performativity is used to represent the tightening control over curriculum and pedagogy to meet externally imposed targets. Though this represents a ‘manifestation' of performativity, it is not constitutive of it. During this paper, I contend that a vulgar or partial understanding of performativity is what leads writers to view creativity as its antidote. To demonstrate what is at stake here, I draw on Lyotard's understanding of performativity. For Lyotard, performativity is a narrative in which effectiveness has usurped Enlightenment narratives of truth and justice and ultimately comes to shape our understanding of the world. During the paper, I try to show that the literature on creativity in education focuses on effectiveness, jettisons concerns with ‘truth' and partakes in the nihilism of performativity.
Type: Journal Article
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Affiliation: Initial Teacher Education

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