research as creative practice

Health warning – this is a tiny rant about one of my pet peeves, research “training’. It also draws on my own research in creativity and education.

My starting point – Research is a creative process.

The connection between research and creativity is embodied in some disciplines. C. Wright Mills for instance famously talked about the necessity of the ‘sociological imagination’ – understanding how larger unseen social relations are embedded in and frame everyday events, conversations, processes and relations. 

But perhaps the equation of research and creativity is more convincing to non social scientists if we look at common understandings of creativity. The recent Durham Commission on Creativity and Education in England for instance offered these definitions:

Creativity: The capacity to imagine, conceive, express, or make something that was not there before.

Creative thinking: A process through which knowledge, intuition and skills are applied to imagine, express or make something novel or individual in its contexts. Creative thinking is present in all areas of life. It may appear spontaneous, but it can be underpinned by perseverance, experimentation, critical thinking and collaboration.

These are not just for…

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