The Pedagogy of Adaptation: Using Specialised Disciplinary Knowledge to Develop Creative Skills
Keywords:adaptation, dramaturgy, pedagogy, creativity
This study evaluates a pilot project which attempts to use research on ‘adaptive dramaturgy’ to equip students with creative and collaborative skills. Long dismissed as a form of derivative copying, adaptation is now increasingly understood not in opposition to creativity but as its basis. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of two teaching and learning interventions developed by linking creativity research, adaptation studies, and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Both interventions use strategies identified in research on ‘adaptive dramaturgy’ as the basis of group learning projects that facilitate creative and collaborative skills.
The author postulated that using adaptation to solve creative and critical problems would help students recognise creativity as a set of skills they could learn and master, not an innate or inscrutable ‘talent’. This study evaluates the interventions by examining data collected from pre- and post-course questionnaires and group interviews to determine how the participants experienced them. In addition to presenting evidence about the efficacy of the interventions (and their potential for adaptability to other contexts and disciplines), this study provides a model for tackling a problem familiar to scholars across disciplines: how to make specialised disciplinary research both accessible and useful to students seeking general, transferable skills.
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