Posts by Rebecca Zak

How I nurture creativity

My research into how alternative educational models nurture creativity has prompted renewed and ongoing reflexive praxis for me as an elementary public school teacher. This blog discusses how my pedagogy has been influenced and adapted to further foster creativity as a result. .      As Part... [+]

Parts 4 & 5 are live!

Parts 4 & 5 are live!

The observations and illuminations segments of my research are now complete, wrapping up my documentary dissertation! In the fourth instalment of the five part series (observations), the viewer is presented with my audit of the internet as I mine the “collective intelligence” (Jenkins, 2006) of... [+]

YouTube clips as data

YouTube clips as data

As outlined in the methodology segment of Raising Creativity (part 3), arts-informed research exists in part as a response to the limitations of traditional research methods. As such, it stands out as being very different in terms of process, form, and objective (Knowles & Cole,... [+]

Limitations

Limitations

While there are many strengths to my research, I recognize it is also not without limitations. In this post I discuss several potential limitations to my work, in terms of both method and outcome. Method .      My data collection involves mining the “collective intelligence” (Jenkins,... [+]

Part 3 (methodology) is live!

The third instalment of Raising Creativity is now live! This part outlines art-based research methodology and how I’ve adapted it specifically in my dissertation. .       Art-based research “plays by rules that differ from those applied to more conventional research” (Barone & Eisner, 1997, p. 101).... [+]

Participation & production

Participation & production

I just finished watching a remarkable research-based video on child-driven education that presented itself to me as a result of a chain of events in participatory culture (Jenkins, 2006). The content of the video itself describes and mirrors the phenomenon that occurred in order for... [+]

YouTube clip selection criteria

In preparation for my conducting my art-based research which invokes “collective intelligence” (Jenkins, 2006) by remixing YouTube videos to illuminate my research question, I have developed a schema for determining which clips will be usable and which will be necessarily bypassed. In this blog, I... [+]

Adapting my writing for film

Adapting my writing for film

Since beginning my PhD program, I have learned and relearned how to write for various audiences and purposes. Although I would have said at the outset of the program that I was capable of writing academically, truthfully I became much more skilled at this craft... [+]

Winter 2013 update

Winter 2013 update

It’s December 2013, and the progress continues. In this post I will review what has been done since my summer update as well as what is left to do. .     Early November saw the release of my second video in the Raising Creativity (2013)... [+]

The creative process simplified

My conceptualization of the creative process, as illustrated in Part 2 of Raising Creativity (2013), differs from that in the Ontario Arts Curriculum (OAC) document (Ministry of Education and Training, 2009, p. 20). I have purposely synthesized and simplified this version from the Ministry of Education (MOE) for... [+]

Part 2 (literature review) is live!

The second instalment of my five-part video series is complete and now live! This instalment of Raising Creativity constitutes the literature review of my research-based documentary.       Just as in a traditional dissertation, this second “chapter” of my multimodal dissertation provides a comprehensive overview... [+]

Response to part 1 feedback

In response to feedback I received from one of my committee members, I would like to clarify my thinking regarding a section of the first video of Raising Creativity. . Part 1 of this documentary series serves in essence as an introduction to the topic... [+]

Eisner, Freire, & I

Eisner, Freire, & I

As a new scholar, I have been dramatically influenced by a few senior scholars that have come before me—namely, Elliot Eisner and Paulo Freire. In this post, I describe my work and philosophical convictions in relation to those of Eisner and Freire, thus attempting to... [+]

Bricolage

Bricolage

In constructing an appropriate method for this research, I have borrowed from various methodologies (namely, A/r/tography, Arts-informed Research, and, to a lesser extent, narrative inquiry) to develop something specifically fitting for my purposes. In doing so, I’ve effectively implemented bricolage as a research orientation. This... [+]

Learning from my garden

Learning from my garden

I grow a garden in my backyard every year, and every year I am taught new things from it. In observing my vegetables and fruit trees this year, I’ve witnessed several truisms of life in general that can be applied to pedagogy, which best amplify... [+]

Summer 2013 update

Summer 2013 update

It’s midsummer already, and a lot is in motion. I thought I would take a moment to report on progress so far and to reflect on the whole dissertation process. .     After having my research proposal approved in January, I felt disburdened and revitalized... [+]

An IEP for everyone

An IEP for everyone

In a documentary about creativity, I would be remiss if I did not discuss individualized approaches in education. Creativity is as diverse and unique as are people. It’s a wonder and a shame then that mainstream schooling is served in a one-size-fits-all framework, as this... [+]

The learning environment

In Raising Creativity, a range of different settings constitute the backdrop from video to video. Because this series deals with education in its broadest conception, it is intentional that the scenes in which my narration take place do not only show the traditional classroom, as... [+]

The value of ambiguity

The value of ambiguity

Something I have always loved about art is that it resonates in naturally unpredictable and diverse ways. When something is “in the eye of the beholder,” interpretation and subjectivity are in play. These moments, I believe, are conducive to rich pedagogy, as this post will... [+]

Autonomy, support, evaluation

.“For creativity to flourish, people need to be autonomous, they need support, and they need to not be judged. Really these areas are interdependent.” In reference to my observations video (part 4 in the series), in this post I’ll discuss in detail why these elements... [+]

Collective Intelligence/Inclusion

The methodology behind Raising Creativity involves mining the “collective intelligence” (Jenkins, 2006) of YouTube for relevant clips that can be remixed together to form a cohesive illuminated response to the question of how creativity can be nurtured in education. In this blog I consider the... [+]

First video (rationale) is live!

In this post, I’m very pleased to present the first of five videos in the Raising Creativity series/polyptych, part one of my research documentary. .    Since the five videos I have proposed are meant to cover the same content as one would find in... [+]

Emergence

Emergence

Because art and research both hinge on discovery, emergence (that which is unplanned that reveals itself) is held up as a critical element of an art-based researcher’s process, as this post will discuss. As Picasso once said, “if you know exactly what you are going... [+]

Teachers' duty of agency

Teachers’ duty of agency

In my interpretation, agency is an embedded responsibility within the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession. In this blog I discuss the wording of these standards from the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and the understanding I glean from it. .    The Standards of Practice... [+]

Matters of copyright

Matters of copyright

Foundational to its art-based methodology, Raising Creativity co-opts snippets of copyrighted material to produce original documentary videos. In this post, I will discuss the details of the Copyright Act and explain how remix is justly used in my research. .    I will admit from the outset,... [+]

Writing vs. visually scripting

Producing a dissertation in video form has its challenges. In this post, I discuss the political and technical challenges of scripting visually as opposed to solely writing. .    The PhD program I’m in at Brock University attempts to support doctoral students working with research... [+]

The multimodal PhD framework

Before my PhD proposal could be approved at the departmental level, part of the task was to necessarily develop a framework for the alternative, multimodal format for the Ph.D. dissertation. I worked collaboratively with my supervisor, Dr. Jennifer Rowsell, and Dean Michael Plyley to produce the following.... [+]

Alternative dissertation formats

It’s 2013. Writing as we know it has changed, having evolved with technology (Dobson, 2005) yet the expectations for the dissertation have remained constant. Innovative writing formats can now offer scholarship new perspectives, new audiences, and new directions moving forward. Here I discuss how art-based... [+]

The unschooled art student

In looking back on my own schooling experience in the public system in Ontario, I consider myself a product of the mainstream system only in part. There was not a year that I did not attend mainstream school, yet honestly I think much of what... [+]

The PhD must change

The PhD must change

At the time of this posting, the all-time most read and commented on article in University Affairs (UA) online magazine is one entitled, “The PhD is in Need of Revision” (Tamburri, 2013). I couldn’t agree more, and in this blog I’d like to explain why.... [+]

Art-based research in a nutshell

Although I am employing bricolage (i.e., a combination of methodologies for a customized application; Kincheloe, 2001), there is one main methodology that I draw most heavily from: Arts-informed Research (AIR). Based upon another post I wrote located at rebeccazak.com, this post will discuss AIR succinctly,... [+]

Research vs. creative process

Research vs. creative process

Scholarly work is widely regarded today to include that which is creative in nature. This post, taken from my online Comprehensive Portfolio at www.rebeccazak.com, explains the rationale for this. .    The Brock University Faculty Association Collective Agreement (2008; and others like it) supports the use... [+]

The Artist/Researcher/Teacher

I identify with the artist/researcher/teacher (a/r/t) construct born from the methodology A/r/tography. In this post borrowed from rebeccazak.com, I describe what it means to be an a/r/t in practice. .    The a/r/t is a single self-concept forged from three intersecting roles (artist, researcher, and teacher)... [+]

Starting the dissertation journey

My proposal hearing isn’t for another 2 days, but I’ve already begun to piece together thoughts, ideas, and film experiments as the first few steps in this dissertation journey. .    Of course, none of this is coming out of thin air; I’ve been ruminating over this... [+]

My dissertation proposal

My dissertation proposal

NURTURING CREATIVITY IN EDUCATIONAL CONTEXTS: ART-BASED INQUIRY INTO ALTERNATIVE LEARNING METHODS Research Question and Rationale .       As an artist/researcher/teacher (Irwin & de Cosson, 2004)—that is, as a person who concurrently makes art, teaches art, and investigates issues related to art and pedagogy—I... [+]