The Emergence of New Forms of Knowledge in Progressive Education : the Concept of Creativity in the Frensham Heights School (1925-)

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This paper is concerned with elucidating the origin and meaning of the concept of Creativity as new forms of knowledge in the philosophy of progressive education, and focuses on a case study in Frensham Heights School (1925-), which was a typical new school in New Education Movement internationally. In this paper, I discuss the concept of Creativity using an analytical structure, using the viewpoints of insiders and outsiders as a way of attempting to illuminate the polysemous aspects of Creativity from the intersection of these two perspectives. The primary data to be used in this analysis is related to published observations of Frensham Heights School expressed by two Japanese visitors, Sumie Kobayashi (1886-1971) and Munetoshi Irisawa (1885-1945), who were renowned professors and leaders in Progressive Education in Japan; and observations of an insider, the school's founder Beatrice Ensor (1885-1974), who was a theosophist and a creator of the New Education Fellowship (1921-) which advocated the International New Education Movement, taken from some of her published articles. I make clear following three points; firstly Kobayashi in 1927 and Irisawa in 1929 did not refer to the broader concept of Creativity, or show their awareness of the school's concern for children as human-beings or the importance of the need to recognize the principle of the unity of spirit/mind/body development of children. Secondly they could never understand Ensor's idea of the supremacy of spirit over matter as expressed indaily life, which she believed was brought about by the creative instinct and creative energy that was in every human being. Thirdly several key notions underpinned the concept of Creativity in Ensor's New Education thinking, in which creative faculty in children as a manifestation of God or as the immanence of God, and therefore the concepts of differences, freedom and spirituality related to the concept of Creativity were recognized as crucial features of the philosophy of education. Differences as well as freedom to express it in aharmonious context are seen as essential to the creation of anything: nothing is born where there are no differences. Finally because Creativity is identified with the special/instinctual/vital inner abilities of children and related to equality as the individual child, current schools which emphasize child-centered education implement the value of creative education in their daily practice of education. We need to recognize how education isshaped by new forms of knowledge and we should recognize the important concept of Creativity. This paper consists of the following five sections; 1. Introduction 2. What Impression did Visitors have of the Frensham Hights School? 3. How did the Concept of Creativity in Insiders Perspective emerge? 4. How did the Concept of Creativity become Central to the Theoretical Framework of the School Curriculum? What was the Origin of the Idea of Creativity? 5. Conclusion: What was the Concept of Creativity of New Education introduced by Outsiders and Insiderspresent?


  • Research bulletin of Naruto University of Education

    Research bulletin of Naruto University of Education 21, 140-150, 2006

    Naruto University of Education


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