Creativity, Interdisciplinarity, and Identity: Refiguring the Connections in Cross-cultural Education

By Jean Marie Turcotte Walls.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

How we understand the interactions of identity formation, creativity, and knowledge paradigms impacts profoundly both the everyday activities of the classroom as well as broad programmatic and institutional activities. Whether implementing educational programs in conflict and post-conflict zones, creating shared international programs, or just accommodating more sensitively the range of students’ cultural backgrounds in our home institutions, understanding the complex factors of identity formation enables more effective and interculturally appropriate learning experiences. I am particularly interested in how understandings of creativity affect students’ participation and performance in the classroom. My interest in this interface of creativity and identity, particularly as it affects interdisciplinary programs, has been sparked by concerns about the cross-cultural adaptability of interdisciplinary approaches and courses. Certainly, this is not an issue limited to interdisciplinary programs, but one that affects exportation and importation of any educational enterprise and the necessary translation of culturally grounded content in that exchange. This paper will examine the notion of creativity as a component of identity formation as well as potential issues that arise when we ignore the complexity of this notion. It will examine connections between theories of identity and theories of creativity and how those connections impact curricular and pedagogical orientations in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts.

Keywords: Creativity, Interdisciplinarity, Intercultural Studies, Cross-cultural Education, Identity, Global Education

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.93-102. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 591.885KB).

Dr. Jean Marie Turcotte Walls

Chair, Department of Languages and Professor of French, Institute of International and Intercultural Studies, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, USA

Jean Marie Turcotte Walls is a Professor of French and Chair of the Department of Languages at Union University. She also teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs in Intercultural Studies. Her most recent research interests are in Quebec Studies, critical theory, aesthetics, and interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary theory.

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