Publications

2014
Clapp EP. Project Zero Thinks on the Critical Side. P21 Blogazine [Internet]. 2014;(1(5) No. 9). Publisher's Version
Clapp EP. Reframing Creativity as the Biography of an Idea: Developing Learning Narratives that Describe Creativity as a Distributed and Participatory Process. Harvard University, Graduate School of Education. 2014.Abstract

Fostering creativity through education has long been a priority. Despite this imperative, many educators and policymakers retain traditional, individual-based understandings of creativity that are both out of synch with contemporary systems-based creativity theory and incongruous with the increasing emphasis on group invention and geographically distributed teams seen in business, education, and government. Through this qualitative investigation of group-generated ideas at the Boston ArtScience Prize—an afterschool program committed to the development of creative ideas at the cutting edge of the arts and science—this study establishes an empirically grounded theoretical framework that provides multiple pathways to creative participation for a wide variety of learners within an array of content areas. The study examines three core questions: (1) What are the observable ways individuals participate in and contribute to the ongoing development of group-generated creative ideas? (2) What types of individual and group learning take place during the development of group-generated creative ideas? (3) How does what individuals and groups learn throughout the process of developing group-generated creative ideas inform and influence the evolution of the ideas being developed? By chronicling the unfolding histories—or “biographies”—of creative ideas, I track the evolutionary arcs of “Reverse Outlet” and “Static Fashion” two group-generated ideas. The histories of these ideas serve as learning narratives that describe the various ways in which individuals participate in the development of creative ideas—and the learning that accrues to those individuals along the way.

Clapp EP. The Creativity-Collaboration Link. P21 Blogazine [Internet]. 2014;(Issue 1, Vol. 3, No. 16). Publisher's Version
Clapp EP. Reframing creativity as a distributed and participatory process: Establishing practical assessments for complex 21st century skills., in Global Learning Alliance Conference. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY ; 2014.Abstract
Within this paper presentation I address the focal concept of “assessing creativity” by suggesting an innovative approach to the assessment of 21st Century Skills rooted in a reframing of creativity as a distributed and participatory process. Since J. P. Guilford established creativity as an educational imperative in his 1950 address to the American Psychological Association, psychologists and educational researchers alike have spent great energy trying to define student creativity and develop metrics for assessing it. Most famously, E. Paul Torrance established the Torrance Tests for Creative Thinking (TTCT), which have been widely used to gauge individual student creativity. Despite their popularity, the TTCT and other psycho-metric creativity tests have been deeply criticized by both educational researchers and practitioners. Building off of contemporary systems-based theories of creativity—that suggest creativity is not a singular effort, but rather a group process—and my own empirical research of three teaching and learning environments that hold creativity as a core outcome, I argue that educators who maintain traditional, individual-based understandings of creativity are focused on the wrong unit of analysis. Rather than attempt to gauge creativity within young people, it is of greater value to identify the many ways young people participate in the development of creative ideas—and explore the learning and 21st Century Skills development that takes place along the way. To that end, this study considers the central role of an idea as that which is creative, highlights the participatory and distributed nature of group-generated creative ideas, and explores the dialectical learning that takes place when groups of young people generate creative ideas. By pursuing this line of inquiry, my intention is to reframe creativity as an educational experience students participate in, rather than something one either is or has. This reframing will (a) relieve the stress of fostering creativity within individuals that many educators now face, and (b) allow for the emergence of new pedagogical practices aimed at developing teaching and learning environments where creative ideas—and the broad spectrum of individuals who participate in those ideas—may flourish. Ultimately, this reframing of creativity has the potential to significantly shift our thinking about pedagogy and instructional design, just as it may lead to new ways of thinking about how creativity can be understood and assessed in a variety of educational settings.
2013
Clapp EP. Balancing the multiple purposes of the arts in education: A portrait of harmony at the Boston Children’s Chorus. Harvard Graduate School of Education. 2013.
Clapp EP, Edwards LA ed. Expanding Our Vision for the Arts in Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Publishing Group; 2013 pp. 278. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A special issue of the Harvard Educational Review.

Clapp EP. Developing a participatory approach to fostering creativity through education. Creativity Post [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Rather than attempt to develop educational structures that increase individual student creativity… it is more important to pursue an understanding of the unique learning that accrues to young people when they participate in the development of group-generated creative ideas.
2012
Clapp EP. Is achieving a tesseract-ive state of lingual/cultural savoir être something for the privileged?. In: Languages in a global world: Learning for a better cultural understanding. Paris, France: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ; 2012. pp. 460–461. Publisher's Version
2011
Clapp EP. Omni-directional mentorship: Redefining mentorship as a reciprocal process of teaching and learning, in 2011 Mentorship Conference. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico ; 2011.Abstract
When one thinks of mentorship, what often comes to mind is the vision of a wizened field leader sharing knowledge and expertise with a less experienced protégé. This traditional approach to mentorship customarily involves the counsel of a young mentee by a more senior mentor. While such an approach to mentorship can be applied to great effect, the top-down nature of these relationships emphasize a power dynamic that overlooks the potential to tap the knowledge and expertise of an organization’s diverse constituents, deviant voices, and emerging talent. This theoretical paper problematizes traditional top-down approaches to mentorship and argues for more reciprocal models that incorporate the knowledge and expertise of multiple colleagues and stakeholders within one’s workplace or professional sphere. This paper first recognizes that mentoring relationships are by nature directional before making the case for a new mentoring framework: Omni-Directional Mentorship. The primary focus of Omni- Directional Mentorship is to fuse traditional top-down mentorship with “mentoring-up,” and “lateral mentorship” experiences to help replace steep institutional hierarchies with more constructive webs of teaching and learning.
clapp_odm_unm.pdf
2010
Clapp EP. Mistaking inclusion for exclusion: Fighting bias with bias. The Arts Politic [Internet]. 2010;1 (2). Publisher's Version
Clapp EP. Omni-directional mentorship: Exploring a new approach to inter-generational knowledge-sharing in arts practice and administration. In: A closer look 2010: Leading creatively. San Francisco, CA: National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture ; 2010. pp. 66–79. Publisher's Version
Clapp EP. Envisioning the future of arts education: Challenging core assumptions, addressing adaptive challenges, and fostering the next generation of arts education leaders, in UNESCO Second World Conference on Arts Education. Seoul, Korea: UNESCO ; 2010. clapp_unesco_paper.pdf
Clapp EP, Gregg A. Structures for change: Recommendations for institutional reorganization based on the workplace interests of young arts professionals. In: 20UNDER40: Re-inventing the arts and arts education for the 21st century . Bloomington, IN: Author House ; 2010. pp. 35–52.Abstract

In order to capitalize on the talents, skills, and unique generational perspectives of younger arts professionals, the authors make several recommendations for change in organizational practice, management, and culture. Based on findings from a 2007 pilot study investigating the current workplace experiences and future interests of young arts professionals, these recommendations include: valuing all individuals as leaders and agents of change; viewing individual leaders as instruments of greater, common purpose; fostering a polymathic approach to practice; addressing a need for omni-directional mentorship, and; investing in time for experimentation, exploration, and play.

Clapp EP ed. 20UNDER40: Re-inventing the arts and arts education for the 21st century. Bloomington, IN: Author House; 2010 pp. 365. Publisher's Version