Dr. Susan O'Neill
Lessons from creative and critical thinkers: How synergies and silos impact students' learning
Susan O’Neill is Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She is President of the UNESCO-affiliated International Society for Music Education and the World Alliance for Arts Education. She has graduate degrees in three disciplines (psychology, music, education), has held academic appointments at research-intensive universities in Canada and the UK, and has been awarded visiting fellowships at the University of Michigan, University of Melbourne and Trinity College Dublin. She has over 100 peer refereed publications and a co-authored book, Why Multimodal Literacy Matters. An intergenerational arts program she developed through her research won the BC Retired Teachers’ Association Gold Star Award for Excellence in Public Education. Dr. O’Neill is a leading researcher in the areas of young people’s music, arts and digital media engagement and the social impact of creative learning on young people’s lives. O’Neill’s record of teaching includes learning theories, music, critical youth studies, creativity, curriculum theory, reflective practice in teacher education, and ethics in education. Of recent significance is her contributions to intercultural learning, supported by a grant from SFU’s International Engagement Fund, exploring students’ experiences of using video conferencing, social media and creative digital technologies to enhance their critical understanding of cultural historical, Indigenous and global citizenship education. Her current research includes a large survey and interview study of young people’s creative technology engagement in provinces across Canada.
Abstract: In this talk, I explore how synergies in critical and creative thinking are fostered through socially engaged arts practices that adopt a transformative activist approach. These transformative learning experiences encourage students to see things differently and speak back to the realities of their world and make meaningful contributions. As students work collaboratively and become deeply immersed in critical and creative processes focused on issues that interest and matter to them, they discover their own capacity to make contributions that are capable of bringing about personal and social transformations. Drawing on examples from recent projects, I’ll discuss what we can learn from the perspective of students as critical and creative thinkers engaged in synergistic processes to bring a collectively imagined possible future into reality. I’ll also consider how educators might overcome the silos that tend to compartmentalize critical and creative thinking from actions that bring about positive and transformative social change.
Key words: socially engaged arts practice; transformative learning; critical and creative thinking synergies; transformative activist approach.
View Dr. O'Neill's presentation here: https://prezi.com/w40e_cp-cflt/?token=4705ad449fcae66e8eec802ed1e82babb01700746704bfe7e72063977198f528&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy