Re: [xmca] Creativity

From: Ana Marjanovic-Shane (
Date: Tue Feb 21 2006 - 16:03:46 PST

Do you want to play? What do you say?
Say that you may!
Say that you will!

Here is a PRODUCT of creative imagination for your enjoyment,
puzzlement, critique, research questions, inspiration...

A poem by an anonymous author:

*On this side and the opposite one*


Tonight again it is late on this side of the world.

Somewhere else some other people
are stretching their hair,
opening their eyes,
combining their arms.

On another opposite side
there are cars and traffic jars
movies and shining stands
airplanes and airtights.

If you twirl the globe much more,
you will confuse dates and days
with nights and nays.

Some people draw and paint and some sing
I am taking my first steps in wri - ting.



Ana Marjanovic-Shane wrote:
> Mike and all,
> Here are a few thoughts about Seana Moran and Vera John-Steiner's
> article "Creativity in the making: Vygotsky's contemporary
> contribution to the dialectics of development and creativity".
> Moran and John-Steiner have presented a very clear and at the same
> time a very complex and challenging theory of creativity that Vygotsky
> was developing throughout his whole career. In becomes clear that
> Vygotsky's real and personally vested goal was to understand and
> describe processes by which creativity and development are connected
> and ways in which these processes produce, on one hand, unique
> individuals and, on the other, how they move and transform culture.
> One finds out -- or re-discovers - that Vygotsky's intellectual
> history started in critical analysis of art and creativity and that he
> frequently returned to the same issues.
> There are a number of very important concepts that are not discussed
> in the contemporary CHAT as often as, perhaps, necessary. For
> instance: Moran and John-Steiner start off their article with the
> principle on which Vygotsky founded both his theory of art and his
> general theory of psychological development: "creative work is
> profoundly social". Quoting Vygotsky: "Art is a social technique of
> emotion, a tool of society which brings the most intimate and personal
> aspects of our being into the circle of social life. ... It would be
> more correct to say that emotion becomes personal when everyone of us
> experiences a work of art: It welcomes personal without ceasing to be
> social" (form LSV: Psychology of Art).
> The development of emotions is rarely discussed in psychology from the
> CHAT point of view -- i.e. that emotions are profoundly social in
> their origin in the same way that we came to understand cognition. In
> fact, Moran and John-Steiner's paper brings together various instances
> of Vygotsky's thinking about creativity in such a way that the unity
> of cognitive and emotional aspects of development become very clear.
> Moreover, the social aspect of the personal development is even more
> pronounced when an individual is understood as a historical
> development of complex emotions which are, according to Vygotsky
> "combinations of relationships that develop under conditions of
> historical life" (from the LSV Collected Works).
> Another issue which became very visible and clear from Moran's and
> John-Steiner's paper is that "creativity" cannot and should not be
> understood as just one among many other particular domains of inquiry
> into psychological development. Creativity was for Vygotsky and it is
> for Moran and John-Steiner a basic principle of psychological
> existence: it permeates all aspects of psychological and social being.
> One needs to understand creative processes in order to understand the
> relationship between an individual plane and the social plane of
> socio-psychological dynamics; one needs it to understand the
> development of cognition because it is based on imagination as "a
> transforming, creative activity directed from the concrete to a new
> concrete... with the help of abstraction" (LSV, Imagination and
> Creativity in the Adolescent); one needs it to understand the
> relationship between teaching and learning if they are understood as
> creating relationships between the individual and her/his community
> and through the transformation of interpersonal relationships,
> building her/his ways of seeing the world as an archipelago of
> significant "objects", "places", "events" and "others".
> Moran and John-Steiner's article leads us through all aspects of
> development as creative transformation of relationships between
> developing functions: development of creative imagination in children
> and the role of play in that process; adolescent fantasy and
> construction of the subjective world and construction of objective
> "external" reality as well as the interaction or even unity between
> the two types of creativity; the relationship between imagination and
> conceptual thinking; the importance of understanding creativity for
> understanding the development of meaning and sense; the role of
> emotions and experiencing (perezhivanije) in the personality
> development as a social and creative process; and, finally,
> development of culture as externalization and objectification of the
> creative processes and transformations of relationships which are at
> the same time: a) interpersonal and social ; and b) intimate and
> individual.
> Finally, Moran and John-Steiner situate these ideas into the
> contemporary world of creativity studies: works of Csikzentmihalyi,
> Sawyer, Gruber, Gardner and John-Steiner herself. What Moran and
> John-Steiner achieved is to present a very complex set of issues and
> elements, all of which are necessary to start approaching the
> explanation of creativity and building a dynamic system perspective of
> it -- in a very condensed and a very organized way.
> There are a whole lot of issues for discussion that intersect topics
> we have been developing in various XMCA groups and subgroups all
> along. To mention just a few:
> * Relationship between individual and social in the
> cultural-historical perspective - processes of internalization and
> externalization as dialectically connected, recurrent and
> inseparable;
> * How to understand transformation of the relationships between
> particular psychological functions: interaction between developing
> social relationships and developing cognition
> * Imagination and a socially originating process;
> * Role of play in the development of meaning;
> * Personality and symbolic processes;
> * Creativity as a way of developing will and self-consciousness;
> * Collaboration as a modus of both personal and cultural development;
> This is a very inspiring article, it will probably make you read it a
> few times over. I am still reading and re-reading it.
> Ana
> Mike Cole wrote:
>> As we are in a lull betweein various topics and everyone has a lot of
>> free
>> time ..... :-)) ....... may I suggest that we return to a topic
>> that got
>> dropped some time
>> ago and for which there is a paper on the xmca webpage to help us
>> along. I
>> am refering to the paper by moran and john-steiner on creativity. It
>> seems
>> well worth
>> people's attention. if, collectivity, we have some!!
>> the url is
>> mike
>> PS-- All sorts of exciting stuff for AERA from ch-sig. Thanks a ton
>> to ana
>> et al.
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list

Ana Marjanovic'-Shane,Ph.D.

151 W. Tulpehocken St.

Philadelphia, PA 19144

Home office: (215) 843-2909

Mobile: (267) 334-2905 <> <>

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