Examining "Small c" Creativity in the Writing Classroom


  • Dorothea Lasky University of Pennsylvania




teaching, learning, poetry, consensual assessment technique,


This article discusses creativity within the classroom with a focus on creative writing. First, it reviews concepts of creativity in the educational literature and a previous study on how science teachers fostered “small c” creativity in their classrooms. Small-c creativity values the kind of thinking that produces new ideas in learners but is not necessarily historically important to any field or domain. It can be argued that when educators help their students excel at thinking creatively every day, it assists them in more frequently producing creative products. Using this theoretical lens, an analytical study framework was developed from a review of the literature stating that teachers who foster small-c creativity: (1) support divergent thinking; (2) accept learning artifacts that are novel; (3) nurture collaboration in which individual kinds of creativity are supported; (4) provide choices in what is an acceptable response; and (5) include lesson guidelines that enhance learning and self-confidence. Findings of the science study were applied to the writing classroom, as five poet-teachers were interviewed regarding their beliefs about small-c creativity. The themes that emerged within the teacher interviews are discussed. The piece concludes with recommendations for writing teachers geared to help them foster small-c creativity in their classrooms.

Author Biography

Dorothea Lasky, University of Pennsylvania

Dorothea Lasky recently completed her Ed.D. in the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In addition, she holds an Ed.M. in Arts Education from Harvard University and a M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is the author of three full-length books of poems, AWE, Black Life, and Thunderbird, all from Wave Books. She is also the author of nine chapbooks, including Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). She has taught poetry at New York University, Columbia University, and Wesleyan University, among other places.



How to Cite

Lasky, D. (2012). Examining "Small c" Creativity in the Writing Classroom. Writing and Pedagogy, 4(2), 263-279. https://doi.org/10.1558/wap.v4i2.263



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