Promoting Creativity within and across schools: An application of Activity Theory



In this study we report some of the outcomes of a study of professional learning that took place in cross school partnerships as they worked towards promoting creativity in schools. The methodology developed by Engestrom and his colleagues at The Centre for Developmental Work Research in Helsinki was adopted. This form of intervention involves the preparation and facilitation of workshops in which the underlying structural contradictions that are in play in emergent activities are highlighted and articulated in such a way that participants may engage with what may otherwise remain hidden and unexamined tensions. This approach is based on the writings of the early 20thcentury Russian school of social scientists -Vygotsky, Luria and Leontiev. A principal claim is that the development of creativity requires tools and contexts for such innovatory forms of practice. This study suggests that this claim is a partial representation of the development of creative activity.

General Information

Keywords: development of creativity, professional learning, Vygotsky, Engestrom, Change Laboratory, cross school partnerships, cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT)

Journal rubric: Psychological Practice

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Daniels H., Leadbetter J., Soares A., MacNab N. Promoting Creativity within and across schools: An application of Activity Theory. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2007. Vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 21–32. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Harry Daniels, PhD, Professor, Fellow of Green Templeton College, Department of Education, Oxford, Great Britain, e-mail:

Jane Leadbetter, Doctor of Psychology, Teacher of Educational Psychology at the Faculty of Education, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Great Britain, e-mail:

Allan Soares, lecturer in Science Education, School of Education, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Great Britain

Natasha MacNab, Research Associate of the Faculty of Education, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Great Britain, e-mail:



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