In my previous post, using the 5C adaptation (1) of James Kaufman and Ron Beghetto’s 4C model of creativity (2) I tried to show schematically how we can embrace the humanistic individualistic view of creativity typified by the thinking of Carl Rogers (3) and the systems cultural way of thinking typified by the thinking of Mihaly Csikszentmihaly (4).
I’d like to take this reasoning a step further in the context of the question I posed at the start about novelty and value. I think we can use the 5C framework to show that at the little-c ed-c part of the continuum we are concerned with novelty and value that are defined and understood by individuals, or individuals and their immediate contacts – like family, teachers and peers. The appropriate concepts of novelty in this context is the quality of being different, new, and unusual it is not the quality of being unique or original. As Carly Lassig (5) discovered in her grounded theory study of the creativity of adolescents, novelty is about behaving, performing and producing outside what is the accepted norm.
As we move along the continuum into the realm of expertise, for example in a work domain, novelty is often seen in the context of product innovation – the production of useful products that are, in some way, different to what existed before. Mostly these are incremental changes to things that already exists but sometimes they are original to a market. But novelty in the domain of expertise is also relevant to the production of new practices, performances, processes – for example bringing about change in an organisation. Again there are going to instances of true originality that are recognised in an organisation, environment or domain. The most creative novel acts (Big-c) result in changes that affect one or more cultural domains and they are widely recognised for their originality.
Using this sort of reasoning I believe, we can make better sense of creativity as a phenomenon by embracing this continuum of possibility. I also believe that novelty (in some form) and new value are part and parcel of the phenomenon of creativity but its presence is the result of individuals and groups of individuals interacting with their environment ie its an interactional and ecological phenomenon so one might argue these are equally important ideas to embrace in any concept of creativity.
1 Jackson, N.J. and Lassig, C. (2020) Exploring and Extending the 4C Model of Creativity: Recognising the value of an ed-c contextual domain. Creative Academic Magazine CAM15 https://www.creativeacademic.uk/magazine.html
2 Kaufman, J and Behgetto R (2009) Beyond Big and Little: The Four C Model of Creativity Review of General Psychology Vol. 13, No. 1, 1–12
Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/.../228345133_Beyond_Big_and...
3) Rogers, C. (1954). Toward a Theory of Creativity. ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 11, 249-260.
4) Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: Harper Collins.
5) Lassig, C. J. (2012) Perceiving and pursuing novelty : a grounded theory of adolescent creativity. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology. Available at: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/50661/