Learning to think together: Creativity, interdisciplinary collaboration and epistemic control



Publication Details

Gardiner, P. (2020). Learning to think together: Creativity, interdisciplinary collaboration and epistemic control. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 38


2020 The world's current struggles with the health, economic and social impacts of the horrific Covid-19 pandemic and Australia's recent experience of climate crises, fire and flood, remind us that developing proficiency in addressing complex problems and working in interdisciplinary collaborative contexts are extraordinarily urgent. This worldwide pandemic poses potential social, political, economic and cultural catastrophes in addition to the immediate tragic outcomes for individuals and public health. Now more than ever we need to focus on developing our skills of creative and collaborative thinking. In this paper, I synthesise the research around creative collaboration, from a range of disciplines, and outline a framework to scaffold collaborative thinking in educational contexts to help students generate creative responses to complex problems. The framework develops students metacognitive understanding and epistemic awareness to enable meaningful epistemic shifting, perspective taking and cross disciplinary communication. Moving from epistemic awareness, through epistemic humility and epistemic empathy, students develop epistemic control. The article ends by calling for further research into the benefits of interdisciplinary metacognition across a range of learning contexts and a consideration of the need to go beyond often fixed adversarial critical thinking approaches and to develop an epistemic position based on inclusive collaboration and emergent creativity.

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