Collaboration, creativity and the co-construction of oral and written texts

Rojas-Drummond, S. M.; Albarrán, C. D. and Littleton, Karen (2008). Collaboration, creativity and the co-construction of oral and written texts. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 3(3) pp. 177–191.



In this paper we explore how primary school children ‘learn to collaborate’ and ‘collaborate to learn’ on creative writing projects by using diverse cultural artefacts—including oracy, literacy and ICT. We begin by reviewing some key sociocultural concepts which serve as a theoretical framework for the research reported. Secondly, we describe the context in which the children talked and worked together to create their projects. This context is a ‘learning community’ developed as part of an innovative educational programme with the aim of promoting the social construction of knowledge among all participants. We then present microgenetic analyses of the quality of the interaction and dialogues taking place as peers worked together on their projects, and how these collaborative processes and uses of the mediational artefacts were taken up by the children. In order to exemplify these processes, our analyses centre on a selection of examples of dialogues, texts and multimedia products of stories created by groups of fourth grade (9–10 years old) children. Overall, the work reveals the dynamic functioning in educational settings of some central sociocultural concepts. These include: co-construction; intertextuality and intercontextuality amongst oracy, literacy and uses of ICT; collaborative creativity; development of dialogical and text production strategies and appropriation of diverse cultural artefacts for knowledge construction.

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