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Grant Title: Social Creativity and Meta-Design in Lifelong Learning Communities

National Science Foundation
Directorate of Education and Human Resources
Division of Research, Evaluation, and Communication
Research on Learning and Education (ROLE) Program

Principal Investigators: Gerhard Fischer, Ernesto Arias, Hal Eden, and Michael Eisenberg
Period of Support: August 1, 2001 to July 31, 2004
enTWIne Web Site http://l3d.cs.colorado.edu/entwine

Project Summary

Whereas much of teaching in our educational culture presumes an omniscient teacher transmitting knowledge to unknowing learners, most learning that takes place outside of the classroom is based on breakdowns in the context of real-world activities leading to reflection and learning. The traditional approach has some validity for situations in which “basic knowledge” needs to be communicated, but it is not well suited to the highly situated nature of lifelong learning and design problem solving.

Although creative individuals are often thought of as working in isolation, the role of interaction and collaboration with other individuals is critical. Much of our intelligence and creativity results from exploiting the “symmetry of ignorance” (between different communities) as a source of power. Social creativity emphasizes that the heart of intelligent human performance is not the individual human mind but groups of minds in interaction with each other and in interaction with tools and artifacts. Meta-design characterizes objectives, techniques, and processes for creating new media and environments that allow users to act as designers and contribute to and benefit from the creativity of the group