Professor Anna Craft, founder of the BERA Creativity in Education SIG

2 September 2014

Anna Craft

Anna Craft

Professor Anna Craft, widely respected educational researcher and writer, and founder of the BERA Creativity in Education SIG passed away on August 11 2014, at age 52.

Professor Craft worked for the Open University for 23 years. Arriving in 1991 as a lecturer,she was later promoted to senior lecturer, then Reader, then she became a Professor in 2007. In the same year she also took up a Chair at the University of Exeter. Since then Anna worked for both institutions, always capitalising on opportunities to create inter-university research teams.

Professor Craft had been a practicing primary teacher, a visiting scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a consultant to the English government and was also a Director of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust. She also co- founded the esteemed international Journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity and the British Education Research Association Creativity in Education SIG.

Professor Craft was internationally known and highly respected for her work on creativity, creative learning and creative pedagogies, mainly in the early and primary years. Her 5 single authored books, 10 edited texts, 53 chapters and 46 peer reviewed journal articles variously examine the concept of creativity in education, the tensions and dilemmas involved, the concepts of ‘Possibility Thinking’ (the transformation of what is to what might be), wise humanising creativity and the relationship between creativity and educational futures.

Her publications and extensive consultancy, undertaken nationally and internationally, drew upon the full range of her research projects. Most recently these included: Possibility Thinking and child- initiated play, Creative Primary Practice, Possibility Thinking and creative change in schools, and two EU projects Creative Little Scientists (exploring the synergies between creativity and science and mathematics in the early years) and Create2Learn (developing collaborative creativity in online playful contexts).

A remarkable academic and thought leader, aged just 52 years old, Professor Craft’s work has been and will continue to be highly influential. She will be missed by many.

A poem in memory of Anna

You located. Removed us from finite.
Folded a fixed map inside a bottle,
gave us this paper-boat world as birthright
its birds, streams, skies and salience mottle.

You said there’re many ways to ask ‘What if’
an amber wheeze, a blood organ, can be
a flapping accordion? A motif.
Cradled from shoulder to wrist your ink-key

will feed a child: wisdom in a glass bowl.
Your ‘4 P’s of creativity’, art,
virtual space, is something you’ll still haul
to our doors, in writing, we hear the heart

of unalphabetised hope. Like lighthouses
your precious life stands amidst our dark house.

 

Teresa Cremin and Pam Burnard

BERA Creativity SIG Co-coordinators