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Conceptualizing and encouraging critical creativity in doctoral education

Eva M. Brodin (Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Liezel Frick (Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)

International Journal for Researcher Development

ISSN: 2048-8696

Article publication date: 11 November 2011



The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework for conceptualizing critical and creative thinking within doctoral study and to illuminate the connecting and diverging points between the two phenomena in a way that clarifies their developmental relationships.


The conceptual framework is founded in a synthesized understanding of both new and established theories on critical and creative thinking, and worked out through a reconstruction and expanded re‐conceptualization of the Four C Model of Creativity.


The results show that responsible scholars are moved by both critical and creative thinking, which is conceptualized as critical creativity. The authors introduce the ECC‐model which illustrates how different Expressions of Critical Creativity (CC) is manifested in scholarship: Experiential CC (in cognition), Experimental CC (in action), Enunciated CC (in speech), and Eulogized CC (in recognition). Whereas Experiential, Experimental and Enunciated CC constitute important fields of developmental practice in doctoral education, Eulogized CC is a possible outcome of the completed doctorate. It appears that Enunciated CC especially seems to be a field of urgent need for further development.


The paper offers a conceptual framework for new ways of understanding critical creativity in doctoral education by outlining how critical creativity is manifested in an educational context. Thereby the authors provide a valuable tool for supporting doctoral students in becoming professional scholars through a pedagogy that is reflective, integrative and deliberate.



Brodin, E.M. and Frick, L. (2011), "Conceptualizing and encouraging critical creativity in doctoral education", International Journal for Researcher Development, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 133-151.



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