Developing Curriculum and Courses Using Systems Centred Learning (SCL)

  • Phillip McIntyre
  • Janet Fulton
  • Elizabeth Paton
  • Susan Kerrigan
  • Michael Meany
Part of the Creativity, Education and the Arts book series (CEA)


This chapter takes these ideas and introduces a model we believe helps in educating higher education students for creativity. This model, given the emphasis that we have placed on it in this narrative, is based, of course, on the systems model of creativity but adapted for the educational setting by Michael Meany. His paper, ‘Creativity and Curriculum Design: An Integrated Model’ (Creativity and curriculum design: An integrated model. In F. Martin (Ed.), Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2017 – Communication worlds: Access, Voice, Diversity, Engagement. ISSN 1448–4331., 2017), which we have drawn on here, sets it out in full. We have used this model as a framework to educate our students for creativity and it has begun to be adapted successfully in a few cross-cultural settings that we believe indicates its more general applicability across other institutional and sociocultural settings around the world. Just as Anna Craft’s work was strongly centred on the UK context and ‘her work always approached the problem with an eye to the global context’ (Harris, Creativity and education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, p. 12), we also feel our work is ‘applicable to diverse contexts’ (ibid.). For us, designing a curriculum based on the systems view of creativity takes account not only of a broad range of pedagogies, but more importantly, focuses on the intersections between creative agents, in this case our students, and the broader social and cultural contexts they intersect with as we ‘create and maintain the conditions in which creativity can thrive’ (Lucas, Creative teaching, teaching creativity and creative learning. In A. Craft, B. Jeffrey, & M. Leibling (Eds.), Creativity in education. London: Continuum, 2001, p. 35) using a Systems Centred Learning (SCL) approach devised from within a particular higher educational setting.



This chapter is an edited version of: Meany (2017).


  1. Boomer, G. (1992). Negotiating the curriculum. In G. Boomer, N. Lester, C. Onore, & J. Cook (Eds.), Negotiating the curriculum: Educating for the 21st century (pp. 4–13). London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice (R. Nice, Trans.). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  3. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). Implications of a systems perspective for the study of creativity. In R. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 313–335). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Wolfe, R. (2014). New conceptions and research approaches to creativity: Implications of a systems perspective for creativity in education. In M. Csikszentmihalyi (Ed.), The system model of creativity: The collected works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pp. 161–184). Dordecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Dewey, J. (1997). How we think. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  6. DeZutter, S., & Scyster, T. (2012). Collaborative emergence and group level learning in college courses: A case study and some implications. Poster presentation at the Gulf South Summit on Service Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education, Hattiesburg, MS.Google Scholar
  7. Downes, D. M., & Rock, P. E. (1995). Understanding deviance. A guide to the sociology of crime and rule breaking (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  8. Durkheim, E. (1952). Suicide: A study in sociology (J. A. Spaulding & G. Simpson, Trans.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Feynman, R. P. (1998). Six easy pieces. Ringwood: Penguin.Google Scholar
  10. Freire, P. (1984). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  11. Fulton, J. M., & Scott, P. (2013). Tilling the field in journalism education: Implications of a systems model approach for journalism education. Journal of Education, 2, 62–75.Google Scholar
  12. Graff, G. (2007). Professing literature: An institutional history. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harris, A. (2016). Creativity and education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hennessey, B., & Amabile, T. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kerrigan, S. M. (2013). Accommodating creative documentary practice within a revised systems model of creativity. Journal of Media Practice, 14(2), 111–127. Scholar
  16. Kerrigan, S. M., & Aquilia, P. (2013). Student film collaboration: The east-west dilemma. Journal of International Communication, 19, 147–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (1999). Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1121–1134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lucas, B. (2001). Creative teaching, teaching creativity and creative learning. In A. Craft, B. Jeffrey, & M. Leibling (Eds.), Creativity in education. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  19. McIntyre, P. (2012). Creativity and cultural production: Issues for media practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McIntyre, P., & McIntyre, E. (2007). Rethinking creativity and approaches to teaching: The systems model and creative writing. International Journal of the Book, 4(3), 15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McIntyre, P., Davis, R., & Kishore, V. (2014). The systems model of creativity and Indian film: A study of two young music directors from Kerala, India. In V. Kishore, A. Sarwal, & P. Patar (Eds.), Bollywood and its other(s) (pp. 110–129). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  22. Meany, M. (2017). Creativity and curriculum design: An integrated model. In F. Martin (Ed.), Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2017 – Communication worlds: Access, Voice, Diversity, Engagement. ISSN 1448-4331. Accessed 13 Feb 2018.
  23. Merton, R. K. (1938). Social structure and anomie. American Sociological Review, 3(5), 672–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Merton, R. K. (1968). Social theory and social structure. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  25. QILT. (2017). Quality indicators for learning and teaching. Accessed 20 Apr 2017.
  26. Redvall, E. N. (2015). Craft, creativity, collaboration, and connections: Educating talent for Danish television drama series. In M. Banks, B. Conor, & V. Mayer (Eds.), Production studies, the sequel!: Cultural studies of global media industries (pp. 75–88). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Rowntree, D. (1987). Assessing students: How shall we know them? (2nd ed.). London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
  28. Sacks, O. (2017). The river of consciousness. New York: Picador.Google Scholar
  29. Thompson, P. A. (2012). An empirical study into the learning practices and enculturation of DJs, turntablists, hip hop and dance music producers. Journal of Music, Technology & Education, 5(1), 43–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2011). The understanding of design guide to creating high-quality units. Alexandria: ASCD.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phillip McIntyre
    • 1
  • Janet Fulton
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Paton
    • 1
    • 2
  • Susan Kerrigan
    • 1
  • Michael Meany
    • 1
  1. 1.Communication and MediaUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  2. 2.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations