First APA in Years

I'm excited to share with you the first academic paper I have written in five years. It's like riding a bike, only I can still land land trick jumps. I took out some of the formalities for the blog and left the references. Don't worry, it's only a 2-pager.

"Thank you Kelsey, for this interesting dive into the readings. You show a keen understanding of the concepts and why they are relevant, both in our teaching/learning and in our work in the world. A thorough, articulate first paper - well done!

Warmly, Jacqueline"

Jacqueline Kurio , Sep 16 at 1:11am

Topic: Synthesis of Creative Inquiry

Vast are the thoughts on creativity and what it means in general. When applied to academia, the creativity shows up in the inquiry. Academics are striving to create original contributions to their respective fields for recognizing solutions to current problems. Not all academics are taught to approach the work in the same way. There are multiple learning styles that dictate presentation. Some mechanistically reinforce the norms, and others look to challenge those norms.

To me, creative inquiry is the inherent desire to challenge the norms, or the perceptions of individuals and their systems. It is the urge to dive deep into our assumptions to find the problems to stimulate new growth and innovation. Montuouri and Donnely show us the connections between the motivation it takes to find such problems and the open mindedness of what possible solutions could be (2013). It is venturing into the unknown. 

Exploring the realm of the unknown becomes the practice of improvisation and the purpose behind creative inquiry.

Creative inquiry pushes us go beyond what is planned, structured and known “...stressing as it does the role of rigor and imagination, discipline and improvisation...” (Montuouri 2006, 18) because if we look back on the history of humanity, “... we are fundamentally ignorant.” (Montuouri 2012, 67) This ability to practice improvisation is necessary to creative inquiry as a process for exploring problems in search of truths and solutions, to test what we don’t know “... but the purpose is to learn to develop the skill of improvisation...” (Montuouri & Donnely, 4). Somewhere in improvisation, we can find what works (or doesn’t) and keep exploring.

It is, however, not a process over-powered with discipline. The purpose of creative inquiry is to be motivated by the passions “… and to enjoy their journey...” (Montuouri 2006, 18). Disciple can be rigid and reproductive, but Montuouri (2012) shows us, “Reproductive Education stresses conformity and homogeneity and suppresses creativity at a time when it is apparent that creativity needs to be mobilized.” (65) Creative inquiry becomes the solution to the current social emphasis on reproduction. Finding the light in the dark, so to speak, helps us connected to our humanity. It goes beyond what is wrote to find meaning. 

It is a way of exploring and playing from a humble mind set, connecting with our ancestors and recognizing our limitations as human beings. It connects us to the meaning of life. We admit we don’t know the answer to problems we have created and try and try again to become these flawless creatures. “(Creative Inquiry) proposes an attitude of epistemological humility, a starting point of not-knowing and wonder, leading to a path of ongoing (creative) inquiry.” (Montuouri 2012, 67) Despite the numerous problems humans tend to find, creative inquiry gives us the tools to continue our search for the meaning of life despite it all.

Creative inquiry is a process by which an individual can connect to a community. It is a means for problem solving for the sake of the collective good and future generations. “Along with the humility of fallibilism there is also the recognition of humanity’s remarkable creativity, manifested in the (co-)creation of self and relationships, one’s understanding of self and world, and the creativity of action.” (Montuori 2012, 68) Creative inquiry sustains our cultures and communities through connection. 

Our collections of art history, scientific research, libraries, architecture and engineering give us inspiration to continue our searches for new knowledge because, as problems have shown us, solutions are not always easy and often take many attempts to find, if ever. “The goal is not to conclude the process by having the correct answer, but to encourage a more expansive, spacious approach to inquiry that actually generates more potential inquiry and illuminates the creation of knowledge,” (Montuouri & Donnely 2013, 8) We find there are many solutions to the same problems which gives us more opportunity to connect and share knowledge. If we keep approaching inquiry creatively, we can accomplish some amazing and enduring feats that can make a radical impact on the quality of the human experience. 


Montuori, A. (2006). The quest for a new education: From oppositional identities to creative

  inquiry. ReVision, 28(3), 4-20.

Montuori, A. (2012). Creative Inquiry: Confronting the challenges of scholarship in the 21st

  century. Futures 44, (2012) 64-70.

Montuori, A. & Donnelly. G. (2013). Creative inquiry and scholarship: Applications and

 implications in a doctoral degree. World futures: The journal of global education, 69



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