Improvisation as a curricular metaphor: Imagining education for a rural creative class
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AbstractRural communities contain a largely unacknowledged innovative capacity founded on improvisational traditions. Thesetraditions may be rooted in work practices in agriculture and other rurally-based productive activities but today they haveexpanded into other lifeworld locations, particularly virtual spaces that accelerate time-space compression. I make the casehere that in the networked world of high modernity or postmodernity, both the nature of rurality and the potential of ruraleducation need to be theorized differently. I begin with a critique of Richard Floridas metrocentric idea of the creative class,then move to reconceptualizing rurality as a real and imagined space, and conclude by analyzing a film and video project inan Atlantic Canadian school that used improvisation in literacy curriculum work. I argue that improvisation is a potentiallyproductive metaphor for curriculum, one which draws on rural traditions and local funds of knowledge while at the sametime incorporating a productive, forward-looking engagement with new technologies.