Supporting creative collaboration in the classroom is considered an important objective by current education research, as growing evidence suggests that this practice is linked with the quality of learning and the development of problem solving skills. Drawing on recent advances in group creativity research, social cognition and network science, we propose a theoretical framework for studying creative collaboration that integrates the concepts of group flow and social presence. Our key hypothesis is that in order for a group to enter the creative state of flow, members must be able to develop a “we-intention”, in which the actions of the individuals and those of the collective are merged (social presence). According to our model, this is a staged process, beginning with the co-construction of a shared frame within the group and culminating with the creation of a novel artefact or concept. A further assumption is that the emergence of such optimal group state is associated with structural changes in the dynamics of group interaction, which can be effectively investigated using social network analysis techniques.
- Creative collaboration, group creativity, group flow, zone of proximal development, social presence, social network analysis