Remix, literacy and creativity: An analytic review of the research literature


  • Michele Knobel



creativity, literacy, digital remix, pedagogical practice, fans, new literacies


Creativity is often identified as a key factor contributing to national economic growth and as an important life skill for personal and group wellbeing. Therefore, it is worth taking a close look at "creativity" as a concept and a practice, and to examine what might be at stake when grouping them together, especially in relation to schooling. The situation at schools is in marked contrast to a sizeable body of out-of-school research which shows how people are being creative and imaginative in their meaning making practices, especially within remix practices. The purpose of the paper is to survey existing English language research on digital remix and literacy with a view to identifying patterns across these studies that speak of the ways in which ordinary, everyday people have been practicing creativity. In the course of conducting this analytic review empirical publications published in English over the past two decades were examined and an overview of scientific literature on remix and literacy in out-of-school spaces was drawn up, identifying interesting patterns regarding creative endeavor and meaning making that might usefully inform classroom pedagogy. A related aim was to identify patterns concerning how digital remix and literacy have been studied to date. All of the 36 reviewed studies emphasise how approaching creativity as a thoroughly social phenomenon helps to confront instrumental approaches. The remix work documented in these studies show how committed people are to deliberately work at "being creative" and how that may help people to creatively engage with, or respond to, the rapid pace of change, with existing and emerging social, governmental and environmental problems, as well as to establish and maintain relationships across distance and differences.


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How to Cite

Knobel, M. (2017). Remix, literacy and creativity: An analytic review of the research literature. Eesti Haridusteaduste Ajakiri. Estonian Journal of Education, 5(2), 31–53.