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Exploring the screenplay writing process implications for instructional design and cultural-historical activity theory /

by Samouilova, Marina.

Abstract (Summary)
This study constitutes rich descriptions as a way to understand how screenplay writers practice their craft and implications it has for activity theory and instructional design. Two major findings of the study are discussed: the screenwriters’ talents and the screenwriters’ creative processes. The activity theory framework shows that tools and community rules influence the process of activity in considerable ways. Although activity theory does consider the subject to be important, it has not paid a lot of attention to characteristics of the subject. This research helps to fill that gap by giving due consideration to the subjects’ talents and skills and how screenwriters’ ability to apply and invent tools and methods was dependent upon their expertise that had an important mediating role on their activities and outcomes. As a result of the study, four screenwriting talents were identified: a story telling talent, a visualization talent, a language talent, and an innovation talent. The study addresses the question of whether talent is innate or can be developed. It discusses a wide array of learning resources the screenwriters use to nourish their talents and sustain their craft. The discovery of the two creative approaches: the organic and analytical is another major finding of the study. The study looks at how applying these creative approaches the screenwriters continuously work on writing a script, which represents one of the underdeveloped areas in activity theory research on creativity. During my study I worked with experts in screenwriting just as instructional designers do when they try to extract experts’ knowledge for designing learning programs. This study allowed me to shift my focus from the individual expert’s cognition to the ensemble of elements that surround an expert, and ask the question, “How do experts operate within an activity context using tools and interactions with other people, in environments that are colored by certain cultural norms and beliefs?” This angle of understanding the nature of practice, which provided me with a more flexible interpretation of realities than the deterministic approach of finding one right way by analyzing the expert’s cognitive processes and procedures, is discussed in the study. iv
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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