As the Commission publishes their report and recommendations, Nicky takes us through the findings. This year the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education calls for a 4–19 strategy for embedding creativity in all schools in England (Durham Commission, in press). This implies that there is a lot of room for improvement in the way creativity is fostered in schools. There are places for all teachers to add creative elements to their school days. “Specifically, creativity involves cognitive processes that transform one’s understanding of, or relationship to, the world,” writes Liane Gabora, Associate Professor of Psychology and Creative Studies, University of British Columbia. Such methods are, if you like, the unique DNA or fingerprint of creative thinking. The recommendations the Commission has developed are aspirational and long term. Table 1 shows some of the different approaches being used by schools. But whereas schools are familiar with the other subjects tested by PISA – mathematics, science and reading – most schools do not assess creativity. QCA (2009) Personal, learning and thinking skills. Torrance E and Myers R (1970) Creative Learning and Teaching. As such, schools have a duty to teach them and value them. In most countries where schools are experimenting with assessing creativity, the emphasis is formative, using assessment for learning. For creativity can be ‘caught’ as well as taught, as the word ‘cultivation’ suggests. More blogs relating to Children and young people, Contact us -, COVID-19: Caring for your workforce and making fair decisions in a time of rapid change, Department for Education funded National Plan for Cultural Education, Staying creative in lockdown: Q&A with Andria Zafirakou. Drawing on its research, the Commission has therefore developed a vision for promoting creativity in education. These changes won’t happen overnight. Locating creativity in schools presents immediate challenges given that school life is organised by subject disciplines, with no mention of creativity on a student’s timetable. Guilford sub-divided divergent thinking into three components: fluency (quickly finding multiple solutions to a problem), flexibility (simultaneously considering a variety of alternatives) and originality (selecting ideas that differ from those of other people). Horton S, Kim H and Care E (2017) New Data on the Breadth of Skills Movement: Consolidation. Encourage autonomy 2. Schools and the wider community: Approaches and outcomes, Knowledge, skills, character and values within the curriculum, Skilful questioning: The beating heart of good pedagogy, Cognitive Load Theory and its application in the classroom, Creativity and arts: Purpose and pedagogy, Interim Issue: Evidence-informed Practice, Issue 7: Arts, creativity and cultural education, Issue 9: Learning, leadership and teacher expertise, Issue 10: Developing evidence-informed teaching techniques to support effective learning, Special issue: Youth social action and character education, Special Issue January 2019: Education Technology, focusing on pupils’ motivation to be creative, encouraging purposeful outcomes across the curriculum, fostering in-depth knowledge of disciplines, offering clear curriculum structures but also involving pupils in creating new routines where appropriate, encouraging pupils to go beyond what is expected, helping pupils to find personal relevance in their learning, modelling the existence of alternatives in the way information is imparted, while also helping pupils to learn about and understand existing conventions, encouraging pupils to explore alternative ways of being and doing, celebrating where appropriate their courage to be different, giving pupils enough time to incubate ideas, encouraging the adoption of different perspectives. Teachers will be familiar with some of these approaches. Creativity in the Classroom When designing learning experiences, teachers can plan and frame curriculum and provide tools that give students options, voice, and choice in order to enable them to be creative. Beghetto R (2018) Taking beautiful RISKS in education to support students’ creativity. Wiliam D (2006) Assessment for learning – why, what and how. Table 1: Approaches to assessing creativity in schools (Lucas and Spencer, 2017). London: DfE. In a study of broader skills across the world, the Brookings Institution has shown that the term ‘creativity’ is mentioned in government education documents (alongside communication, critical thinking, problem-solving and communication) from more than 50 countries (Horton et al., 2017).

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