Today we will be considering:What is Creativity?Why it is important?How it is promoted in the classroom?
Ask the students to work in groups of 4 of their own choosing and discuss the questions. Each group should pick an individual to feed back responses to the whole class.
Question posed by Avril Loveless pg 22 in Creativity in Primary education – Anthony Wilson
Creativity can mean different things to different people. For some it means being imaginative or inventive, taking risks or challenging convention. For others it is about original thinking or producing something that nobody has come up with before. Some believe that the term 'creativity' only applies only to those who possess artistic talents. Traditionally, creativity has been associated with the achievements of extraordinary people such as Mozart, Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci, and a good deal of the early research into creativity has focused on the work of highly creative people or those considered to be geniuses. Focusing on extraordinary individuals, however, simply perpetuates the myth that creativity is about special people doing special things. Our thinking started to change over 20 years ago. A global revolution saw creativity move from the fringes of education (and from just just in the arts) to being seen as a core aspect of education today.Research shows that there is no specific personality type associated with creativity. It is possible to be creative in any activity that engages our intelligence because intelligence itself is essentially creative. Creative processes are rooted in the imagination and our lives are shaped by the ideas we use to give them meaning. We all have creative capacities but in many instances we do not know what they are or how to draw on them.
Runco (2004, cited in Wilson 2006) notes just how difficult it is to define creativity because it is a complex concept with various different ways of being manifested, from the solving of a difficult problem to the creation of a work of art.This complexity is compounded by the fact that creativity can be attributed not just to outcomes, such as works of art, but also to people deemed creative personalities, and to processes.
In order to contextualise the concept of creativity and how it came to be such an important and well used term in educational discourse (Anna Craft) we will provide a brief overview of how creativity came to be represented in educational thinking. We can describe the change in creativity policy as occurring in three distinctive wavesWave 1First wave of creativity in education was in 1960’s bought about by the Plowden report (1967).Plowden made a significant contribution to the way in which creativity in education was understood. It influenced the early years of education but also had an impact on the later primary years, secondary too. However, within Plowden’s ‘take’ on creativity there are several problemsHe implied that a child could be let loose to discover and learn without any prior knowledge. We can not exercise imagination or creativity in any domain without knowledge.He appears to conceive of the child’s growth and expression in a moral and ethical vacuumHe suggests that play provides the foundation for a variety of other forms of knowledge and expression and in doing so appears to connect play creativity within the arts only and not within creativity across the whole curriculum.
The second wave began in 1990’s about 10 years after the introduction of the NCThe National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education Report (NaccCE, 1999)suggested that the fostering of pupil creativity would contribute to the cultural development of societyThe report proposed the idea of democratic creativity ‘all people are capable of creative achievement in some area of activity, provided the conditions are right and they have acquired the relevant knowledge and skills’Links with Plowden in that children's self-expression is valued and all people are seen as capable of creativity.It contrasts with Plowden in that it argues for the acquisition of knowledge and skills as the necessary foundation to creativity.Criticisms of the NACCE report are very few 'Creative development' an Early Learning Goal in the Foundation Stage Curriculum (DfEE, 2000)Problems – it implied creativity only involves specific parts of the curriculum and yet problem finding and solving using imagination do occur in all areas of learning,It conceived of creativity as something which could be developed implying that there is a ceilingIt implied that play and creativity are the same'Creative thinking' a key skill in the NC (Dfee, QCA, 1999b, 1999c)Criticism were focused on the lack of exploration of how this skill was manifest in different curriculum areas.
The Third wave is getting underway in the early years of the 21st centuryMany, many, many other kinds of policy document followed the NC but most significant was the work of the QCA who published Creativity, Find it! Promote it! - gave schools strategies for finding and promoting creativity.It suggested that C involves children in;questioning and challengingmaking connections, seeing relationshipsenvisioning what might beexploring ideas, keeping options openreflecting critically on ideas, actions, outcomes
Since 1990’s research into creativity has focused on the C of ordinary people whilst the discussions have focused on the nature of creativity. •Characterising rather than measuring it •Ordinary creativity rather than geniusThis goes beyond seeing C as universalised, to characterising it as everyday – seeing it necessary for all at a critical period for our species and for our planet.Creativity (as Loveless argues) is situated in social and cultural contexts. It emphasizes the practical, social, intellectual and values based practices and approaches involved in creative activities. It talks about creative learning as being seen as an apprenticeship into these, a central role being given to the expert adult, offering induction to the relative novice Broadening the meaning of creativityIn recent years researchers and educational writers have extended the general meaning of creativity so that it incorporates ideas about inventiveness and imagination.This reflects a growing acceptance that creativity it is not simply about coming up with big ideas, but coming up with practical solutions to everyday problems and then applying them to real life situations. Everything around us - our homes, cities, medical services, transport and communication systems - are conceived and developed by practical people who know how to implement creative ideas. Creativity can be readily associated with a wide range of everyday tasks and activities, and the importance of creativity at a personal level is often greatly underestimated.
Have a look through this and decide for yourself how much you want to use. I think it’s helpful in generating an excitement around creativity in the classroom and recognising that creativity can exist in many forms.
Provide posters, pens, paper, scissors, glue etc for the students to develop their own ideas. It really doesn’t matter what they come up with it’s the process that is most interesting. As they work, spend time making observations of what is going on within the groups - this should enable you to tie up their activities with some of the statements at the end of the session.Highlight that many of the examples on the screen are very simple ideas but are highly creative and carry great value in the primary classroom. Talking tins – provide opportunities for children to record and share learning, bring displays to life, portable etc.Playground buddies – a concept that has revolutionised playtimes for many children, given pupils responsibilities etc.Mini metal detectors – provide opportunities for exploration, technology enhanced learning etc.Numicon – a simple maths concept that has enable thousands of children to gain a visual image of maths concepts ,can be used in many ways…Interactive whiteboards – when used with the right pedagogy can enhance learningDry wipe boards – simple assessment tool, reduce paper consumption, share learningInstant snow powder – awe and wonder in the early years :) Ask students to present their products and describe the creative elements of the process. How would an activity of this kind promote creativity and creative thinking within the classroom?
Session 5 - Creativity in the classroom
With reference to to last weeks reading, respond to
What do you understand by „possibility thinking‟
What are Roger‟s conditions for fostering Creativity
and how do you interpret them?
Who would you describe as your
creative „heroines and heroes‟ who
have enabled you to think differently
about aspects of the world?
WHAT IS CREATIVITY?
'I define creativity as the entire process by
which ideas are generated, developed and
transformed into value. It comprises what
people commonly mean by innovation and
entrepreneurship.' John Kao, 1997
'Creativity is about liberating human
energy.' Howard Gardner
'Creativity is the process of developing ideas
that are original and of value. Creative
intelligence is dynamic, diverse and distinct.' Sir
Ken Robinson 2001
OVER 60 DEFINITIONS
an integral aspect of learning and human
development , present and outgoing in the daily
interactions of any community. (Leach)
as much an attitude as it's a set of mental
incorporates playfulness, curiosity, sensitivity, self-awareness, risk taking
it's about making links between ideas as a habit of thought and looking at
things in many different ways
• Involves thinking or behaving - imaginatively
• This imaginative activity is purposeful; directed towards achieving an
• These processes must generate something original
• The outcome must be of value in relation to the objective
QCA DfES 2006 p4
WAVE 1 – PLOWDEN
Recommended that children learn by
discovery, taking an active role in both the
definition of their curriculum and the
exploration of it.
Creativity became associated with other
approaches such as: discovery learning,
child-centered pedagogy, integrated
WAVE 2 - CURRICULUM
„fostering pupil creativity will contribute to the cultural development of
'all people are capable of creative achievement in some area of activity,
provided the conditions are right and they have acquired the relevant
knowledge and skills‟
'Creative development' an Early Learning Goal in the Foundation
Stage Curriculum (DfEE, 2000)
It stated that „Creative Development‟ encompasses, art craft and design
and various forms of dramatic play and creative expression
'Creative thinking' a key skill in the NC (Dfee, QCA, 1999b, 1999c)
Creativity is not the preserve of the arts alone but arises in all domain of
Creativity, Find it! Promote it! (QCA,
• questioning and challenging
• making connections, seeing
• envisioning what might be
• exploring ideas, keeping options open
• reflecting critically on ideas, actions,
The Early Years
Foundation Stage (EYFS)
(2012) highlights the
importance of “Creating
and thinking critically” as a
characteristic of effective
learning. Children should:
• Have their own ideas
• Make links
• Choose ways to do
WAVE 3 - EARLY YEARS OF
THE 21ST CENTURY
Third wave offers the perspective that everybody is
capable of being creative given the right environment
(Jeffrey and Craft, 2001) The education of children
must nurture the creativity which will determine their
ability to survive and flourish in a chaotic world.
WHAT IS CREATIVITY?
It combines five characteristics
using the imagination
a fashioning process
'Imaginative activity fashioned so as to produce outcomes
that are both original and of value' NACCCE, 1999, p29
THE MAIN MESSAGES
• Creativity is about generating ideas or producing
things and transforming them into something of
value. It often involves being inventive, ingenious,
innovative and entrepreneurial.
• Creativity is not just about special people doing
special things. We all have the potential to be creative
and creativity is a skill that needs to be developed.
• Most individuals believe they are not very
creative. Creativity, however, is an increasingly
valuable commodity in the modern world.
• The forming of collaborative, creative groups and
partnerships helps to foster creativity.
Brief: to design an „innovative resource‟ that could support the teaching
and learning within your school.
Examples of ideas that currently exist within the primary classroom…
TEACHERS CAN HELP TO
fostering the study of any discipline in depth
encouraging the development of purposeful outcomes across the
developing children's motivation to be creative
offering a clear curriculum and time structure to children but
involve them in the creation of new routines
providing an environment where children are rewarded for going
above what is expected
using language to both stimulate and assess imaginativeness
helping them to find personal relevance in learning activities
FOR NEXT WEEK
Before next session please read the following:
Devereux, J. (2007) „Observing Children‟, in Devereux, J. and Miller, L.
(2007) Working with children in the early years. Oxon: Routledge.
Palaiologou, I. (2012) „The role of observation in the early years‟, in Child
Observation for the Early Years (2nd ed). London: Sage.
Hargreaves, L. and Wolfe, S. (2007) „Observing closely to see more clearly:
observation in the primary classroom‟, in Moyles, J. (2007) Beginning
teaching: Beginning Learning in Primary Education. (3rd ed). Bucks: Open
Prepare notes for a group discussion on:
What is the purpose of observation?