03 SES 07 A, Creativity in Education
This article considers the role of constructions of creativity in the classroom and their consequences for learning and, in particular, for assessment of creativity. Definitions of creativity are examined to identify key implications for aiding the development of children’s creativity within classroom. The implications of assessing creativity in order to aid its development within and across subjects are explored through the consideration of existing frameworks for the assessment and development of creativity. Enablers for creative teaching and learning are considered in order to propose a model of assessment and development for creativity.
The last two decades have witnessed an escalation of interest in the nature, place and importance of “creativity” as an important concept and aim within the European education system. This interest has occurred simultaneously to, and has interacted with, concern for developing pupils’ creativity in a number of other nations. Indeed, a range of research-based documents have pointed to the ‘increased call for creativity in education by policy-makers in many parts of the world’ (Craft, 2006: 337). In her summary of recent educational policy interventions aimed at stimulating creativity and creative education, Craft (2006: 338) includes, amongst others, the following: ‘the emergence of specific creative learning projects’ together with the ‘interest taken in creativity by the schools' inspection services and a number of EU policy papers and policies extolling the importance and benefits of developing creative educational initiatives.
Yet despite this high level of policy and curricular interest in creativity concerns remain about the extent to which the creativity of pupils is universally being developed. The English Cambridge Primary Review noted that many of its submissions lamented that children’s ‘opportunities to express themselves creatively had been eroded in the past 20 years. Witnesses worried that the then current dominant construction of childhood as a preparation for adulthood had stifled, enjoyment, creativity and imagination in primary education’ (2009: 99). As Marshall (2001: 116) has reflected ‘creativity seems to hold an ambiguous place. We appear uncertain as to its value, unable to decide whether it is a good or bad thing’.
At times explicit in discussions of creativity within education, but more often implicit or missing altogether, is the place and nature of assessment. Assessment poses a number of questions for those who assert the value and importance of developing creativity in the learning of pupils. These include, but are not limited to, how creativity is defined, what particular features of creativity are valued and measured, how creativity might be assessed within and across different curriculum domains, and how some consistency might be achieved given the recognition that judgements regarding creativity are often of a subjective nature. In this paper we explore these issues. Underpinning our analysis is the belief that questions relating to assessment are not insignificant for teachers seeking to develop creativity in pupils; indeed they are crucial. In this paper, we consider the nature of creativity in education and the tensions surrounding its assessment.
Alexander, R. (2009) Children, their world, their education Final Report and recommendations of the Cambridge Primary Review. London: Routledge. Black, P. and Wiliam, D. (2006) ‘Developing a theory of formative assessment’, in Gardner, J. (ed.) Assessment and Learning pp143-181 London: Sage. Sharp, C. (2004) Developing young children's creativity: what can we learn from research NFER. Topic Vol 34. Claxton, G. (2006) ‘Thinking at the edge: developing soft creativity’, Cambridge Journal of Education. 36 (3). pp. 351–362 Craft, A., Jeffrey, B. and Leibling, M. (2001) Creativity in Education. London: Continuum National Advisory Committee On Creative And Cultural Education (1999) All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture & Education. London: DfEE. Ellis S., Myers, M. and Buntin J. (2007) Assessing Learning in Creative Contexts (CLPE) Ferrari A., Cachia R. and Puni Y. (2009) Innovation and Creativity in Education and Training: Fostering Creative Learning and Supporting Innovative Teaching EU Technical Note: JRC 52374.
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