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Creativity in Education - Written By Dr Tim Patston

In 2014 the General Capability of Critical and Creative Thinking was included in the new national curriculum by ACARA. Ten years on, what do we know about creativity and its place in school education? The evidence is overwhelming - creativity is not just a general capability in education, it is a competence for life.

Here are some findings from the most recent research with teachers and students globally.

  • Creativity has a positive impact on academic results. Australian studies have reported strong links between creativity and academic achievement in both NAPLAN and ATAR.

  • Creativity in the classroom has a strong impact on the wellbeing of both teachers and students. This is essential in the post-Covid classroom.

  • Creativity is much more than just thinking. It requires appropriate dispositions and a supportive environment.

  • Creativity is highly context dependent - creativity in mathematics and creativity in foreign languages is not the same thing.

  • Creativity can be assessed, measured, and tested in all learning areas.

  • Creativity is not limited to certain students; everyone has creative potential.

  • Teachers with high levels of creative self-concept and creative self-efficacy are more efficient, more effective and more engaging in the classroom. Consequently, their students are more motivated.

While the thinking skills and processes of creative problem solving are important, the dispositions of creativity are the real key to building creative capacity in teachers and students. These dispositions can be taught explicitly alongside subject content knowledge and skills. Professional development in this area has proven highly effective.

There is a strong link between the dispositions of openness, curiosity, flexibility and motivation. Teaching these dispositions leads not only to more effective efficient and rewarding teaching and higher student motivation, but improved student academic outcomes.

Encourage your teachers to be creative in their pedagogy, build an internal database of effective practice which shares success. Leverage your assets and construct a creative school. In terms of professional development, building subject based creativity is essential. Creativity is context dependent, not a generic skill.

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