Teacher News

Five challenges for giving schools the power to create

Posted by 1 year ago

The Royal Society for the Arts' director of creative learning and development discusses how we can foster creative capacities in learners, teachers and schools

Despite the millions of words, videos on YouTube and TED Talk views on the subject, creativity in schools is still in the middle of a rough ride. During 2015, debates appeared to go backwards, especially in England. The publication of Ken Robinson’s latest book on creative schools generated mixed responses, with more traditional opponents decrying it an excessively polemical approach with a lack of research evidence. Others more sympathetic to the creativity agenda expressed a frustration about the lack of practical next steps offered to schools. And although some countries have attempted to raise the status of creativity, they have generally lacked the stamina

Meanwhile, the current hierarchy of valued outcomes remains remarkably similar across the world: tending to prioritise the academic over the vocational, knowledge recall over application, and problem-solving over problem-finding. This continues despite an increasingly strong economic rationale for our schools systems to prioritise the development of pupils’ creative capacities. Employers everywhere consistently assert the need for a more creative workforce and that the school system should do more to harness creativity. There is also an emerging consensus from various academic disciplines that creativity is innate in all of us and learnable in different ways in specific knowledge domains. Research is also demonstrating the interplay between the development of creative capacities and other cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes.

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