Creative juices or juicing the creatives? My feature in the TES

9th October 2014 at 19:36


Here's a novel problem in education: everyone seems to value creativity, but no one seems able to define what it is, how to teach it, or how to measure it. Which seems a bit of a problem If it's something you want to spend money on. I've long been struck by this conundrum, which animates many in both the salons of Twitter and the coffee cliques of the staffroom. School, they argue, should release the fairy within; should fire the sap of creativity. Let a muse reside in every classroom, touching our little ones with the gift of breathing life into what was not there before. There's a barely a parent or an educator who wouldn't value it as an aspiration of their role.


But it's important to make a distinction between what is valued, and what it is possible to do systematically. Great swathes of what we do In the classroom are aimed at stimulating the juices of our budding Emins and Hirsts and Alexanders. 'Think creatively' we instruct; that, or its first cousin: 'Create'. And as far as that goes, so far so good. It would be a harder argument to make to say why you wouldn't want these things in school.


But what does it mean to actually promote creative education? I'll argue that we do about as much as we possibly can anyway, and those who fret that we aren't should take a step back and a) look at what we actually do and b) ask themselves what success would look like.


Read the full article in the 10 October edition of TES on your tablet or phone or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.