Creativity needs some thought

22nd February 2013 at 00:00

Yvonne Baker in "Science and the state of the arts" (Comment) and James Williams in "Creativity is all in the mind" (Resources, both 8 February) miss the point about scientific creativity. Science education has never implemented effective strategies for addressing creativity, in part because educators in the discipline have struggled to define it formally. As a result, teaching "scientific creativity" is inevitably confused with "good" teaching practices, such as making the "excitement and possibility" of scientific discovery clear (Baker) or using "extended project work" (Williams). Any revision of the science curriculum should develop pupils' scientific creativity: that is, creativity linked to being able to make scientific discoveries, which is a skill in its own right. There is, however, no evidence that project work, factual teaching about scientific discoveries or making film clips (as Baker and Williams suggest) help to develop this.

Vanessa Kind, Senior lecturer in education, Durham University.

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