Investigations into creativity

29th December 2000 at 00:00
from Ian Williams

Following the review of the national curriculum, Education Secretary David Blunkett asked the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to investigate creativity. In response to this, two pilot projects focusing on design and technology are now under way.

One project, involving the QCA Damp;T and art and design subject teams, is run in partnership with the Nuffield Damp;T project. Nine schools covering all key stages are involved in a pilot to discover more about how teaching Aamp;D and Damp;T contribute to the development of creativity. The research is underpinned by three questions. What does creativity look like? What strategies and activities enable pupils to act creatively? What factors affect the teacher's skills to develop creative ability? The pilot schools will present their findings to the QCA on February 1.

The second project investigates creativity across the curriculum and has strong support from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith. It focuses on Damp;T, English, maths, Aamp;D, music, dance and drama. In Damp;T, eight pilot schools, ncluding one special needs school, are providing evidence. They are using a framework which draws on approaches from Government initiatives including "All our Futures", the report of the National Advisory Committee for Creative and Cultural Education, current work by the think tank Demos and other subject specific research. It is clear to all teachers who are involved in the project that the Damp;T programme of study provides a foundation on which the QCA "framework for investigating creativity" can be built. The QCA is particularly grateful for the time and effort teachers are putting in to illustrate what the subject is bringing to the general education of all pupils.

Evidence gathered so far from the second project will be presented in late February and will be shared among all participating subjects in early March. This will help us shape the direction of the two projects and disseminate their findings.

Ian Williams is principal subject officer, design and technology, for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 83 Piccadilly, London W1J 8QA. Tel: 020 7509 5555. Web:

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