>Can You Teach Creativity?
>British Educational Research Journal
>Authors: Colin Conner
>Subject Terms: Nonfiction
>Conner reviews "Can You Teach Creativity?," by Anna Craft with Jana Dougal,
>Gordon Dyer, Bob Jeffrey, and Tom Lyons.
>Copyright Carfax Publishing Company Sep 1998
>Can You Teach Creativity?
>ANNA CRANT WITH IANA DOUGAL, GORDON DYER, BOB JEFFREY & TOM LYONS, 1997
>Nottingham, Education Now Books 132 pp.
>For many people, especially psychologists, the debate about creativity,
>what it is and how to develop it, was a subject of intense debate in the
>1960s and 1970s. There was also a time when British education was regarded
>as amongst the most creative in the world, especially at primary school.
>With the introduction of the National Curriculum in 1988 and the increased
>specification of what should be included in the curriculum, there were
>suggestions that the excessive structure had reduced and inhibited creative
>responses and creative reactions from teachers. Many teachers talked of
>their inability to respond to children's questions and concerns, to their
>individual needs and to develop the whole range of their potential. The
>studies by Pollard et al. (1994) into the implementation of the National
>Curriculum suggest that such reactions were varied and that the National
>Curriculum was 'mediated' by teachers. Similarly, the studies by Woods
>(1995) and Woods & Jeffrey (1996) indicate that creative responses to the
>National Curriculum are alive and well in some of our best primary schools.
>That there is still a place for the development of creativity, despite
>the current focus on the basics of literacy and numeracy is recognised
>in the White Paper, Excellence in Schools (Department for Education and
>Employment, 1997), where it is argued:
>If we are to prepare successfully for the 21 st Century. We shall have
>to do more than just improve literacy and numeracy skills. We need a broad,
>flexible and motivating education that recognises the different talents
>of all children and delivers excellence for everyone.
>In support of this aspiration, in February 1998, the Secretary of State
>set up the National Committee on Creative and Cultural Education, chaired
>by Professor Ken Robinson of the University of Warwick. The brief of this
>committee is to `make recommendations to the secretary of state on the
>creative and cultural development of young people through formal and
>education' (Robinson, 1998). The committee proposes to look across the
>boundaries between the arts and the sciences, education and business and
>at the importance of promoting creative abilities in all of these areas.
>Creativity, they recognise, is a difficult concept, but they argue that
>creative thinking, breaking the boundaries of current knowledge,
>... is possible in all areas of human activity. Science is too often
>of as dry and impersonal; the arts as free forms of personal expression.
>But scientists can be highly creative just as work in the arts can involve
>The complexity of the issues involved in the development of creativity
>is the subject of this interesting and thought-provoking book by Anna Craft
>from the Open University. The opening sections are exactly as might be
>expected. Evidence is provided and justification offered for a
>of the importance of creativity in children's educational experience. It
>is only as you reach the final sections of the book that the reader
>the text is visionary and an exhortation, concerned with the development
>of principles for education in the twenty-first century.
>The book is written `in the belief that fostering creativity is critical
>for constructive social development'. It is divided into four sections.
>The first explores the concept of creativity and advocates the development
>of `possibility thinking'. Possibility thinking means two things, `not
>being stumped by one set of circumstances, but using imagination to find
>a way around a problem'. Secondly, it is about asking questions. Associated
>with these elements are a range of individual characteristics necessary
>for the production of the `creative mind'. In particular, curiosity and
>a sustained openness to linking thinking with experience. Drawing upon
>the work of Gardner, the breadth of human capability is acknowledged: ...
>the emphasis through statutory curriculum and assessment arrangements is
>on linguistic and logico-mathematical intelligences. But to develop each
>child's capabilities appropriately, we need to broaden our awareness of
>the intelligences which we can foster, and in which different individuals
>may be strong. (p.10)
>The second section discusses the implications of the ideas discussed for
>the school curriculum and investigates the extent to which creativity is
>fostered by a whole range of different school subjects; the arts and
>mathematics and science, design and technology.
>Section three offers suggestions on ways in which teachers might develop
>and extend their skills in order to support children in the development
>of their creative capacities. In this section some interesting contrasts
>are offered through a case study of a collaborative research project with
>primary school teachers in Spain.
>The final section is probably the most contentious. It focuses on
>for the development of a vision for education in the twenty-first century.
>It advocates the use of a systems thinking approach. Proponents of systems
>thinking argue that instead of accepting society as it is, communities
>should take steps to design and create their own future. This could involve
>a rejection of `the current situation and frameworks for education' and
>the generation of 'a new interpretation of the requirements for human
>and development which should be designed for the future'. How far this
>might be possible is clearly open to question, but the proposed changes
>to the National Curriculum for 1998 offer some space to teachers, provided
>they achieve their targets for literacy and numeracy, and who is to say
>that in the reconstructed curriculum for 2000, there will not be
>to disapply from the current National Curriculum and set up `experimental
>alternatives', as was originally proposed when the current curriculum was
>This book is written in a clear and accessible style and contains an
>balance between a very broad research base, illustrations of effective
>practice and suggestions for activities for the reader to engage with.
>It serves as an important contradiction to the bureaucratic demands imposed
>on schools by recent government initiatives.
>University of Cambridge School of Education
>Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner.
>Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
>=============================== End of Document
From: nop62861 <teresatorreseca>
To: Larry Cox <L_J_Cox>
Cc: artsednet <artsednet.edu>
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 1999 5:49 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Can you teach creativity?
>Larry, Thank you for the message about creativity. I am not sure if it can
>taught , but as Best said in "The Rationality of Feelings" it can be
>educated.I think it is a necessity to all teachers, not only art teachers
>in this direction.
>Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1997) rejects the idea that creativity can be
>understood " by looking only at the people who appear to make it happen"
>argues that "creativity results from the interaction of a system composed
>three elements: a culture that contains symbolic rules, a person who brings
>novelty into the symbolic domain and a field of experts who recognise and
>validate the innovation"
>Creativity can be objective , but somehow there is something inexplicable
>it, the subjetive explanation of creativity do not satisfy me, i know that
>only artists but also scientists are seeking a more clearly understanding
>I want to know more about it...
>.... I want to read the book you are talking about, please send me the