Creativity and education

In the past 20 years the importance of creativity as part of young people’s education has increasingly been recognised. The stimulus for the growing emphasis on creativity has come from diverse sources including drives for greater national economic prosperity and enlightenment visions of young people’s education. One facet of creativity in education has been its place in the national curriculum texts of nation states. Dominic Wyse is Professor of Early Childhood and Primary Education at the University College London (UCL), Institute of Education (IOE), and Head of the Department of Learning and Leadership. The research reported in this paper aimed to investigate the place of creativity in the national curricula of the 27 member states of the EU (EU 27) and in the UK. A content analysis of all statutory national curriculum texts for the EU27 was undertaken and implications compared to the answers of 7659 teachers to a survey. The findings showed that creativity was a recurring element of curricula but its incidence varied widely. It was also found that creativity was represented in arts subjects more than other subjects and that it was relatively neglected in reading and writing as part of the language group of subjects. The countries of the UK in general had maintained their historic attention to creativity but there was evidence of a shift from emphasis in primary settings to secondary settings. It is concluded that there is a need for much greater coherence between general aims for education and the representation of creativity in curriculum texts.

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