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PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION – MEASURING WHAT MATTERS 1 Creativity is an essential aspect of schooling and one of the key competencies that young people need for success in the modern world of ever-increasing change.1 Despite its importance, it is usually overlooked in measures of school quality and student outcomes. WHAT IS CREATIVITY? It is widely agreed that creativity involves the generation of novel and valuable ideas or products.2 Some researchers have identified creativity as a process with different stages, including: preparation, where the dimensions of the problem are explored; incubation, where the problem is internalized but there are no external signs that the problem is being addressed; intimation, where there is a sense that a solution is forthcoming; illumination, where the idea becomes evident; and verification, where the idea is elaborated, tested, and applied.3 There are many different forms and degrees of creativity. There is the creative genius (sometimes referred to as Big-C) involved in discoveries like Penicillin, and there is the everyday creativity (sometimes referred to as little-c) required to solve commonplace problems and adapt to ordinary changes.4 While creativity is obviously present in the fine and performing arts, it also exists in engineering, in business and entrepreneurship, and even in the outdoor and domestic arts, including hiking, cooking, gardening, and carpentry. Less obvious but equally compelling, creativity is a way to approach disciplines such as mathematics and science. Mathematicians and scientists who have made great breakthroughs in their fields often describe their thinking in creative terms, speaking about mental imaging and seeing entire solutions to problems at once.5 Creativity also requires the capacity for critical thinking. Creativity and critical thinking can be seen to complement one another: being creative without the skills to assess the process and products of creativity is an incomplete creative act. MEASURING WHAT MATTERS: CREATIVITY IN SCHOOLS A PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION PROJECT MEASURING WHAT MATTERS: CREATIVITY IN SCHOOLS PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION – MEASURING WHAT MATTERS 2 WHY IS CREATIVITY IMPORTANT? Fostering creativity in students helps them to develop resilience, resourcefulness, and confidence—preparing them to address life’s challenges.6 Creativity also carries its own intrinsic value. Developing creative sensibilities and habits enhances quality of life for teachers and students. Creativity carries indirect benefits. Creative explorations give students experiences with situations in which there is no known answer, where there are multiple solutions, where the tension of ambiguity is appreciated as fertile ground, and where imagination is honoured over rote knowledge.7 Research suggests that creative pursuits also help students to learn more effectively in other domains. Studies have documented the relationship between rich in-school arts programs and the creative, cognitive, and personal competencies needed for academic success. HOW DO SCHOOLS FOSTER CREATIVITY? Creativity is a constant feature of the school experience. When students gain new insights about solving a math problem or when they produce genuinely interesting projects, they are manifesting their creativity. Creativity in schooling can be seen as an approach that is brought to learning activities—a mindful, open, flexible, critical, and experimental way of being. Schools help students develop their dispositions for creativity in a number of different ways: through everyday teaching strategies that foster creativity; by teaching creativity directly; and through programs that provide rich opportunities for creativity. Everyday aspects of the classroom that foster creativity include: encouraging students to pose questions and share their insights and ideas; helping students to identify problems and issues; providing opportunities for discussion and debate; and encouraging students to be active participants in their own learning.8 Creativity thrives in classrooms that support personal interests and engage students in challenging tasks.9 Teachers also teach creativity directly. For example, there are techniques to improve creative thinking skills such as approaching tasks with fluency, flexibility, and openness.10 Teachers also help students develop creative metacognition, that is, the ability to evaluate one’s own creative strengths and limitations as well as when and where to be creative.11 Another approach to setting conditions that foster creativity is the integrated program, where the learning requirements for several different courses are combined into a single project. The merging of ideas and the cross-subject connections that students make often stimulate larger leaps of creativity than typically occur within individual courses.12 Examples include new house construction, environmental leadership, renewable energy technology, and musical digital media. School-community partnerships also provide opportunities for creativity. Programs such as Learning through the Arts foster creativity by bringing local artists into the classroom to plan and teach curricula with classroom teachers and by developing creative school-based and community-based projects. HOW CAN CREATIVITY BE MEASURED IN SCHOOLS? Although rarely done, it is both possible and desirable to measure creativity in schools. Creativity thrives in classrooms that support personal interests and engage students in challenging tasks. MEASURING WHAT MATTERS: CREATIVITY IN SCHOOLS PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION – MEASURING WHAT MATTERS 3 Measuring creativity inspires the development of better curricula and teaching practices13 and provides formative feedback so that students can continue to develop their creative strengths over the lifespan.14 By measuring creativity, the fundamental importance of creativity as a key part of schooling is underscored. Creativity encompasses a number of different competencies that students acquire and/or develop over the course of their educa- tions. Creative competencies include: • Fluency, flexibility, originality, and the ability to elaborate;15 • Metaphorical thinking;16 • Skilled observation, visualization, pattern detection, empathy, and play;17 • Tolerance for uncertainty, open-mindedness, risk taking, patience, deferral of judgment, and resilience;18 • The ability to pose problems, gather information through all the senses, find humour, think interdependently, communicate with precision, strive for accuracy, think flexibly, and respond with wonderment and awe;19 • Reframing, detecting, and decentering.20 Critical thinking has also been identified as an essential component of creativity21: the process of creativity is incomplete if the individual lacks the capacities necessary for assessing the process and products of creativity. A comprehensive model that incorporates the competencies of both creativity and critical thinking has been developed and adapted as a tool for creativity measurement suitable for the school context. The model describes five creative habits of mind and 15 sub-habits.22 This tool provides a formative assessment of creative thinking that can be used by teachers and by students to assess their own creative habits. Below are both the five habits (in bold) and the three sub-habits associated with each habit: • INQUISITIVE (wondering and questioning, exploring and investigating, challenging assumptions) • PERSISTENT (sticking with difficulty, daring to be different, tolerating uncertainty) • IMAGINATIVE (playing with possibilities, making connections, using intuition) • COLLABORATIVE (sharing the product, giving and sharing feedback, cooperating appropriately) • DISCIPLINED (developing techniques, reflecting critically, crafting and improving) Another approach is to measure the conditions for creativity within school. The emphasis is not on the “outputs”—that is, the creative products created by individual students, but rather, on the “inputs”—namely, the situations in which students might be called upon to think and act creatively. Examples of creative inputs would include fine and performing arts classes, scientific investigations, theatre and dance performances, debating clubs, independent research opportunities, entrepreneurial projects, school-community partnerships, and integrated curricula. Critical thinking has also been identified as an essential component of creativity: the process of creativity is incomplete if the individual lacks the capacities necessary for assessing the process and products of creativity. MEASURING WHAT MATTERS: CREATIVITY IN SCHOOLS PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION – MEASURING WHAT MATTERS 4 One of the main advantages of evaluating creativity in schools is that it underscores the importance of creativity to the school experience. Measuring creativity also provides critical feedback, guiding students in their creative development and guiding schools toward optimal conditions for fostering creativity. For all of these reasons, creativity must be included in measures of student and school success. ENDNOTES 1 Canadians for 21st Century Learning and Innovation. Shifting Minds: A 21st Century Vision of Public Education for Canada. ing-Version-2.0.pdf 2 Meusburger, P. (2009). Milieus of Creativity: The Role of Places, Environments and Spatial Contexts. In P. Meusburger, J., Funke, J. & E. Wunder, Milieus of creativity: an interdisciplinary approach to spatiality of creativity. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. Mumford, M. D. (2003). Where have we been, where are we going? Taking stock in creativity research. Creativity Research Journal, 15, 107–120. 3 Wallas, G. (1926). The Art of Thought. NY: Harcourt Brace. 4 Kaufman, J. C., & Beghetto, R. A. (2009). Beyond big and little: The Four C Model of Creativity. Review of General Psychology, 13, 1-12. 5 Brian, D. (1996). Einstein: A Life. NY: John Wiley and Sons. Hadamard, J. (1954). The psychology of invention in the mathematical field. London: Dover. 6 Craft, A. (2002). Creativity and early years education: A lifewide foundation. London: Bloomsbury. 7 Eisner, E. W. (2002). The state of the arts and the improvement of education. Art Education Journal, 1(1), 2–6. 8 Craft, A. (2005). Creativity in schools: tensions and dilemmas. London: Routledge. P. 42 9 Hennessey, B. A. & Amabile, T. M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569–598. 10 Cohn, C. M. G. (1986, April). A research synthesis of creativity training effectiveness: Methodological issues. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA. 11 Beghetto, R. A., & Kaufman, J. C. (2013). Creativity: Five fundamental insights that every educator should know. Educational Leadership, 70, 10–15. 12 Craft, 2002; 2005 13 Lucas, B., & Claxton, G., & Spencer, E. (2012). Progression in creativity: Developing new forms of as- sessment. Background Paper for the OECD conference, “Educating for Innovative Societies.” University of Winchester: Centre for Real-World Learning. 14 Black, P. & William, D. (1998). Inside the Black Box: Raising standards through classroom assess- ment. The Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), 139-144, 146-148. 15 Torrance, E. P. (1962). Guiding creative talent. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. 16 Gordon W. (1966). The metaphorical way of learning and knowing. Cambridge, MA: Porpoise Books. 17 Root-Bernstein, R., & Root-Bernstein, M. (2001). Sparks of genius: the thirteen thinking tools of the world’s most creative people. NY: Mariner Books. 18 Claxton, G., & Lucas, W. (2004). Be creative: essential steps to revitalize your work and life. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 19 Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (2000). Describing 16 habits of mind. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. MEASURING WHAT MATTERS: CREATIVITY IN SCHOOLS PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION – MEASURING WHAT MATTERS 5 20 Perkins, D. N. (2000). Archimedes bathtub: The art and logic of breakthrough thinking. NY: Norton. 21 Marzano, R. J. (1992). A different kind of classroom: teaching with dimensions of learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. 22 Lucas et al. (2012) MEASURING WHAT MATTERS: CREATIVITY IN SCHOOLS PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION – MEASURING WHAT MATTERS 6 People for Education – working with experts from across Canada – is leading a multi-year project to broaden the Canadian definition of school success by expanding the indicators we use to measure schools’ progress in a number of vital areas. The domain papers were produced under the expert guidance of Charles Ungerleider and Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group. NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY The Measuring What Matters reports and papers were developed in partnership with lead authors of each domain paper. Permission to photocopy or otherwise reproduce copyrighted material published in this paper should be submitted to Dr. Rena Upitis at [email protected] or People for Education at [email protected] DOCUMENT CITATION This report should be cited in the following manner: Upitis, R (2014). Creativity; The State of the Domain. In Measuring What Matters, People for Education. Toronto: November 8, 2014 We are immensely grateful for the support of all our partners and supporters, who make this work possible. BROADER MEASURES OF SUCCESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Annie Kidder, Executive Director, People for Education David Cameron, Research Director, People for Education Charles Ungerleider, Professor Emeritus, Educational Studies, The University of British Columbia and Director of Research, Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group Lindy Amato, Director, Professional Affairs, Ontario Teachers’ Federation Nina Bascia, Professor and Director, Collaborative Educational Policy Program, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto Ruth Baumann, Partner, Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group Kathy Bickmore, Professor, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ University of Toronto Michelle Boucher, University of Ottawa, Advisors in French-language education and Ron Canuel, President & CEO, Canadian Education Association Ruth Childs, Associate Professor, Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto Jean Clinton, Associate Clinical Professor, McMaster University, Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences Gerry Connelly, Director, Policy and Knowledge Mobilization, The Learning Partnership MEASURING WHAT MATTERS: CREATIVITY IN SCHOOLS PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION – MEASURING WHAT MATTERS 7 J.C. Couture, Associate Coordinator, Research, Alberta Teachers’ Association Fiona Deller, Executive Director, Policy and Partnerships, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario Kadriye Ercikan, Professor, Measurement, Evaluation and Research Methodology, University of British Columbia Bruce Ferguson, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; Community Health Systems Research Group, SickKids Joseph Flessa, Associate Professor, Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto Joan M. Green, O.Ont., Founding Chief Executive Officer of EQAO, International Education Consultant Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair, Lynch School of Education, Boston College Eunice Eunhee Jang, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto Christopher Kotz, Senior Policy Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Education Ann Lieberman, Stanford Centre for Opportunity Policy in Education, Professor Emeritus, Teachers College, Columbia University John Malloy, Director of Education, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Roger Martin, Premier’s Chair on Competitiveness and Productivity, Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto Ayasha Mayr Handel, Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services Catherine McCullough, former Director of Education, Sudbury Catholic District School Board Robert Ock, Healthy Active Living Unit, Health Promotion Implementation Branch, Health Promotion Division, Ontario Ministry of Health Charles Pascal, Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Jennifer Riel, Associate Director, Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto Joanne Robinson, Director of Professional Learning, Education Leadership Canada, Ontario Principals’ Council Bruce Rodrigues, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Education Quality and Accountability Office Pasi Sahlberg, Director General, Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation, Finland Alan Sears, Professor of social studies and citizenship education, University of New Brunswick Stuart Shanker, Research Professor, Philosophy and Psychology, York University; Director, Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative, York University; Canadian Self-Regulation Initiative Michel St. Germain, University of Ottawa, Advisors in French-language education Kate Tilleczek, Professor and Canada Research Chair, Director, Young Lives Research, University of Prince Edward Island Rena Upitis, Professor of Education, Queen’s University MEASURING WHAT MATTERS: CREATIVITY IN SCHOOLS PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION – MEASURING WHAT MATTERS 8 Sue Winton, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, York University and former Early Learning Advisor to the Premier Deputy Minister of Education OUR FUNDERS PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION 641 Bloor St. West, Toronto, ON M6G 1L1 416-534-0100 © Measuring What Matters, People for Education, 2014 People for Education is a registered charity working to support public education in Ontario’s English, French and Catholic schools. Charitable No. 85719 0532 RR0001 641 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M6G 1L1 Phone: 416-534-0100 or 1-888-534-3944 Email: [email protected]