Orison Carlile and Anne Jordan are creativity researchers with affiliations to both the Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University in Russia and the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland. In Approaches to Creativity they offer readers a very thorough overview of creativity in education. The book covers many areas including:
- An overview and history of different definitions of creativity
- The impact of environment on creativity
- Creativity and technology
- Curriculum planning for creativity
- Assessing creativity
- The creative teacher
- The creative learner
- Leadership issues associated with creativity in schools
Approaches to Creativity offers helpful pointers for leaders wishing to make creativity a priority in their school. The authors argue that educational leaders need to have a ‘personal conception of creativity’ which is shared throughout the school by school leaders, teachers, support staff, pupils and parents. The style most appropriate to fostering creativity, they suggest, is transformational leadership, in which senior leaders generate the conditions which will encourage creativity.
While the style of this book is somewhat formulaic with many bullet-pointed lists, it is nevertheless full of nuggets of wisdom about embedding creativity in schools. As renowned creativity expert Professor Mark Runco puts it: ‘This excellent overview of creativity is consistent with what the social and behavioural sciences tell us about creativity but is an easy read and perhaps more than anything else is enormously practical.'
Think about the first of the ideas below. Is creativity an explicit goal of your school’s development plan? If so, how could you take responsibility for modelling what you understand by being creative?
Four implications for transformational school leaders
- Identify creativity as an explicit goal
- Model creativity
- Accept responsibility for risk and protect staff from failure
- Monitor and recognise creative outputs wherever they are seen
In your development plan why not adopt the three I’s of the Ofsted Framework (2019) – Intent, Implementation and Impact. Make your explicit goal a statement of intent. Discuss with colleagues about how you will implement it over the next few years. Then start to think about the kinds of impact you want to record.