Creativity in Education: Food for Thought


Paul Gorman and Katherine Morley asked some key questions about creativity in education in their thought provoking keynote at the Aberdeen Learning Festival last week which we thought we would share here as food for thought in the run up to the CreativiTEA Rooms and the Arts Across Learning Festival:

  • “So what’s this thing called creativity and how can we best capture its power in the learning environment?”
  • “Can creativity help me see things differently?”
  • “Will creativity allow me to find new approaches to the challenges we face?”


  • “Does creativity emerge from a shared experience or a new influence?”
  • “Can we practice and get better at being creative?”

Their presentation looked at the challenges we all face in taking risks, changing practice and using creativity in different teaching contexts, and they noted that it’s impossible to have a unified application of creativity in education, but offered suggestions of what it might look like:

  • Experimenting more
  • Adventuring into the unknown
  • Disrupting
  • Risk taking and failing
  • Placing value on the experience

They also shared some useful links from a variety of sources, more food for thought…..

People: Sugata Mitra; Susan Sontag; Richard Long; John Dewey; David Cameron (the real one)

Books: Dan Pink:  A Whole New Mind; Creative Scotland:  What is Creativity? Report (we will have some of these available in the Tea Rooms during the festival, come and pick one up!)

Web: TED talks; Shift Happens; CCE; Emporium of Dangerous Ideas

The Arts Across Learning Festival starts tomorrow and the CreativiTEA Rooms will be open Mon – Thurs 4 – 6 pm until 20 March. Come down to find out more about the festival and to chat with other artists, teachers, gallery educators and education practitioners of all stripes, about creativity in education or just about the cake. Hope to see you there!


Creativity, Culture & Education’s Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind CCE

Part of Fiona Milligan-Rennie’s workshop back in September looked at Eric Booth’s creative Habits of Mind. As Eric Booth has noted, ‘The metaphor of “habits of mind” is growing in importance throughout education, provoking new pedagogical thinking and practice.’ This month Creative Learning attended a Creative Learning Network workshop led by Paul Collard, from the organisation Creativity, Culture and Education. During this workshop we looked at CCE’s version of creative Habits of Mind and we thought it would be useful to share them here in the run up to both the Aberdeen Learning Festival and the Arts Across Learning Festival.

Based on the work of Claxton et al (2005), Creativity, Culture and Education has identified 5 ‘habits of mind’ as indicators of creativity:

1. Inquisitive: wondering and questioning; exploring and investigating; challenging assumptions.

2. Persistent: tolerating uncertainty; sticking with difficulty; daring to be different.

3. Imaginative: playing with possibilities; making connections; using intuition.

4. Disciplined: crafting and improving; developing techniques; reflecting critically.

5. Collaborative: cooperating appropriately; giving and receiving feedback; sharing the creative ‘product’

There is increasing recognition that students who are encouraged to think creatively and cultivate creative habits of mind are more resilient, more effective learners and have greater ownership over their learning. What do you think? We’d love to hear any examples you have of  seeing this in action. Or how might you be using or encouraging the creative habits of mind in your school – or, if you’re an external organisation, when working with school groups visiting you?

There’s an interesting overview of Eric Booth’s Habits of Mind here and if you don’t already know about them you can find out more about CCE here.