The Role of Creativity in Academic and Non-Academic Learning

Becoming a Writer…Creativity is a term we use often in education.  We say that we want our students to be “creative thinkers.” We want to do some “creative projects” with our students. We will be “creative with our scheduling” to squeeze in something not outlined in the district’s curriculum. But what is creativity, and what is its role in education?

Michael Anderson, Professor of Education at the University of Sydney, studies what the role of creativity, the arts and play have on learning. Anderson defines creativity as a collaborative process – emphasizing that the process of working together with others to create is as important as the outcome of the creative process. He believes it is the role of a school to provide opportunities for creativity in each of the school subjects in order to ensure that the creative process is at the center of learning – not an optional aside. His latest research using primary and high school students as study subjects revealed that students who “actively engaged” with the arts in school performed better academically and socially than those students who had little, no or passive engagement with the arts. His theorizes the reasoning of this is that students who engage in the arts innovate, collaborate and improvise. These abilities, taught through the arts, help students to achieve goals in other areas of life as well.

Share with us your thoughts on creativity’s role in the school setting.

Later this month we will feature a three part blog series on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) movement.  Join us as we explore this topic!

Read more about Michael Anderson’s thoughts and research on creativity here:

Authored by Jordan Khadam-Hir, Rice University School Literacy and Culture

About Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University

The Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University is the leading university continuing education program in Houston. Since 1968, the school has helped Houstonians and others reach their personal and professional goals. Continuing Studies offers timely educational programs for the general public, representing the best of academic scholarship and professional expertise. A wide range of non-credit courses and certificate programs is offered in the following areas: Personal Development, Professional Development, Foreign Language Program, English as a Second Language, the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, the Center for College Readiness, K-12 Initiatives and School Literacy and Culture. In addition to our non-credit courses, we offer the Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) and the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).
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