Fostering Students' Creativity and Critical Thinking

What it Means in School

image of Fostering Students' Creativity and Critical Thinking

Creativity and critical thinking are key skills for complex, globalised and increasingly digitalised economies and societies. While teachers and education policy makers consider creativity and critical thinking as important learning goals, it is still unclear to many what it means to develop these skills in a school setting. To make it more visible and tangible to practitioners, the OECD worked with networks of schools and teachers in 11 countries to develop and trial a set of pedagogical resources that exemplify what it means to teach, learn and make progress in creativity and critical thinking in primary and secondary education. Through a portfolio of rubrics and examples of lesson plans, teachers in the field gave feedback, implemented the proposed teaching strategies and documented their work. Instruments to monitor the effectiveness of the intervention in a validation study were also developed and tested, supplementing the insights on the effects of the intervention in the field provided by the team co-ordinators.

What are the key elements of creativity and critical thinking? What pedagogical strategies and approaches can teachers adopt to foster them? How can school leaders support teachers' professional learning? To what extent did teachers participating in the project change their teaching methods? How can we know whether it works and for whom? These are some of the questions addressed in this book, which reports on the outputs and lessons of this international project.

English Also available in: French

UK (Welsh) Team

Work in Wales took place between October 2016 and July 2017. The Welsh Team undertook the second round of pedagogical redesign and data collection as part of the Lead Creative Schools national scheme, a partnership programme between the Welsh government and the Arts Council of Wales. The project only involved public schools. The intervention was based on the Creative Partnerships approach (see Chapter 3 for more information on the signature pedagogies), with teacher professional development delivered by the Wales programme team in partnership with Creativity, Culture and Education, and the use of the “Creative Habits of Mind” rubric (see Chapter 2) by teachers rather than the OECD rubric. The intervention with students consisted of interdisciplinary creative projects developed in collaboration with artists with a literacy or numeracy focus. It lasted 6-12 weeks over the spring.

English Also available in: French


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