Product reviews for Teaching Creative Thinking

Carolyn Roberts, Headteacher, Thomas Tallis School
The Habits of Mind that form the foundations of this project come from a detailed piece of research commissioned by Creativity, Culture and Education and carried out by The Centre for Real World Learning at the University of Winchester. We will continue to collaborate with professors Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton and our colleagues in the Expansive Education Network on the future development and implementation of the project.

The innovative nature of the resource

Creative thinking sometimes suffers from getting tangled up in debates about the relative merits of traditional versus progressive education. This books argues that creativity belongs in both camps, that it is as much about developing discipline and persistence as it is about being inquisitive, collaborative and imaginative. Neither is creative thinking anti-knowledge. We need students who can understand the world through expertise in subject disciplines so that they can then change it for the better using creative thinking.

This book seeks to equip teachers and school leaders with a measured, practical and jargon-free guide to building a culture of creative thinking in classrooms and schools. Creative dispositions, the authors persuasively argue, are the tools needed by young people, in school, in the workplace and for living a good life. Once identified, they can be nurtured through deliberate practice. This book shows you how and provides some useful examples of schools, like ours, where it's being done.

The impact on learning and the work of the teacher in the classroom, to what extent and in which areas

Lucas and Spencer identify the steps needed by schools and teachers in order to establish an environment in which creative thinking can flourish. Creative thinking is not an alternative to subjects or disciplinary knowledge.

This is not a zero sum game. We can have classrooms and schools in which young people develop a zest for mathematics and enhance their tolerance of uncertainty.

How the title supports or enhances the everyday life or work of teachers, pupils or schools

Teachers need to know that they are not on their own, that other teachers in other schools are taking the practical steps necessary to build their students' creative capabilities. This book is just such a resource.

In our school, for example, we have built a set of pedagogical approaches designed to identify, value, enhance and reward what we call the Tallis Habits. By developing a shared language with which to describe creativity we can encourage students to strengthen them through deliberate practice. The glossary of strategies at the end of the book, not dissimilar from our own Habits pedagogy, is an invaluable reminder of how easy it is to blend disciplinary understanding and dispositional growth. 

Teachers who have become confused about children's entitlement to creative thinking and opportunities should find a clear explanation as to how they underpin a broad, rigorous, sustainable and lasting education.

Cost-effectiveness in terms of educational aims and results - not just price

Teachers are most effective when they practice their craft, reflect on their work and fine-tune their techniques. This book provides the tools and encouragement for them to strengthen their own creative dispositions with reference to some key research in the field. All teachers will discover simple and cost-effective strategies for tweaking their practice so that students develop stronger creative and critical thinking skills.

While English schools have recently been distracted by accountability measures which undermine these vital dispositions, the approach described in this book will enable teachers to review and adjust their approach.  

School leaders will also find much to inspire them. Building a culture of enquiry can be done by enabling teachers to become researchers of their own practice. The best CPD, argue the authors, can be achieved in house with an action research approach that models creative and critical thinking. Imagine a whole school engaged in scholarly enquiry. This book is just what you need to get started or, if you've already begun your journey, to strengthen your resolve.
Guest | 25/04/2018 01:00
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