Creative Partnership was a government funded initiative to nurture creativity in young people which ran between 2001 and 2011 in selected schools in England. Schools in the Creative Partnerships scheme were supported by a creative agent, typically someone from the creative or cultural sectors, to develop and implement their ideas. The author was closely involved in the initiative and in this book draws out some of the lessons which schools wishing to teach for creativity can learn.
The book is full of practical wisdom of relevance to schools today. There are particularly useful chapters on creative ethos, the impact of creativity on pupils, pedagogy and assessment.
'Creative Partnerships in Practice: Developing creative learners' by David Parker.
The 3 Cs of creative ethos
As part of research undertaken by Sara Bragg and Helen Manchester, three key words were developed to summarise the kinds of cultures in which creativity can thrive:
Considerate schools are inclusive, committed to involving pupils in decision-making and full of reflective practices. Convivial schools take pleasure in learning, actively enjoy working with others and initiate projects ion which both teachers and students participate as learners. Capacious schools often focus on the quality of the creative environment and explicitly seek to take learning to the wider community.
How Creative Partnerships impacted pupils
Much research was undertaken as part of the Creative Partnerships initiative. Positive impact was found on pupil attainment in certain subjects, including English and science, alongside attendance, well-being and engagement. Perhaps of most significance was the boost to learner agency that was observed, with schools developing an authentic and deep commitment to student agency where learners, teachers and cultural practitioners were all learning together.
A shift in pedagogic practices
A number of teaching and learning methods were found to be effective in developing creative learners including:
- Provocation - using an object, image, sound, person or event that is deliberately ambiguous or unexpected to stimulate a creative response.
- Moving out of the classroom – deliberately locating learning outside or in spaces not designed for teaching.
- Making an occasion - using performances and exhibitions as an opportunity to celebrate and share work in progress.
Tracking the development of students’ creativity
As part of the Creative Partnerships programme, the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester was commissioned to develop a model of creativity and a number of assessment tools now widely used across the world and published by the OECD. In this model creativity is broken down into five creative habits and each is described in terms of strength, breadth and depth.
Takeaway idea: Try one of the three suggestions for teaching methods above in your lessons.
Find out more about Creative Partnerships in Practice.
Dr David Parker is a consultant specialising in research and evaluation in the arts and education sectors. He was formerly Director of Research at Creativity, Culture and Education.