Creative Thinking

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Creativity In Schools: A Maltese Perspective
Paper presented during the First International Conference on Strategic Innovation and Future Creation, Malta, March 2009
Shirley Pulis Xerxen


The knowledge and skills needed in the future may not even be known at the time a person attends school or university. As a result, these institutions cannot limit themselves to the transmission of set contents, techniques and values, since these will soon be useless or even detrimental to living a full life. (Cropley, 2006, p. 136)1

Introduction In this paper I attempt to provide some insight about the teaching of thinking and creativity in schools by drawing parallels between what is found on this subject in the literature, my experience as
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The Curriculum Journal. Vol. 11, 2, 145-158.

A holistic approach An important distinction needs to be made when dealing with creativity in schools, that is the difference between teaching creatively and teaching for creativity. Teaching creatively refers to ‘teachers using imaginative approaches to make learning more interesting, exciting and effective.’ (NACCCE Report, 1999: 102). Teachers often need to be highly creative in order to capture learners’ interest and attention. Teaching for creativity refers to ‘forms of teaching that are intended to develop young people’s own creative thinking or behaviour.’ (NACCCE Report, 1999: 103). The way I see it, teaching creatively is a tool in the hands of the teacher who wants to make any learning experience meaningful, creative teaching as a means to better teaching, whereas teaching for creativity implies the inclusion of creativity as a learning objective in teacher’s planning of lesson material. Teaching for creativity must acknowledge a multi-faceted approach to creativity, an approach that takes into account all the aspects of creativity where education is concerned (Prentice, 2000) 3.

Creativity may be considered as one of the most important targets that education should aim for. When a teacher aims to stimulate learners’ creativity, this can be fostered in a variety of ways, amongst which there is the strategy of regarding students as active consumers of
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