chapter  2
17 Pages

Creativity in English

ByLynn Newton, David Waugh

This little boy clearly showed evidence of creativity and problem solving in the context of language use.

In a detailed review of the many defi nitions of creativity in various documents, Compton ( 2007 ) identifi ed six key skills underpinning creative thinking as enquiry, evaluation, ideation, imagination, innovation and problem solving. These are skills accessible to most people, thus reinforcing that notion that everyone can be creative to some degree (Boden 2004 ; Torrance 1975 ). Such skills are used in activities that result in outcomes judged to be of worth and novelty, at least to the person creating them [National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education (NACCCE) 1999 ]. Even if an outcome

has already been ‘discovered’, Thurstone (1952) argued that, if it is new to the individual (the child), then it is a creative act. Since children lack the experiences and knowledge of adults, they can have novel ideas and produce creative products that are new to them if not to the adults around them. An increase in achievement and improvement in motivation, self-esteem, social skills and behaviour have all been noted in situations where creative thinking has been encouraged [Qualifi cations and Curriculum Authority (QCA) 2003, 2005; Offi ce for Standards in Education (Ofsted) 2006 ]. This in itself would seem to justify teaching for creativity in any subject. Yet, despite teachers being urged to foster creativity and problem-solving skills [Department for Education and Skills (DfES) 2003 ; Burke Hensley 2004 ; Hall and Thomson 2005 ) there is evidence that schools tend to ignore it (Garner 2007 ).