Teaching creative thinking in schools: acclaimed new book launched by Winchester experts
A much-heralded new book aimed at schools, which focuses on creative thinking and how it can best be developed in young learners, was launched at the University of Winchester earlier this week.
Teaching Creative Thinking: Developing Learners by Bill Lucas, Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester and Director of the University's Centre for Real-World Learning, and Dr Ellen Spencer, Senior Researcher in the Centre, defines and demystifies the essence of creative thinking and offers action-oriented and research-informed suggestions as to how it can best be developed in learners.
Professor Lucas said: "In the past, it was enough for young people to know and do things. Today, they need more than subject knowledge in order to thrive: they need capabilities. A key capability is creative thinking and all children need to learn how to develop ideas, collaborate and think critically. Creative thinkers are inquisitive, collaborative, imaginative, persistent and disciplined and schools which foster these habits of mind in learners need to be creative in engaging children and young people by embedding creativity into their everyday educational experiences."
The authors explore the nature and nurture of creative thinking and the effectiveness of various pedagogical approaches, including problem-based learning, growth mindset, playful experimentation and the classroom as a learning community. Outside the classroom, the authors also suggest ways in which a school can create opportunities for co-curricular experiences, - such as partnering with a range of external community groups - and better engage its leadership team and pupils' parents with the idea of creative thinking in order to support learners with opportunities to grow.
The launch of the book comes hot on the heels of Professor Lucas's appointment as co-chair of a new global test of Creative Thinking to be developed by PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) in 2021 to supplement their testing of 15-year-olds' core capabilities in English, maths and science.
Dr Spencer adds: "Through the examples and case studies in our book, we hope to inspire schools to develop ideas for creative thinking and build a framework for learning that equips young people in schools today with the twenty-first century skills and capabilities that will enable them to thrive in the workforce of tomorrow."
Even before its launch, the book has attracted praise from researchers, policy-makers and headteachers across the world.
Professor John Hattie, University of Melbourne, said: "The thinking classroom is most likely to develop the thinking student - Bill Lucas shows how this is possible, now! Developing creative thinking requires deliberate planning and expertise. This book, richly embedded in the science of learning, shows the how."
Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive, Chartered College of Teaching, said: "A hugely welcome book, full of practical examples of pedagogy to cultivate knowledge, skills and capabilities, all the while recognising the power of professional learning communities within and between schools."
The Centre for Real-World Learning undertakes ground-breaking research into teaching and learning, focusing on better understanding positive learning dispositions - what they are, why they are important and how they can be cultivated in students and staff.
Teaching Creative Thinking: Developing Learners is published by Crown House Publishing. More information at this link.