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So why doesn't the government white paper mention creativity?


Stephen Heppell, a regular writer in The Guardian writes on creativity and observes, how, in the latest white paper, "Higher Standards, Better Schools for All" it never once mentions 'creativity'

"Standard" is mentioned 144 times,
"fail" appears 53 times.

Rather surprisingly, the words "creativity" and "creative" are not mentioned at all, probably uniquely for an education policy paper in the 21st century. Someone has taken their eye off the ball, haven't they?

Read more in Stephen's article.


Is that because government officials aren't brave enough to use terms such as fun and enjoyment when talking about learning?

I would agree with the last few posts. The Government has largely left it to the arts to tap into the creative ability of children. There are so many tools available now to help people explore and use their creative ability. Take mind mapping there are many software packages such as Spark-Space that enable users to record there creative ideas. Why aren't such software packages making it into the classroom?

I suppose you have to look to the Local Authority support services that would advise schools and teachers on the use and implementation of such tools. The responsibility of this shouldn't lie just with the ICT training and development agencies, but the Numeracy and Literacy teams also.

In my experience, these training and development agencies have a huge influence on the activity that takes place in the classroom, through the many courses and INSET courses that they run.

BETT 2007 will host a wide range of exhibitors, many of whom selling their software to all and sundry. 28,000 people attend the annual show, but that won't necessarily mean that the implementation of new tools is guaranteed. It very much depends on the right people identifying with the software who is able to see how such tools can be utilised in the authority.

I believe we need strong advocates of the mind mapping and creative tools to trail-blaze their use of them in schools and for people to take note of the many benefits. We are then ever-hopeful, that the training and development agencies take heed and sell that to their clients in the Local Authority.

I suspect the reason they don't use the word creativity is that the authors of the paper are stuck in their own rhetoric which at the moment is obsessed with choice and standards. Choice and standards may well be good things, but they are only, at best, part of the picture and don't address the key question of what is it that we want our education system to deliver. Thank you.

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