World Creativity and Innovation Day

by | Apr 14, 2022

World Creativity and Innovation Day

The United Nations has set 21 April aside to celebrate human creativity and innovation. In these very complex and challenging times, creativity is needed more than ever, particularly in education. 

Crises are crucibles of creativity, and the COVID pandemic has seen creativity flourishing in many areas of our lives. The collaborative creativity of scientists has seen an incredibly rapid development of vaccines. Millions of people in lockdown around the world turned their own personal creativity to cope with the stresses and strains of uncertainty. 

All over the globe, teachers have been forced to look at new and creative ways of education, both face to face and online, and often a mix of both at the same time. It is a credit to the profession that educators became agile and adaptive in order to support the needs of their students. Research conducted in 2020 and 2021 increasingly reports that those teachers who were creative in their approaches to teaching and learning had students feeling much more engaged in their education. Students also became quite creative in their independent learning strategies, finding new ways to transfer information and build their understanding in their subjects. 

I believe that education is now at a crossroads. For those educators who can be creative in their pedagogy and build the creative capacities of their students in their individual subject areas, the opportunities are boundless. International research in creativity in education has found that creativity is highly subject specific – creativity in English and creativity in Maths require a different set of attitudes and skills. Research published in 2021 has confirmed the idea that students who have specific attitudes and skills in creativity have improved academic results in both NAPLAN and ATAR. We know that these attitudes and skills can be professionally developed in teachers and taught to students. 

The attitudes and skills of creativity are demonstrated in a range of fields in the documentary Finding Creativity, broadcast on 21 April, then available on SBS on Demand. It was a pleasure for me to be a part of the documentary and demonstrate how these attitudes and skills of creativity can be built in any area of human endeavour.  

The seeds of creativity are often sown in the classroom. I hope teachers enjoy this documentary and think about how they can be more creative in their teaching and ignite and nurture creativity in their students. 

Tim J. Patston is one of Australia’s leading researchers and consultants in the field of creativity and innovation in education. He is a Senior Partner at Creative Actions and a Fellow of the Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne. Dr Patston earned his PhD in high performance psychology from the University of Sydney. He is a published academic in the fields of Performance Psychology, Perfectionism, Positive Psychology and Creative Education, including book chapters in the Cambridge University Press publications Nurturing Creativity in the Classroom (2nd edition) and The Cambridge Handbook of Mindfulness in Performance.