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The Limits To Creativity In Education English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1676 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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“The Limits to Creativity in Education: Dilemmas for the Educator”, the title of Anna Craft’s details against the context of a political, social and economic discourse of creativity in education as a ‘good thing’. She is of the belief that if creativity is good for the economy, it is good for the society. She discusses the distinction between the early and current discoure about creativity, making a point that current discourse about creatitivy focuses on the ordinary rather than the extraordianary. Meaning that the current hypothesis is that the ordinary person can be creative and do not necessarily require special or extraordianry talent.

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The author has suggested in the paper that there are a number of possible limitations to the adoption of creativity in education namely difficulties of terminology, conflicts between policy and practice, limitations in curriculum organisation, and limitations stemming from a centrally controlled pedagogy. The formation of an appropriate organizational environment for motivating creativity has resulted in treating teachers like technicians instead of artists. This on the other hand attempts to control both the pedagogy and the content to an intensifying level.

The author acknowledges that there are social, environmental and ethical limits to creativity, at the same time highlighting that it is not compulsory for creativity to have universal relevance or value. If the social environment limits the individual choices and autonomy, the desire and drive to alternatives is possibly strong. On the other hand, under conditions such as the evasion of social or political endorsement and socialization into obedience would, hinder creativity. The writer put forward a very critical question asking to what extend “do we, in the marketplace at any rate, encourage innovations for innovation’s sake and without reference to genuine need?” She writes that a culture of ‘make do and mend’ may be something to be nurtured, more willingly than searching challenging ways of doing things which have been working perfectly well already; it is indifferent whether it is a system, relationship, service or product . Further she makes a point that creativity has a darker side; the human being and his imagination are capable of mass destruction as well as endless constructive, promising possibilities.

Lastly, she has mentioned a number of professional challenges for the educators to implement creativity in education, which are met with limitations. She notes that a curriculum which is rigid, obligatory, which engages loads of propositional knowledge, and which consumes a lot of learning time, may create challenges to inspiring creativity in students – probably more so when compared to a curriculum which is more flexible.

The writer has challenged the concept of creativity in today’s discourse noting that it is probably necessary to move beyond two possible and common positions in education at present.

One such position could be misrepresentation. We believe that we have a curriculum which recognizes creativity and which connect creativity, culture and the economy. Therefore we do not need to do anything other than implementing the curriculum as if it were error free or unproblematic. In fact, there are value positions, difficulties, classroom situations which such a complacent position in actual fact ignores.

The next position is that of ‘resistance’ to the technicising of education. Here creativity is perceived as a sort of resistance. This enables the teacher to retrieve a degree of professional artistry against strengthening and centralised control of teaching strategies and curriculum. Edging creativity as an answer to policy on pedagogy is thus separating the positions of policy makers and the other alternative response. It may also suggest that creativity in its original form is unproblematic when framed as the conflicting side of a position which has already been widely criticized.

Throughout the article Anna Craft put forwards a convincing argument that though creativity is acknowledged as important, there are a number of limitations to foster creativity in education. Further there are social, environmental and ethical limits to creativity. She proposes that challenging creativity is a necessity, but if we are willing to offer the pupils with an education correctly grounded in the context and also demands of the twenty-first century. The writer firmly believes that addressing openly to the limits and to the dilemma bound up in encouraging creativity in education is a start.


Randi, J., & Jarvin, L. (2006). An “A” for Creativity: Assessing Creativity in the Classroom. Thinking Classroom, 7(4), 26.

Judi Randi and Linda Jarvin begins the journal article “An ‘A’ for Creativity: Assessing Creativity in the Classroom” with very interesting questions. The authors ask the readers the following questions. “Is there such a thing as too much creativity?” “Do creative students who “think outside the box” risk poor grades on traditional classroom assessments that expect students to conform to conventional ways of thinking?” “Are there ways of encouraging students to be creative and concurrently “on task” so that their creativity can be consistently and reliably evaluated?” To answer these questions, the article presents a type of creativity assessment that teachers can utilize in their classroom. This assessment technique can be employed to assist student comprehend task-appropriate creativity, or creativity bounded by the given task.

The writers note that there is a difference in teachers in their interpretation of creativity. When asked how they evaluate creativity, some teachers explain creative student as “colourful”, “hands-on”, or even “going above and beyond”. Other teachers states that the assessment of creative creation must be evaluated fairly. Although the teachers claim that they appreciate and value creativity, rarely they include any clear or open criteria for weighing creativity in their assessing system. Further the authors mark that creative product that “pushes the envelope” may be discarded or graded as improper instead of accepting and rewarding it.

The writers developed an evaluation guide know as knows as Dimensions of Creative Scale (DCS) to explain and analyze the pupil’s writing. This guide which is in the form of a scale measures three different characteristics of creativity: quality, originality, and synthesis. According to the scale the creative writings which score favourably high on all three dimensions demonstrate successful creative writings. These writings are probably going to be graded as creative in the perspective of traditional assessment systems. They further demonstrate how the DCS can be utilized by teachers and also students in determining what represents creativity and what types of creativity are most commonly acknowledged in certain circumstances.

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The authors recognized first dimension as task-appropriateness, which value the quality or the level to which the writing produce the core of the mystery genre. The second dimension, flexibility measures the level of difference the writing possesses from a particular model. The third dimension, novelty measures inventiveness or the originality of the mystery. In the article authors have explained and given examples of how the above dimensions can be measured in great detail.

In the study students were asked to write original mystery stories. The task required them to create a piece of writing that displayed their perception of a good mystery. Stories that are highly original but poor mysteries were not considered as successful creative products. Writing samples from three teachers from the unit called It’s a Mystery, were used to assess the creativity and the level of comprehension of the mystery genre.

The raters separately rated the stories on each dimension. The purpose of rating the writing samples was to identify patterns in students’ attempts to write original mysteries. Using the five-point dimensions of the scale, the writers evaluated the creative writing samples of 58 students. The writers believe that the DCS rubric can be used by teachers to motivate students’ creativity and improve their originality and flexibility. Also it could be used when the quality of the writing varied from student to students in the same class.

According to the writers many teachers encourage creativity, but students as well as teachers many a times lack the understanding of what constitute creativity in given circumstances. Further, teachers may not know how to evaluate creative writings or products. The writers strongly consider valuable especially in a testing situation to assist the students to be aware of task appropriate creativity. It is also valuable to assist students comprehend just what creativity is and how to be creative.

The authors in the study have proven through their study, that creativity can be effectively assessed. But it is also important for the teachers to make students understand what constitutes creativity in given situations. Further, the teachers should know exactly how to evaluate creative products and how to promote creativity in students. They, themselves should have a great understanding of what creativity really is.

Craft, A. (2003). The Limits to Creativity in Education: Dilemmas for the Educator. British Journal of Educational Studies, 51(2), 113-127.

Randi, J., & Jarvin, L. (2006). An “A” for Creativity: Assessing Creativity in the Classroom. Thinking Classroom, 7(4), 26.


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