Symposium sub themes

More detailed descriptions of proposed symposium areas are as follows:

Teaching and learning creatively

Notions of divergent thinking, problem based learning and the cultivation of imaginative ways of seeing and being in the world typically present themselves in writing and discussion about the presence and development of creativity in classrooms. Is there validity in these kinds of approaches and what is their role in classroom contexts that can seem increasingly determined by the primacy of final assessment and outcome?

  • How can creative and innovative approaches to teaching and learning be identified?
  • In what ways can or should creativity present itself in the development of academic ability?
  • Is creativity domain specific and/or can it help students develop transferable knowledge and skills?
  • How do creative capacities draw as much from emotional, affective experience as intellectual and how can this knowledge inform what and how we teach? 
  • In what ways can or should creativity be assessed?
  • Can creative practices help students to develop independence and reflective skills?
  • What is the connection between creativity and divergent critical thinking?
  • Can or should creativity contribute to the cultivation of a ‘growth mindset’?
  • In what ways can or should new technologies foster creative approaches to teaching and learning?
  • Is there any significance attached to the kinds of spaces in which teaching and learning takes place?


Learning about creativity

A prevailing narrative in many countries sees the Arts subjects under threat. But what kinds of knowledge and understanding do subjects such as Drama, Art, Music, Film and Dance provide, and what kinds of character dispositions or competencies can they nurture?

  • In what ways can education of and through the arts contribute meaningfully to an individual’s development, as well as inculcate ethical sensitivity to others and to the world?
  • To what extent and to what purpose is ‘cultural engagement’ an important feature of an individual’s formative education? 
  • In what context/s does the phrase ‘cultural capital’ have validity and meaning?
  • In what ways is creativity manifest in other subjects, such as science or mathematics and what benefits can emerge from finding or generating connections between disciplines?
  • In what ways can creative practices attend to notions of happiness and wellbeing?


Developing creative curricula

Schools can take very different approaches to curriculum design.  The range and type and relationships between subjects being taught, the importance attached to extra-curricular activity, the ways in which learning is monitored and whether or how a school’s ideological values present themselves in the content and delivery of learning programmes they provide, all provide material for exploration of creativity in curriculum architecture. 

  • How and why do schools decide on the courses they offer?
  • Is it time to re-think traditional descriptions of subject disciplinarity?
  • What are the most effective ways to assess learning and to provide feedback?
  • What value might emerge from students being given choices about what they learn?
  • How can internal and external assessment systems encourage autonomy or capacity for self-regulated learning?
  • How significant are ‘real life’ contexts in contemporary learning and what is the difference between planned and ‘lived’ curriculums? 
  • Can or should schools become known as creative organizations?
  • In what ways can schools provide meaningful space for staff development and opportunity to engage with evidence-based research? 

The business of creativity

Much is made of the presence of creativity and its associated characteristics in the modern workplace, but should schools see it as a marketable commodity in this way?

  • How might aspects of responsible leadership and collaborative enterprise find support in creative curriculum models? 
  • Can or should schools develop links with creative or arts industries, as well as individuals that work within them, in order to find connections and develop partnerships?
  • Can we teach young people to acquire the critical, imaginative facility that will transform tomorrow’s world for the better?