Creativity in Primary Education (Achieving QTS Cross-curricular Strand)

Author(s) Anthony Wilson
Publisher Learning Matters Ltd
Published 2009
Pages 240
Price £17.00
ISBN 9781844451982
Reviewed by Dr Ruth Hewston
Institute of Education, University of Worcester
Review published 17 July 2009

Having referred my students to the first edition of this book on many occasions, I was interested to see what revisions have been made to this second edition. The text was originally published in 2007 and was revised for publication in 2009. I was pleased to see that key materials from the first edition have been retained, but substantially updated and revised to include six new chapters which explore creative approaches to learning and teaching in both breadth and depth.

Creativity in Primary Education is an edited collection of chapters addressing what creativity means for primary practitioners, and how it may be put into practice across a range of curricular areas. Each of the individually written chapters contains theoretical viewpoints, short case studies, practical tasks and reflective exercises. However, the structure of the book into three parts organise the discussion into broader categories of ‘contextualising the concept of creativity’, ‘creativity in the core subjects’, and ‘creativity in the foundation subjects’.

The book is aimed at providing trainee teachers with an awareness of what creativity is and how it can be developed in themselves and their pupils. Throughout the book content is linked to the 2007 Professional Standards for the award of QTS, making the objectives and related Standards for each chapter explicitly clear. That said, many newly qualified teachers or teachers wishing to rethink their application of creativity in the primary classroom will find this text of use and value. In particular, the practical tasks will open up new avenues of thinking and reflection for those already teaching. The suggested activities, especially the reflective tasks, provide opportunities to think about the concepts and levels of challenge and could easily be used as a focal point for discussion with colleagues or a mentor.

The book is successful as one that can be read from cover to cover. However, it doesn’t come across as an ‘instruction manual’ and the reader can dip into specific areas as required.

I particularly valued one of the core themes of the book - that creativity is not the preserve of the arts alone. Coming from an arts background myself, I have read countless texts on creativity within this area, and while this book does explicitly tackle visual, performing and literary arts, it is refreshing to read a text aimed at generalists as well as specialists on PGCE courses.

I would recommend this book for any primary education professional – whether as a trainee teacher, new qualified or teacher interested in challenging their own conceptualisation of creativity and how they implement it within their own classroom. Likewise, the text would also be beneficial to those studying undergraduate programmes in broader education and childhood areas. While it is clearly aimed at those looking to achieving QTS, the broader picture of creativity presented could be the start of a useful discussion.

Dr Ruth Hewston is a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester.