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Creativity within the foundation phase curriculum: A risky business?

Chicken, Sarah



Whilst creative behaviours are viewed as twenty-first century competencies [Davies, L.M., L.D. Newton, and D.P. Newton. 2017. “Creativity As a Twenty-First-Century Competence: An Exploratory Study of Provision and Reality.” Education 3–13, 879–891.], understandings within education remain vague [Prentice, R. 2000. “Creativity: A Reaffirmation of Its Place in Early Childhood Education.” The Curriculum Journal 11 (2): 145–158. doi:10.1080/09585170050045173]. Through a focus on two Welsh primary headteachers, this paper illuminates two contrasting constructions of school-based creativity and considers associated pedagogical practices. Whilst the creativity literature foregrounds child agency within risk-taking environments [Grainger, T. and J. Barnes. 2006. “Creativity in the primary curriculum.” In Learning to Teach in the Primary School, edited by A. James, T. Grainger, and D. Wray, 209–225. London: Routledge.], analysis of the first setting suggests that the privileging of accountability to external markers may lead to risk-aversion as creativity is shaped through a ‘policy panopticon’ [Ball, S. J. 2003. "The Teacher's Soul and the Terrors of Performativity." Journal of Education Policy 18 (2): 215–228. doi:10.1080/0268093022000043065.]. A shift from traditional arts-based views of creativity towards an emphasis upon creative behaviours may be advantageous and a reconstruction of accountability as starting at the micro level of the child. Whilst the post-Donaldson zeitgeist offers hope, this may still be challenging where high stakes assessments remain. These tensions are significant to practitioners since implicit understandings of ‘creativity’ impact on the pedagogies offered to children.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 17, 2020
Journal Education 3-13
Print ISSN 0300-4279
Electronic ISSN 1475-7575
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Issue 6
Pages 733-745
APA6 Citation Chicken, S. (2020). Creativity within the foundation phase curriculum: A risky business?. Education 3-13, 48(6), 733-745.
Keywords Education; Creativity; creative behaviours; risk-taking; accountability; child-agency; early years; Foundation Phase curriculum
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: http://www.tandfonline....ope&journalCode=rett20; Received: 2019-06-18; Accepted: 2019-07-12; Published: 2019-07-30