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Chad KWONG, Ling CHE, Lily LEI

In 1961, Mel Rhodes pioneered the concept of creativity in four viewpoints: person, process, product, and press. "Creativity" has since expanded to include Eysenck’s (1995) use of correlates of personality to suggest a theory of creativity and Torrance’s (1965) definition of creativity as the process of becoming sensitive to problems, searching for solutions, testing and retesting, and communicating results. More recently, Kaufman and Beghetto (2009) proposed a Four C model of creativity: big-C (eminent accomplishments), little-c (everyday innovation), mini-c (transformative learning), and pro-c (professional expertise). Educational leaders can aim to develop little-c as a key competency and core skill (as heralded by PISA), where everyday creativity can be achieved through practice and honed through classroom activities (OECD, 2021).

Research aimed at tackling challenges and discovering effective ways of cultivating creativity spans three broad areas: “teaching and learning of creativity, psycho-educational correlates of creativity, and the cognitive/affective processes influencing creativity” (Hernandez-Torrano & Ibrayeva, 2020, p.1). Educating creativity can be steered in multi-faceted ways towards interdisciplinary connections between different subjects/fields (Glaveanu, 2018). In addition, understanding how creativity is culturally construed supports creativity-cultivators to adopt culturally-responsive pedagogies that engage students’ creativity in sustainable and adaptive ways.

Whilst embraced in theory, however, creativity development faces several challenges in practice: time constraints due to overloaded curriculum; standardised tests; and inadequate training and resources for its assessment. Educational policies and practices can therefore invest in creativity-fostering, curricular-specific materials and technology and re-examine assessments to further align creativity as a learning goal. Professional development that focuses on practice-based professional learning and collaborative planning allows in-service teachers to cultivate their own self-responsibility and beliefs, which can in turn facilitate the nurturing of students’ creative capacities (Bereczki & Kárpáti, 2018).

Below are some relevant and timely internet resources and scholarly contributions that raise issues, considerations, and challenges as we strive to enrich our understanding of creativity in education.


Eysenck, H. J. (1995). Genius: The natural history of creativity. Cambridge University Press.

Kaufman, J. C., & Beghetto, R. A. (2009). Beyond big and little: The four c model of creativity. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 1-12.

OECD. (2021). PISA 2021 Creative Thinking Framework (Third Draft).

Rhodes, M. (1961). An analysis of creativity. The Phi Delta Kappan, 42(7), 305-310.

Torrance, E. P. (1965). Scientific views of creativity and factors affecting its growth. Daedalus, 663-681.


Highly-Cited Academic Articles (Based on analysed results from Web of Science)

Bereczki, E. O., & Kárpáti, A. (2018). Teachers’ beliefs about creativity and its nurture: A systematic review of the recent research literature. Educational Research Review, 23, 25-56.

Davies, D., Jindal-Snape, D., Collier, C., Digby, R., Hay, P., & Howe, A. (2013). Creative learning environments in education - A systematic literature review. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 8, 80-91.

Glaveanu, V. P. (2018). Educating which creativity? Thinking Skills and Creativity, 27, 25-32.

Hernández-Torrano, D., & Ibrayeva, L. (2020). Creativity and education: A bibliometric mapping of the research literature (1975-2019), Thinking Skills and Creativity, 35, 100625.

Hughes, D. J., Lee, A., Tian, A. W., Newman, A., & Legood, A. (2018). Leadership, creativity, and innovation: A critical review and practical recommendations. The Leadership Quarterly, 29(5), 549-569.


Articles Published in/about the Region

Chen, C. W. J., & Lo, K. M. J. (2019). From teacher-designer to student-researcher: A study of attitude change regarding creativity in STEAM education by using makey makey as a platform for human-centred design instrument. Journal for STEM Education Research, 2, 75–91.

Huang, X. H., Lin, C. H., Sun, M. Y., & Xu, P. (2021). What drives teaching for creativity? Dynamic componential modelling of the school environment, teacher enthusiasm, and metacognition. Teaching and Teacher Education, 107, 103491.

Siu, K. W. M., & Wong, Y, L. (2014). Fostering creativity from an emotional perspective: Do teachers recognise and handle students’ emotions? International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 26(1), 105-121.

Tan, C., & Ng, C. S. L. (2021). Cultivating creativity in a high-performing education system: The example of Singapore. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 18(3), 253-272.


YouTube Videos

American Psychological Association. (2016, February 23). Creativity in the classroom.

Sprouts. (2018, June 18). Creative thinking: How to increase the dots to connect.

TEDx Talks. (2019, January 8). Are children really more creative than adults? - Elisabeth McClure - TEDxAarhus.

The Art of Improvement. (2020, July 26). The 6 habits of exceptionally creative people.

The Brainwaves Video Anthology. (2014, October 18). Jonathan Plucker - What is Creativity?


CoolThink@JC. (n.d.). Inspiring digital creativity.

Davis, L. C. (2018, December 17). Creative teaching and teaching creativity: How to foster creativity in the classroom. American Psychological Association: Psych Learning Curve.

OECD (2019, October 24). Rubrics and lesson plans - Fostering students' creativity and critical thinking: What it means in schools.



Holistic Competency and Virtue Education (HAVE). (n.d.). Creativity.

HKU Faculty of Education – Centre for Advancement in Inclusive and Special Education (CAISE). (n.d.). Programme for creativity & talent development.

Kempston, T. (2021). Professional development programme: Developing students’ creativity and new literacy skills through language arts elective modules. Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong.

Lau, J., & Chan, J. (n.d.). [R] Creativity. Department of Philosophy, The University of Hong Kong.


Extended Readings

Daly, S. R., Mosyjowski, E. A., & Seifert, C. M. (2014). Teaching creativity in engineering courses. Journal of Engineering Education, 103(3), 417-449.

Harris, A., & de Bruin, L. R. (2018). Secondary school creativity, teacher practice and STEAM education: An international study. Journal of Educational Change, 19(2), 153-179.

Israel-Fishelson, R., & Hershkovitz, A. (2022). Studying interrelations of computational thinking and creativity: A scoping review (2011–2020). Computers & Education, 176, 104353.

Liu, H. Y., Wang, I. T., Huang, D. H., Hsu, D. Y., & Han, H. M. (2019). Nurturing and enhancing creativity of nursing students in Taiwan: A quasi‐experimental study. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 54(4), 799-814.

Richardson, C., & Mishra, P. (2018). Learning environments that support student creativity: Developing the SCALE. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 27, 45-54.

Sawyer, R. K. (2017). Teaching creativity in art and design studio classes: A systematic literature review. Educational Research Review, 22, 99-113.

Soh, K. (2017). Fostering student creativity through teacher behaviors. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 23, 58-66.



References in this site to any specific resources and tools are for the information and convenience of the public only. They do not constitute ownership or endorsement by ALiTE of any of the opinions offered by any corporation or organisation or individual.

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