Don’t let CREATIVITY be the Missing Ingredient in YOUR Classroom

In 2013, Jon Kamen (chairman and CEO of, a transmedia company) wrote an article for Wired Magazine entitled ‘Creativity is the missing ingredient in education.‘ He argues that with so much emphasis on STEM subjects, creativity is being squeezed out of education and along with it opportunities for creative thinking. His solution: the acronym STEM should be changed to STEAM to include the arts. Why? Because these subjects still respect the creative process.
Creative thinking leads to innovation, and innovation leads to success. Sure, science, technology, engineering and maths are necessary, but without the initial creative stimulus for solving a problem or imagining the possible, nothing would ever be accomplished.’ [kamen, J:2013]

Kamen’s viewpoint is supported in the brilliant, and freely available book ‘Creativity in the English language classroom’ (2015) written by an international community of educators and published by the British Council. Editors Alan Maley and Nik Peachey state that due to current curriculum and assessment constraints, creativity is something of an endangered species in our classrooms; and that ‘creativity isn’t something which is reserved for a special part of a course or a lesson, but that it is something which can and should be integrated into every aspect of our classroom practice and at every level of our learners’ experience.’

Sylvia Guinan’s review of this book is well worth a read, as is her blog.

In the book ‘Creativity in the Primary Classroom’ (2012) author Julia Desailly has further compelling arguments of the impact of creativity, when she writes that ‘becoming a teacher who is able to teach creatively and to encourage pupils to learn creatively and to develop their own creativity is also to become a highly effective teacher.’

As if we needed any more persuasion about the absolute necessity for the creative classroom. I will leave it to Sir Ken Robson to have the last word…

I’m sure everyone has viewed his TED Talk – but just in case… ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ 

And just because I love this anecdote…

‘A six-year old pupil in a drawing class said she was going to draw a picture of God. The teacher said: ‘But nobody knows what God looks like’. ‘They will, in a minute’, the child replied.’    Sir Ken Robson

[Please let me know if any of the links are broken or not working]