The number of children
25% of Australian society has a preference for creativity. (SGS Economics and Planning, 2013). They have a preference for creative jobs, creative lifestyles, and learning through the creative process over academic processes.
Therefore, we may presume that 25% of children also prefer creativity, and these children learn better through the creative process rather than traditional academic processes. That is a lot of children.
Research released in October 2015 showed 81,199 nineteen-year-old Australians had not
completed school (Lamb, et al. 2015). This number happens to be 25% of our student community.
It is to these children our school is dedicated.
The childrens’ struggles
In the academic classroom, our 25% stand out, often as problematic children. Dr Barbara Clark of the California State University, Los Angeles, identified several creative characteristics which are perceived as problematic including little tolerance for boredom, preference for complexity and open-endedness, need for space, need to release certainties, need to question, ability to accept tension and conflict, concern with truth, desire for more spontaneity, need for more autonomy, high theoretical and aesthetic values, and a desire for a greater involvement with daydreaming.
What tends to happen for these students is they “are not able to identify with what they are
learning and are unable to see how the information applies to everyday life, and are more likely become unresponsive in class and possibly be disruptive to others”. Children can end up in a
“series of processes, actions and consequences” (KPMG, 2009) consisting of disciplinary
procedures including suspension and expulsion, and referred to alternative educational and
specialist services. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt” (Plath, 2000).
The childrens’ needs
While every person is born with power to create, our 25% demonstrate the ingredient of creative motivation that, when united with creative capabilities, form creative behaviours (Rhode’s
‘person’ strand, 1961) from which a “high level of creative achievement can be expected
consistently” (Torrence, 1979).
Offering learning through the creative process is key to attaining high levels of creative achievement, however, “Simply requesting students be more creative can render them more creative if they believe the decision to be creative will be rewarded rather than punished” (O’Hara & Sternberg, 2000). “Culture plays a role in the development of creativity by increasing the rewards and decreasing the costs” (Sternberg, 2006). Learning successfully through the creative process is best met by the quest of a whole school culture… including learning and governance.