Fostering creativity in education

Education has often been criticised for spoon-feeding and killing creativity (Kaila, 2005; Robinson, 2009), ironically, it is also in demand with an aim to provide creative well-educated graduates who are capable to tackle the global challenges in political, economic, sociocultural and environmental landscapes (Shaheen, 2010) where creativity is seen as the solution(Gaspar & Mabic, 2015). Thus, the role of education is vital to tackle challenges in fostering creativity. To meet this call, in the light of a series of systematic literature reviews, this paper aims to address theoretical perspectives of creativity in the following aspects, the nature of creativity, the factors that influence creativity, the challenges to foster creativity and the strategies to foster creativity.
Through a series of reivew on the nature of creativity, it is believed that Creativity exists not only within the extraordinary but, most importantly, also within the ordinary (Craft, 2003; Gardner, 1993). That is, creativity can be encouraged as part of an individual’s life-long development(Craft, 2001) and everyone can be creative (Lin, 2011). To foster creativity at the personal level, education ought to develop every individual with the ability to produce creative solutions on a regular basis in the process of solving problems and adapting to changes in daily life (Runco, 2004).
Literature also reveals and identifies a few significant underlying factors which have direct impact on the creative processes, such as defocused (broadened) attention (e.g., Mendelsohn, 1976; Runco & Sakamoto, 1999) and emotions (e.g. Ashby, Valentin, & Turken, 2002) which are both found to facilitate creative performance . To foster creativity in education, this paper also discusses common challenges such as misconceptions regarding creativity, the lack of teaching training, overvaluing the assessment systems. Finally, this paper explores several educational strategies to encourage creativity in the 21st century, including integrating creativity into curriculum, encouraging creative pedagogy, developing creativity through character development, and providing a positive environment.