Dr. Eunice Alencar
Creativity in the School Setting:
Challenges, Pathways and Strategies of Assessment
Creativity is a key resource for individuals and societies. It enables the individuals to take greater benefit from opportunities, and to cope better with challenges and difficulties in their personal and professional lives. Creativity is also a vital element for societies’ progress and culture. For this reason the promotion of conditions for the development of students’ creative abilities should be a prime objective of schools,and initiatives should be taken to implement educational policies in this direction. However, the encouragement of creativity in the school setting is a challenge. Although there is agreement that students should be creative, most teachers are not familiar with characteristics of learning and teaching environments that promote creativity. A school culture characterized by conformism pressure, resistance to change and the introduction of innovation is also very frequent, as well as misconceptions about creativity, such as its view as a natural talent, present only in some individuals. An overview of the main challenges to the flourishing of creativity in school will be addressed, followed by a description of strategies to infuse the school environment with elements conducive to creativity. Recent instruments designed to assess factors associated with the promotion or inhibition of creativity in educational settings will be also described.
Eunice M. L. Soriano de Alencar, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Brasília, Brazil, and researcher from the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technical Development. She has served as President of the Brazilian Association for the Gifted at the Federal District, and Vice-President of the Ibero-American Federation of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. Over the last 40 years she has carried out research projects and published several books and numerous articles, especially on giftedness and creativity. Among her books are: Psychology and Education of the Gifted; Psychology of Creativity, How to Develop the Creative Potential, Managing Creativity, The Child in the Family and in the Society, Creativity and the Education of the Gifted, Creativity: Multiple perspectives and Theory and Practice of Creativity Measurement. She is on the editorial board of journals in Brazil and abroad, and is an honorary member of the Brazilian Council for Giftedness.