Managing the Classroom for Creativity


Enhancing student creativity is an educational goal, and increasingly, a global imperative. In the current educational context of the United States, this is a formidable task. I have struggled with this issue as an MA student, and as an educator. As an MA student I examined learning environments that support and enhance creativity, and received my Masters in Creative Thinking. As an educator at an academically rigorous N-12 grade school, I endeavor daily to encourage deep thinking, academic excellence, and great creativity in my students. This paper expresses the voice of the researcher, and the voice of the passionate educator. This paper suggests it is possible to establish creativity-enhancing learning environments. It offers an understanding of creativity and its inherent connection to learning. Teresa Amabile’s highly regarded workplace assessment inventory, KEYS, is presented and explored as a classroom management style that encourages creativity and achievement. Her theory suggests we, as educators, have the power to enhance our students’ creativity by positively impacting our classroom environment. I map her approach onto two highly successful creative learning approaches—El Sistema and Reggio Emilia, and then interrogate and reflect upon the presence of KEYS in my own practice. Finally I offer suggestions for pre-service and in-service professional development to support educators as we work to empower our students to grow their creativity now and in the future.

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James, M. (2015) Managing the Classroom for Creativity. Creative Education, 6, 1032-1043. doi: 10.4236/ce.2015.610102.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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