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Creative Schools Initiative

Creative environments in primary and secondary schools
A collaboration between the University of Sydney and the University of Auckland, we are a dedicated educational research group with a focus on improving education.

Our multidisciplinary mixed-method, international research group brings together experts in education, creativity, and educational psychology. Our research aims to guide stakeholders in education decision-making in benchmarking, curriculum design, and reform.

Our research

The project is developing a robust index measure of creative environments in schools using quantitative data. The Creative Index draws on 11 skills and capacities drawn from a review of the literature of creativity in schools. These include:

  • collaboration/team work
  • problem posing/problem solving
  • critical thinking
  • playfulness
  • environment
  • divergent thinking
  • curiosity
  • innovation
  • discipline mastery
  • risk taking and
  • synthesising

The Creative Index project involves a 30-40 minute online survey for year 5, 7, and 9 students at a time convenient to schools.

The project provides an interactive ‘creative environment’ report to schools and supports developing the environment for creativity in the school culture and curriculum. The report provides valuable pedagogical information regarding student perceptions of creativity in the school and classrooms.

Over 2700 primary and secondary students have participated in the Australian phase of the research.

Our people

Michael’s research and teaching concentrates on the role of creativity, the arts (particularly drama) and play have on learning. This work has evolved into a program of research and publication that engages with arts classrooms directly.

View Prof. Anderson's academic profile

Paul is an active educational researcher, and has worked independently and in collaboration with both Australian and international colleagues on a wide variety of educational research projects. His research interests are in assessment and evaluation, learning technologies and new media, and learning, cognition and motivation.

View Associate Professor Ginns' academic profile

Kelly's research interests draw on methodological innovation and theory development in the area of applied drama for social justice - focusing on intersections between drama, social justice, education, and qualitative research methods. Kelly coordinates core pedagogy units in The Combined Degrees in education, with a focus on creative and critical pedagogy, school-community relationships, and pedagogies of hope.

View Dr Freebody's academic profile

Marianne’s research interests are in motivation and the arts. She teaches in the areas of educational and developmental psychology.

Peter is an internationally recognised expert in applied theatre and drama education. His research focuses on applied theatre in marginalised and vulnerable communities. It has led to developing cutting-edge models of interdisciplinary praxis that explore the nexus of critical and creative pedagogies, aesthetics and social justice.

View Professor O’Connor's academic profile

Chief Investigator