Creative primary schools: developing and maintaining pedagogy for creativity

Craft, Anna; Cremin, Teresa; Hay, Penny and Clack, Jim (2014). Creative primary schools: developing and maintaining pedagogy for creativity. Ethnography and Education, 9(1) pp. 16–34.



This micro-ethnographic study investigated pedagogy in two English primary schools, following a change of government and challenges posed by economic austerity. Unlike the previous decade’s emphasis on children’s curiosity and agency and valuing arts and partnership, emphasis on knowledge and attainment was now foregrounded. A two-stage National Curriculum government review (2011-2012) brought primary schools little clarity. During the review period, the authors researched two purposively chosen schools, recognised nationally for their creative approaches. This paper discusses their creative teaching and learning pedagogic practices. Three shared characteristics emerged through triangulated qualitative analysis: co-construction, high value placed on children’s control/ agency/ ownership, and high expectations in skilful creative engagement, evident through the arts, use of integrated themes and topics, flexible time, children’s immersive involvement, and attending closely to children. Thematic findings are discussed alongside unique qualities of each school’s pedagogy and implications for primary education considered.

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