Creative pedagogies: a systematic review

Cremin, Teresa and Chappell, Kerry (2021). Creative pedagogies: a systematic review. Research Papers in Education, 36(3) pp. 299–331.



This paper is a critical systematic literature review of empirical work on creative pedagogies from 1990-2018. It responds to the increased international attention being afforded creativity and creative pedagogies in research, policy and practice and examines the evidence regarding creative pedagogical practices and the potential impact of these on students’ creativity. The methodology encompassed four stages. Firstly, an educational database keyword search was undertaken and 801 papers identified, manual searches added 12 further papers. Secondly, through applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, 89 papers were identified for closer scrutiny; these papers focused on students aged 0-18 years in formal educational settings and were peer-reviewed reports of empirical work. Thirdly, these papers were subjected to in-depth review and rating, this reduced the included selection to 35 papers. Finally these papers were subject to further analysis and synthesis. The findings reveal that seven interrelated features characterise creative pedagogical practice, namely: generating and exploring ideas; encouraging autonomy and agency; playfulness; problem-solving; risk-taking; co-constructing and collaborating; and teacher creativity. The paper also reveals that the evidence for the impact of these pedagogical practices on students’ creativity is inconclusive. It highlights the complexities and challenges of documenting creative pedagogies in the years of formal schooling and concludes with key recommendations and implications for research, policy and practice.

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