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  • Writer's pictureZoë Leigh Bishop

Can and should we assess Creativity?

As I grow within my role as teacher and my ethos within my practice become clearer, creativity and my belief in its vital role in the development of a human being becomes emphasised further. Because of this, I am of the opinion that is it a crucial aspect that must be embedded within and across the education system.

Opportunities to develop creative skills across the majority of the curriculum, currently lies at the discretion of the individual teacher and how they go about passing on the knowledge of their subject and what they prioritise within that. Developing creative skills and a clear depiction of what these skills are, is not stated or given importance within much of the curriculum and therefore is not a requirement within most subjects.

It can be said that traditionally creative subjects such as art, drama and dance encompass more opportunities in which creativity and creative skills must be developed and accessed due to the nature of these subjects. However such subjects are consistently considered less important subjects and are the ones that need to be justified and fought for when funding cuts arise. Consequently, I feel that in an attempt to raise the profile of creative subjects, academics are forced to codify these art forms. In the fight to meet the goal posts, statistics and data requirements for school management and boards such as Ofsted, teachers are required to regularly assess creative processes.

Whilst I do believe some level of assessment within creative subjects can be beneficial, I feel that by overemphasising this, teachers can lose site of the beauty and richness of the creative process itself. Within my own teaching experience within dance thus far, I have experienced the pressure of achieving certain levels of attainments in students work and therefore adapted my teaching in order to meet the test requirement rather than focussing on the development of the creative skills nurtured through the creative process.

Upon reflection, I have made conscious effort to deter from such habits as I found within dance that when over prioritising assessment, often formulaic and regimented responses are created. I feel this does not reflect the true essence of dance as an art form and therefore leads me to question whether we truly can or should attempt to assess creativity and whether this always remains subjective, in which case useless?

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