Creating great students

• Getting close to nature and creative is helping kids learn better. Photo by Taryn Hays

A PILOT project encouraging Highgate primary and Mount Lawley high school students to get creative has helped improve their academic learning while giving teachers back their “mojo”, says a UWA researcher.

Mathilda Joubert has been evaluating WA non-profit creative agency FORM’s Creative Learning program, which was rolled out across 16 state schools last year and is based on an Australian-first collaboration with UK-baseds and to see them through.”

International research has highlighted the importance of creative learning, nature play and child-led practices in education outcomes, and how the effects can ripple throughout a school.

Perth educational leader and researcher Gillian Howarth says Creative Learning is a good start, but the school system could offer more well-rounded education.

The co-founder of the Conscious Education Movement works predominantly with homeschool communities and educators promoting creativity, mindfulness and child-led observance as a foundation for teaching.

“Our schools don’t represent the needs of the future,” Ms Howarth said.

“They don’t even represent the needs for now.

“It can take a big shift in perspective, though, in order to bring the changes to education and schooling from the way things have been done in the past towards a more relevant model for the future.

“It’s not just about fostering creativity in children – it’s about being creative as a culture and community in finding the best ways forward.”

Ms Joubert says it’s vital that a school’s principal and leadership team backed teachers who wanted to increase their creativity.

by TATIANA DALIN

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