Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 153–179 | Cite as

Secondary school creativity, teacher practice and STEAM education: An international study

  • Anne Harris
  • Leon R. de Bruin


How creativity in education is applied by teachers to secondary school contexts is dependent on how the term ‘creativity’ is grounded, politicised, and practised. This paper reports on an international study of secondary schools in Australia, USA, Canada, and Singapore investigating how creativity is understood, negotiated, valued and manifested in secondary schools, focusing on teacher and student understandings, actions, benefits and impediments to creative and critical thinking. Participant reflections revealed inter-, trans- and cross-disciplinary learning shaped by teacher collaboration, dialogue and classroom organization that fosters critical and creative thinking. Implications are made for the ways practicing teachers develop and foster creativity via pedagogical approaches that enhance connectivity and interdisciplinarity of teaching practices between domains of learning. An education-based Creativity Index through which administrators and teachers can gauge, assess and implement creative skills, capacities, pedagogic practices and assessment of creativity within secondary schools is posited. Implications for STEM/STEAM education and centralizing creative capacities in teaching, learning, and educational change are offered.


Secondary schools creativity Teacher training STEAM education Creativity Index for schools 



This study was funded by an Australian Research Council DECRA Grant (#DE140100421) entitled The Creative Turn: An Australia-wide Study of Creativity and Innovation in Secondary Schools (2014–2016) and expanded to encompass its international comparative data.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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