Is Creativity Compatible with Educational Accountability? Promise and Pitfalls of Using Assessment to Monitor and Enhance a Complex Construct

  • Jonathan A. PluckerEmail author
  • Rasis Alanazi
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


Stakeholders frequently note the importance of creativity in education, business, popular culture, and many other aspects of society, yet creativity is rarely addressed in K-12 education. Including creativity in K-12 education accountability systems is one possible avenue for increasing the emphasis on creativity in education, and doing so is a primarily social act: it has the potential to lead to greater transparency about creativity instruction (or the lack thereof) and enhance sociocultural conditions for creativity in the future. In this chapter, we review the sociocultural perspective on creativity, note relevant advances in creativity assessment, and describe the limited, previous efforts to incorporate creativity into large-scale K-12 accountability systems. The chapter provides guiding principles for the creation of such systems based on these recent developments and efforts. We conclude with the observation that building a creativity accountability system based on these principles will be difficult but possible given recent and anticipated conceptual, empirical, and technological advances.


Creativity assessment Sociocultural theory School accountability Education policy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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