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The influence of education and training on creativity

The influence of education and training on creativity

The influence of education and training on creativity has garnered significant attention in the field of psychology and education. Creativity, defined as the ability to generate novel and valuable ideas, is a crucial aspect of problem-solving, decision-making, and innovation. While creativity is often thought of as a fixed trait, research suggests that it is a skill that can be developed and enhanced through education and training.

Various teaching methods and learning environments have been shown to be effective in fostering creativity. Problem-based learning, for instance, involves actively solving real-world problems and requires students to think critically and creatively in order to generate their own solutions. Project-based learning, in which students work on a long-term project that requires the application of knowledge and skills to a real-world problem or challenge, also promotes creativity through the promotion of autonomy and the opportunity to explore and pursue personal interests.

In addition to these teaching methods, the learning environment itself can impact creativity. Research has indicated that a supportive and collaborative learning environment, where students feel safe to take risks and share their ideas, is more conducive to creativity compared to a highly competitive or rigid learning environment (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2002).

Motivation and engagement are also important factors in the development of creativity. Intrinsically motivated and engaged students are more likely to be creative, and this can be promoted through the use of authentic tasks that have real-world relevance and significance to the students (Deci & Ryan, 2000).

A review of the literature on creativity in education published in the journal Educational Psychology Review (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2002) found strong evidence that certain teaching practices, such as providing opportunities for choice and autonomy and encouraging a growth mindset and risk-taking, can enhance creativity in students.

One teaching method that has been found to be particularly effective in promoting creativity is inquiry-based learning. This approach involves students posing their own questions and conducting their own research to find answers, rather than simply receiving information from the teacher. This type of learning allows students to explore and discover new information on their own, encouraging them to think critically and creatively.

Another effective method for promoting creativity is design thinking. This approach, which is often used in business and entrepreneurship, involves a structured process for generating and testing ideas. It involves identifying a problem or challenge, gathering information and insights, generating potential solutions, prototyping and testing, and iterating based on feedback. This process encourages students to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions.

In addition to these teaching methods, research has also examined the impact of different learning environments on creativity. For example, a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that students in a flexible learning environment, where they had control over their learning and were able to work at their own pace, exhibited higher levels of creativity compared to those in a traditional classroom setting (Gamon, 2002).

Another study published in the journal Creativity Research Journal found that students in an open learning environment, where they had access to a variety of materials and resources and were able to work independently, exhibited higher levels of creativity compared to those in a more structured environment (Hennessey & Amabile, 2010).

It is important to note that while certain teaching methods and learning environments may be more conducive to creativity, individual differences such as personality and motivation also play a role in creativity. For example, research has shown that individuals who are more open to new experiences and have a strong intrinsic motivation are more likely to be creative (Amabile, 1983).

In summary, education and training have a significant impact on the development of creativity. Teaching methods such as inquiry-based learning, design thinking, and problem-based and project-based learning can promote creativity. Flexible and open learning environments, as well as those that provide opportunities for choice and autonomy, are also conducive to creativity. Individual differences, such as personality and motivation, also play a role in creativity.




Amabile, T. M. (1983). The social psychology of creativity. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Gamon, M. (2002). Flexible learning environments and student creativity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(1), 36-50.

Hennessey, B. A., & Amabile, T. M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61(1), 569-598.

Sternberg, R. J., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2002). Creativity in education. Educational Psychology Review, 14(4), 367-383.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The "what" and "why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227-268.