Understanding creativity in primary English, science, and history

Publication Name

Australian Educational Researcher


Creativity is recognised as an essential twenty-first century skill. Despite the significant volume of research on creativity, there remains considerable ambiguity in the way it is conceptualised within education. This study uses a qualitative approach to explore primary educators’ (n = 9) perceptions of creativity in English, science, and history. Key questions include how creativity is conceptualised, how it manifests in the classroom and if, or how, descriptions vary across discipline areas. The results show that whilst primary educators struggle to describe creativity in the abstract, they can provide clear descriptions within their disciplinary context. Considerable differences in terms of creative thinking skills were detected in each represented discipline. In line with the literature, we suggest ways in which future research can elaborate on these creative thinking skills to reconceptualise the way creativity is developed and assessed within education.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access

Funding Sponsor

Harvard Graduate School of Education



Link to publisher version (DOI)