Extensive Teaching Career
During my extensive teaching career, I have been privileged to work alongside many colleagues who have attempted to promote themes of creative thinking within their classrooms or areas of learning.
Unfortunately, much of this pioneering thinking was in isolation. It lacked the backing of research linked to managerial credibility and awareness for it to gain acceptance.
Readers may reflect on the coaching ideas of Malcolm Allison, the manager at Manchester City in the 1970s. He basically advocated for goalkeepers to learn to play out from the back.
Alas, in common with those of many teachers, Allinson’s ideas fell by the wayside!
With Creative Thinking In Schools, Bill Lucas and his colleagues have certainly produced a thought-provoking and practically grounded leadership playbook. Their extensive experience is supplemented by research evidence from active practitioners.
The resource material provides a flexible framework that unlocks potential. It can also isolate hidden skills of staff and students at all levels.
Creativity across the curriculum transforms mere knowledge into practical life skills essential for employability and personal application. These skills are crucial for work, leisure and daily life across all communities. Thinking creatively highlights how knowledge is more than attaining an A* pass in biology, history or psychology.
It is critical for young people that school leaders inspire and coach their teams to embrace the practical activities within the text and use them to effect change. They should develop inquisitive, persistent, collaborative, disciplined and imaginative learners.
Agents Of Change
Readers may well reflect on the characteristics of teachers or coaches who have influenced them on a broader spectrum than the mere content of their course.
They might identify effective teachers as those with drive and energy. These teachers act as “agents of change” by developing motivation, building trust and paying serious attention to building relationships.
They should connect with meaningful informal conversations and be constructive critics, keeping their students’ spirits up when they’re losing and ensuring the best for all pupils.
We should congratulate Bill Lucas and his team on this thought-provoking and stimulating text that promotes mere knowledge into creative, practical skills.
The text fits perfectly with the efforts of the Senedd in Wales/Estyn and some schools/academy trusts in England to promote creativity that supports learners’ critical thinking and employability skills.
In addition, the text addresses strategies to extend the breadth of course content at post-16 levels, which in many areas fails to prepare learners for work and life in society.
All leaders, aspiring leaders, school and college governing bodies and sporting coaches should read this excellent book to extend their vision of learning and performance.
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