Towards a Definition of Creativity (page 2)

— Wisconsin Task Force on Arts and Creativity in Education
Updated on Feb 19, 2010


  •  Curious
  • Risk-taker
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Comfortable with ambiguity
  • Comfortable with more than one right answer
  • Open and responsive to diverse perspectives

Environments that Support Creative Development

Both the “culture” and physical space of a learning environment can support learners’ creative development. Nurturing such learning environments is an important role of learning leaders—the teachers, principals, administrators, and business and cultural leaders of a community. Whether in a school, business, or community organization, creative learning environments often share the following characteristics:

Culture of a Creative Environment

  • The creative environment is welcoming; it is a place where learners feel safe in taking risks.
  • A sense of community and teamwork exists among learners.
  • Curiosity is encouraged and respected as an important first step in learning. 
  • Learning is situated in an authentic context and work is focused on important learning goals.
  • Inquiry and investigation are important components of the learning process, as the outcomes of creative work are often unknown at the beginning of a project.
  • Time is allowed for ideas to incubate.
  • Ideas are challenged.
  • Diverse perspectives are welcomed and explored to deepen and strengthen the creative process and products of creativity.
  • “Mistakes” are viewed as a normal part of the learning process and viewed as opportunities to improve.
  • Project-based learning is common; learners often explore open-ended problems.
  • There is an excitement about learning; learners take ownership of their work. 

The Physical Environment

  • The physical learning environment allows for flexibility so learners can work alone, in small groups, and in larger groups.
  • Creative work is visible, communicating the importance of process and production.
  • The environment itself is stimulating and may serve as a provocation for questions and investigations.
  • Learning often extends beyond the confines of the physical environment.

Creativity is a renewable resource that fuels learners’ ability to navigate the unknown.  Developing creative capacities among learners will improve schools, communities, and workplaces throughout Wisconsin.

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