The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education

The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education

In June 2019 Mandy Cryan, head teacher and Lorna Rose, Artist in Residence at Lillian de Lissa Nursery School talked with Professor Simon James from Durham Commission on Creativity and Education. 


‘The Durham Commission was convened to look at how our education system and wider system of learning for children can grow that capacity for creativity. We began by asking how creativity is experienced and valued in the world. Creativity, of course, goes by many names. It may be called intuition, enquiry, or expression; for business, it may be described as innovation, invention or entrepreneurship. In all areas of life, from the sciences and humanities to the arts, creativity is seen as the ability to think laterally and come up with imaginative solutions to problems, to work across disciplines or to enjoy constructive play.’

The discussion was exciting, layered and almost frantic as we all tried to share our ideas on creative practice, how this can be carried out depending on the needs and dynamic of the children, and to what end we are striving. 

It could have gone on for days but we only had a few hours to fully explain why we think creativity is absolutely vital and fundamental to very young children’s educational and personal development. 

It turned out that we were all metaphorically shouting about the same thing: Creativity is not solely about the arts, creativity can help develop a child’s view on engaging with new experiences and be a positive factor in a child’s wellbeing. If we equip children with knowledge based on creative experience they will be prepared to face the challenges thrown at them, not only in school, but also in life.

Read the final report here:

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