Centre for Educational Research and Innovation - CERI
Fostering Students' Creativity and Critical Thinking
What it Means in School
Creativity and critical thinking are key skills for complex, globalised and increasingly
digitalised economies and societies. While teachers and education policy makers consider
creativity and critical thinking as important learning goals, it is still unclear
to many what it means to develop these skills in a school setting. To make it more
visible and tangible to practitioners, the OECD worked with networks of schools and
teachers in 11 countries to develop and trial a set of pedagogical resources that
exemplify what it means to teach, learn and make progress in creativity and critical
thinking in primary and secondary education. Through a portfolio of rubrics and examples
of lesson plans, teachers in the field gave feedback, implemented the proposed teaching
strategies and documented their work. Instruments to monitor the effectiveness of
the intervention in a validation study were also developed and tested, supplementing
the insights on the effects of the intervention in the field provided by the team
What are the key elements of creativity and critical thinking? What pedagogical strategies
and approaches can teachers adopt to foster them? How can school leaders support teachers'
professional learning? To what extent did teachers participating in the project change
their teaching methods? How can we know whether it works and for whom? These are some
of the questions addressed in this book, which reports on the outputs and lessons
of this international project.
Published on October 24, 2019Also available in: French
A portfolio of rubrics was developed during the OECD-CERI project Fostering and Assessing Creativity and Critical Thinking Skills in Education. Conceptual rubrics were designed to clarify “what counts” or “what sub-skills should be developed” in relation to creativity and critical thinking and to guide the design of lesson plans and support discussions about those skills in the classroom. Domain-general versions are applicable across subjects, and domain-specific derivatives use the language of taught subjects. Assessment rubrics articulate levels of progression or proficiency in the acquisition of creativity and critical thinking skills. Teachers can use them for formative or summative assessment. Students can use them to self-assess their own progress in these domains.
As part of their participation in the OECD-CERI project Fostering and Assessing Creativity and Critical Thinking Skills in Education, experts and teachers across teams in 11 countries developed a bank of lesson plans with a focus on creativity and critical thinking in different subjects areas. These examples aim to inspire teachers internationally by making visible the kind of approaches and tasks that allow students to develop their creativity and critical thinking while acquiring the content and procedural knowledge across different domains of the curriculum. These lesson plans are publicly available as open educational resources.