Pete is currently researching best practice for encouraging creative and critical thinking. As part of this research paper Pete is looking to devise a tool to help staff evaluate creative and critical thinking skills. Pete is a honorary research fellow at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol.

Research: Creative and Critical thinking in Early Years Education

Researching best teaching practice in encouraging creative and critical thinking and researching effective methodology of monitoring creative progression

Outcomes: Developing Creativity in Early Years Education

  • Create a resource for Early Years teachers to clarify the concept of creativity and related thinking processes (and emphasis importance evidenced by latest research)
  • Compile a resource for teachers on how to best encourage creative and critical thinking in pre-school children( based on literature meta-analysis and empirical evidence)
  • Devise a monitoring document for teachers to assess creative progression in pre-school children. Trailed/evaluated/revised/Re-trailed

The purpose of my research has been to explore ways in which early years teaching staff can best be supported to encourage the key thinking components of creativity – Creative thinking and Critical thinking and contributing learning dispositions.

Creativity and critical thinking are both core to the EYFS: highlighted as key characteristics of effective learning that embrace all areas of learning however there is very little guidance on the real meaning and definition of creativity or best ways to encourage or ways of assessing creativity.

I believe monitoring children’s progression in creative and critical thinking is extremely important – and its assessment is currently neglected as it is not incorporated in the 17 EYFS early learning goals. I believe in the narrowing the gap agenda– giving children as equal opportunity in life as possible. It is clear creativity skills have an impact on learning power and outcome/ achievement/ self-actualisation. We need to be able to monitor creative and critical thinking progression to ensure we are developing each child to their full potential and also be particularly aware of children that need additional input.

My research encompasses the follow categories:

  • Detailed and wide ranging literature review/analysis
  • Participation in the most recent developments in creativity thinking at national conferences
  • Developing definitions/explanations of creativity, creative thinking and critical thinking that are accessible, relevant and useful for early year practitioners
  • Researching the best ways to encourage thinking progression to enhance creativity in early years children
  • Collecting empirical evidence of situations that have led to creative flow and extended thinking from teachers at St Werburghs Park Nursery School
  • Developing a monitoring system to evaluate children’s development in their creative and critical thinking skills
  • Trialling monitoring system: This is going to be trailed at St Werburghs Park Nursery School
  • Analysis of data/ evaluation/ reflection – leading to revised monitoring document
  • Revision then re-trialled by a number of selected national teaching schools