This paper reports on a systematic review of 210 pieces of educational research, policy and professional literature relating to creative environments for learning in schools, commissioned by Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS). Despite the volume of academic literature in this field, the team of six reviewers found comparatively few empirical studies published in the period 2005–2011 providing findings addressing the review objectives. There was, however a reasonable weight of research evidence to support the importance of the following factors in supporting creative skills development in children and young people: flexible use of space and time; availability of appropriate materials; working outside the classroom/school; ‘playful’ or ‘games-bases’ approaches with a degree of learner autonomy; respectful relationships between teachers and learners; opportunities for peer collaboration; partnerships with outside agencies; awareness of learners’ needs; and non-prescriptive planning. The review also found evidence for impact of creative environments on pupil attainment and the development of teacher professionalism. LTS intend to use the review as a basis for recommendations to Scottish schools in promoting creativity within Curriculum for Excellence. However, the findings of the review and methodological gaps in the reviewed studies have implications for policy, practice and research internationally.
Davies, D., Jindal-Snape, D., Collier, C., Digby, R., Hay, P., & Howe, A. (2013). Creative learning environments in education—A systematic literature review. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 8, 80-91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2012.07.004