Press "Enter" to skip to content

The one about Creativity


Peace of mind is the most important prerequisite for creative work.

Richard Feynman


Not much of an introduction this week as time is short and I have a PhD thesis to finish marking. However, I was re-reading Eight Marvelous & Melancholy Things I’ve Learned About Creativity a couple of days ago, and figured it’d be a good topic for the newsletter.

Happy May everyone.


Buhlig, J., & Schmitz, M. (n.d.). Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon (No. 144).

Everything is a remix. Today’s author encourages us to embrace our influences to discover our own paths. Join Joe & Mike as they attempt to get in touch with their artistic side and build a more creative life.

I’ve always enjoyed Austin Kleon’s thoughts on creativity, from when I first came across him through his TEDx talk, to ongoing posts from his blog. This podcast is a review of Kleon’s book, Steal like an artist, which I also thoroughly recommend.


Barnett, R. (2020). Towards the creative university: Five forms of creativity and beyond. Higher Education Quarterly, 74(1), 5–18.

A pedagogical creativity exhibits itself in the teaching function of a university. As such, the term pedagogical is a shorthand for all dimensions of teaching in a university. The pedagogical relationship, the media through which teaching is conducted, the use of technologies, the learning experiences opened to students, the nature of the programmes of study and curricula made available and the institutional strategies that have a bearing on students, teaching, learning and assessment: all these matters come into view here. In short, pedagogical creativity is an umbrella concept under which sits a panoply of possibilities.

After initially exploring creativity as a concept, Barnett goes on to discuss five levels of creativity in the context of the creative university:

  1. Intellectual creativity: A university demonstrates an intellectual creativity through its research activities.
  2. Pedagogical creativity: A university is creative through its choice of media, technology, relationships, programmes, and curricula (see excerpt above).
  3. Learning creativity: A university inspires students’ creativity in their approach to learning.
  4. Environmental creativity: A university “reaches out to and engages with its wider hinterland”.
  5. Reflexive creativity: A university “looks at itself and espies its possibilities in the world, making the most of those possibilities”.


Wiggins, G. (2012, February 3). On assessing for creativity: Yes you can, and yes you should. Granted, And… blog.

In Bloom’s Taxonomy – designed to categorize and guide the design of measures – Synthesis was the level of thinking for such creativity, as Bloom makes clear in defining it: Synthesis is here defined as the putting together of elements and parts so as to form a whole. This is a process of working with elements, parts, etc. and combining them in such a way as to constitute a pattern or structure not clearly there before. Generally this would involve a recombination of parts of previous experience with new material, reconstructed into a new and more or less well-integrated whole. This is the category in the cognitive domain which most clearly provides for creative behavior on the part of the learner…

We measure subjective experiences all the time, but for some reason we shy away from doing this in health professions education (and engineering, and maths, and physics). But plenty of other fields have figured out a way to systematically and rigorously assess creativity. Wiggins makes the point that we’ve found ways to assess communication and collaboration, so why not creativity?

Make sure you check out the rubric for assessing creativity.

Leave a Reply