Can School Children Be Taught to Think Creatively? The Creativity Policy for Singapore Education

Author: Cheng Quek, Guan
This book examines the construction and practice of creativity policy in Singaporean education, and contributes to the existing body of knowledge on creativity policy.


“The topic is of particular interest for it is possible to argue that Singapore’s education success is built upon teachers faithfully implementing a nationally mandated and comprehensive curriculum. Notwithstanding recent moves to inject flexibility and promote greater initiative and ownership via school based curriculum development, it is far from clear that sufficient changes in pedagogic practice have been achieved. It is in this context that this study is significant. Guan Cheng’s analysis of creativity policy thus provides valuable insights into policy construction, reconstruction and practice in a variety of pedagogic contexts. Her informants include senior bureaucrats, students and teachers; she has given voice to a large number of actors whose involvement is seldom captured in existing analysis. Her conceptualization of ‘spatial creativity’ and the importance of a social space embedded in power relations bring a fresh perspective to the study of educational policy making.” – Prof. S. Gopinathan, Nanyang Technological University

“. . . tackles an interesting practical and theoretical issue: the construction and implementation of creativity policy in a centrally directed and highly disciplined education system. . . . theoretically sophisticated in its location of the issue within Foucauldian theory which it reformulates in an interesting and persuasive way. . . . politically sophisticated in its assessment of longer term policy development as against short term political considerations.” – Prof. Richard Bates, Deakin University

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Foreword Professor S. Gopinathan
1. Introduction: An Overview
2. Contextual and Conceptual Backgrounds
3. Theoretical and Conceptual Perspectives
4. Methodological Framework, Data Collection and Analysis
5. Overarching Discourses
6. Creativity Policy at the Macro Level: Government and Economic Committees
7. Creativity Policy at the Meso Level I: The Ministry of Education
8. Creativity Policy at the Meso Level II: The Singapore Centre for Teaching Thinking and the National Institute of Education
9. Creativity Policy at the Micro Level: Effects on Secondary Schools
10. Meta-Level Analysis
11. Summary and Conclusion