• Creative Thinking across the World

  • There is a growing interest in the importance of Creative Thinking in education. The World Economic Forum (WEF), for example, sees it as one of four key competencies along with Communication and Collaboration.

  • The Center for Curriculum Redesign has a very similar view of the elements of what should be on a curriculum today.

  • The Center for Curriculum Redesign, in common with the WEF, separates Critical Thinking from Creativity where we at GIoCT, like PISA, combine these aspects of divergent and convergent thinking into one powerful concept - Creative Thinking.


    Researchers at the Brookings Institution in the USA have been tracking the spread across the world of skills like Creative Thinking for a number of years. Using the Center for Curriculum Redesign model above researchers have shown that 21 educational jurisdictions (countries or states) now explicitly mention Creative Thinking. Their key finding is that, while Creative Thinking may be on the educational agenda, guidance is as yet lacking on pedagogy and assessment.

  • In a landmark report the Centre for Strategic Education CSE and Center for Curriculum Redesign have gone one stage further and developed a way of ranking countries according the degree to which their National Curricula focus on competences like Creative Thinking. The first index below is for Creativity and the second for Critical Thinking.

  • Creativity across the World

    Critical Thinking across the World

  • approximation of any kind of rank order as definitions of Creativity and Critical Thinking vary across the world. So too does the availability of data. Nevertheless, the tables provide interesting food for thought.

    A recent study by the OECD exploring the fostering of students’ Creativity and Critical Thinking offers useful guidance as to how Creative Thinking can be taught and assessed. The countries involved in the study were Brazil, Holland, France, Hungary, India, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, USA and Wales.

    Close up on Australia

  • Across the world Australia has led thinking in terms of describing, mandating, embedding and assessing Creative Thinking. Creative Thinking is one a number of general capabilities and is referred to as Critical and Creative Thinking. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) provides national guidance:


    Each State then interprets this general guidance. In Victoria the Education Department has further simplified the four elements described by ACARA into three - Questions and Possibilities, Reasoning and Meta-Cognition. It also produces detailed guidance for schools showing progression from the beginning of schooling through to High School. Victoria has led the world in assessment, developing scenario-based online activities to assess progress of fifteen year old students in Critical and Creative Thinking.


    In Western Australia, in partnership with the Education Department, a community organisation FORM has pioneered the teaching and assessment of Creative Thinking in schools through its Creative Schools programme. A Field Guide produced jointly by FORM and Rethinking Assessment offers practical suggestions for teachers.