Creativity in the subject Art and Crafts: the weak link between learning and assessment


Publication date


Series/Report no

DRS Cumulus;2013



Document type


This paper explores the assessment of creativity in the Norwegian school subject Art and Crafts. Creativity, or its sibling, originality is frequently used as an assessment criterion in assignments given to pupils at the level of lower secondary education. Written assessment criteria contribute to the public face of the subject, revealing core values to pupils, parents, headmasters and politicians. I have studied the assessment repertoire of teachers when negotiating final grades and legitimising their assessment practice in interviews.The teachers struggle to find words to describe what makes pupils’ design creative or original. Creativity seems to be something that just happens or not. Some pupils come up with design solutions that fit the teachers’ specifications; others remain frustrated and have to ask for the teacher’s help, which they know from previous experience will lower their grade. The teachers find themselves caught in an educational trap: If they aid the pupils, they could end up assessing their own ideas. Without help, some of the pupils would not proceed from the drawing table to the making of objects. In this, I identify a paradox: one of the subject’s undisputed diamonds, creativity, has a weak link between learning and assessment



Copyright © 2013. Copyright in each paper on this conference proceedings is the property of the author(s). Permission is granted to reproduce copies of these works for purposes relevant to the above conference, provided that the author(s), source and copyright notice are included on each copy. For other uses, including extended quotation, please contact the author(s).

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)