Creative Schools Robinson, K., & Aronica, L. (2016). Creative schools: the grassroots revolution that's transforming education. NY, NY: Penguin Books.


Back to Basics: The Standards Movement

  • Emphasized the three Rs
  • Emphasized STEM fields
  • Emphasized preparing for college
  • Standardization, Competition, Corporatization
  • It was a partial success

Industrial Farming

  • Goal is to produce higher yields of crops
  • Four principles that can also apply to education
  • Health, Ecology, Fairness, Care

Creative Teaching

  • Creativity draws from many powers that we all have by virtue of being human.
  • Creativity is possible in all areas of human life.
  • Creativity is about fresh thinking.
  • Being creative is not just about having off-the-wall ideas and letting your imagination run free; it involves refining, testing, and focusing what you're doing.
  • Creativity is not the opposite of discipline and control.
  • Creativity is not a linear process in which you have to learn all the necessary skills before you get started.
  • The real driver of creativity is an appetite for discovery and a passion for the work itself


  • Structure - how the whole curriculum is conceived, as well as the relationships between the various elements
  • Content - the material that has to be learned
  • Mode - how students engage with the curriculum (how the material is taught)
  • Ethos - the general atmosphere and character of schooling

Review Questions

  1. True or False: The Standards Movement was a total success.
  2. What are the four principles of Industrial Farming/Education?
  3. What are the four parts of curriculum?

Last 1/3 of Book

The Need for Assessment

  • Assessment is the process of making judgments about students' progress and attainment
  • Assessment has three roles: diagnostic, formative, summative
  • One problem is the use of letters and grades that are light on description and heavy on comparison
  • One way to fix this is to enhance the value of assessment by separating the elements of description and comparison
  • Assessment should interweave naturally with the daily processes of teaching, learning, and curriculum development

Assessment should support students learning and achievement in three ways:

  1. Motivation
  2. Achievement
  3. Standards

Roles of Principals

Principles should fill the roles of leadership and management.

  • Leadership is about vision
  • Management is about implementation; makes sure that there are systems and resources available for the vision

Great principals should know that their job is not primarily to improve test results. It is to build community among students, teachers, parents, and staff.

Beyond the Gates

Great schools need to connect to the wider communities they are part of. Students are working together to dissolve the barriers that separate elementary school, high school, and college.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals addresses three core areas that every school leader needs to address:

  1. Collaborative Leadership
  2. Personalizing Your School Environment
  3. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment to Improve Student Performance

Bring It All Back Home

Parents and families have a major influence on children's achievement in school. There are many kinds of benefits when schools and parents work together.

  • See the individual
  • Life is not linear
  • Parental guidance
  • Home to school

National Standards for Family-School Partnerships

  1. Welcoming all families into the school community
  2. Communicating effectively
  3. Supporting student success
  4. Speaking up for every child
  5. Sharing power
  6. Collaborating with community

Health, Ecology, Fairness, Care

Fostering Health

  • Enthusiastic learners
  • Expert teachers
  • Uplifting vision

Nurturing the Ecology

  • Inspiring leaders
  • Alignment and coherence
  • Well-focused resources

Promoting Fairness

  • Partnership and collaboration
  • Strategic innovation
  • Advocacy and permission

Providing Care

  • High standards
  • Intelligent accountability
  • Continuous professional development


Created By
Abby Helt


Created with images by kjarrett - "Sir Ken Robinson"

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