My inaugural Thinker in Residence program, Unlocking Creativity, drew to a close on 18 November after two weeks of enthusiastic and thought-provoking conversation and debate.
2011 Thinker in Residence Paul Collard met and inspired hundreds of individuals working in the areas of arts, culture, business and education as part of a comprehensive program of more than 40 events.
Paul’s initial findings have revealed the need for a systemic approach to creative teaching in schools across Western Australia. His organisation, Creativity, Culture and Education, has worked with hundreds of schools in the United Kingdom to introduce creative ways of teaching across the curriculum. The result of this work is compelling evidence that creativity in the classroom improves not only student academic achievement, but also significantly boosts confidence, communication skills and motivation.
It is this approach to teaching that we must embrace for the wellbeing of our own children and young people. If new or different ways of teaching can help our youngest citizens reach their full potential, both academically and personally, then we owe it to them to seriously examine how this can be achieved.
I am grateful to the individuals and organisations who contributed to robust discussion during the fortnight; the feedback I have received about the Thinker in Residence program has been overwhelmingly positive.
The residency has done much more than turn the spotlight on arts and culture; it has sparked a collaborative across-sector desire to improve the creative and cultural experiences of our children and young people. I look forward to working with key stakeholders in the coming months to ensure this enthusiasm translates into tangible outcomes.
Commissioner for Children and Young People