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The assessment of creativity in pre-school children

Project Description

Project reference number: GSBS-2019-115

Creativity is considered an essential element of learning and development in the formative years; and is a key indicator of employability (Florida, 2002). Recent international policy has encouraged the embedding of creativity at all stages of schooling, which in Scotland has been actioned through the national Creative Learning Plan since 2013.

Internationally the OECD are investing in the development of a toolkit to support the promotion and assessment of creativity in primary and secondary education settings. Yet little work has addressed how creativity can be promoted in early years settings, despite being an acknowledged need (Care Inspectorate, 2017).

Furthermore, there is little consensus in the literature about what creativity is, or how it can be adequately assessed. The absence of a gold standard tool for the assessment of creativity at all stages of developments impacts on our understanding and interpretation of the literature in this area. Consequently this PhD will aim to review the existing knowledge base in relation to creativity, particularly in the early years; to identify and critique measurement tools within the field, and as appropriate adapt an existing tool or develop a new tool, for the reliable and valid assessment of creativity in the early years.

Creativity, put simply is about turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. However, if we look deeper, it is suggested that creative individuals are more resilient and that creativity can contribute to the positive mental wellbeing of children (Zarobe and Bungay, 2017) and thus addressing our gap in the measurement of creativity, could have widespread value.

We welcome a more detailed proposal with research objectives supporting the research aim that engages with pertinent research themes, to be sent as part of the application process. Maximum 1500 words.

Supervisor Research Profiles

Director of Studies: Dr. Julie Thomson
GCU Research Online URL:

2nd Supervisor: Dr. Kareena McAloney-Kocaman
GCU Research Online URL:

This project is available as a 3 years full-time PhD study programme with expected start date of 1 October 2019

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying.

To apply for this project, use the following link to access the online application form, as well as further information on how to apply:

Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview within four weeks from the closing date.

Please send any other enquires regarding your application to:

Funding Notes

Exceptional candidates will be put forward for the scholarship competition. The Scholarship packages available include fully funded studentships and fees only scholarships. The fully funded studentships are worth £19,300 per year for 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress. They cover payment of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,800.

For further details on funding see View Website

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