The Question of Creativity in the Finnish Elementary School Curriculum

Juha T Hakala, Taru Konst, Kari Uusikylä, Esa-Matti Järvinen


This article is intended to examine the role of creative education in the design of the national curriculum and the division of lesson hours during the period 2010-2014. During this process, pupils, private citizens and experts from different fields were given the opportunity to submit their contributions to the exercise. The article intends to examine whether the curriculum development exercise fulfilled the conditions for a wide democratic consultation process. Three professional groups, elementary school teachers, artists (writers, visual arts teachers, musicians) and academic engineers (n= 1163) were the main focus of this research project. Creativity related claims, which were posted on the internet, were presented to the research subjects. The results from the study indicated that in many respects, the subjects’ concept of creativity and creative education differed statistically from each other considerably. The views from the teachers and artists revealed that creativity is seen as a source of joy and wellbeing. Engineers tend to view creativity from its utilitarian perspective, particularly with reference to product development and innovation. The results also reveal the challenges of developing a national curriculum through a wide democratic consultation process, an apparently simple exercise, which however failed in its objectives and intentions.

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Journal of Studies in Education ISSN 2162-6952


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