Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Teachers in Europe believe that creativity is fundamental at school

Teachers in Europe believe that creativity is fundamental at school© Harrison Keely

First-ever survey on creativity and innovation in European schools


The European Commission today presented the results of the first-ever survey on creativity and innovation in schools. The results show that 94% of European teachers believe creativity is a fundamental competence to be developed at school, and 88% are convinced that everyone can be creative. In order to achieve that, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are considered very important among teachers (80%): computers, educational software, videos, online collaborative tools, virtual learning environments, interactive whiteboards, and free online material and courses. These results were presented at the Closing Conference of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation in Stockholm, 16 – 17 December.

An overwhelming majority of teachers believe that creativity can be applied to every domain of knowledge and to every school subject (95.5%). They do not see creativity as being only relevant for intrinsically creative subjects such as the arts, music or drama. According to this research, this is of paramount importance for the development of creative thinking as a transversal skill. Creative learning entails a component of curiosity, analysis, and imagination, accompanied by critical and strategic thinking. However, even when the majority of teachers believe everyone can be creative (88%), and that creativity is not solely a characteristic of 'eminent' people (80%), the conditions for favouring creativity are not always available in schools in Europe.

The first aim of the survey has been to understand how teachers in Europe frame and conceptualise creativity. The second has been to collect information on the support they receive and need to foster students’ creativity. This is the first time that a survey has collected such a high number of teachers’ opinions from 32 European countries. The survey was launched by European Schoolnet (EUN), a network of 31 Ministries of Education in Europe and beyond, together with the JRC's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) with the support of the Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture.