Creativity in Science Education: Perspectives and Challenges in Arts and Science Educational Collaborations.


The rapidly changing nature of the global society and the uncertainty of future developments has increased recognition of the role of creativity as an important ability for the future. In both Argentina and the UK, as well as in other countries around the world, there have been moves to integrate creativity into educational contexts at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. This British Academy Funded award enables collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and the University of San Andres in Buenos Aires, to investigate and examine the contexts and backgrounds that initiate and lead to the development of creative learning and teaching strategies in science education. Building on existing examples of creativity in science, the project involves working with artists and teachers to explore the development, implementation and sustainability of creative teaching practices and the impact it has on students’ learning and motivation.

The project is led by Dr Donald Gray, along with Dr Laura Colucci-Gray of the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen and colleagues Dr Melina Furman and Maria Eugenia Podesta of the University of San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The project builds on a previous study carried out by Dr Gray in collaboration with the Aberdeen City Arts Education Team, Arts as a Tool for Learning Across the Curriculum (ATLAC), which investigated the impact of using various forms of expressive arts with student teachers to increase creativity in teaching and learning.  A short video of the ATLAC initiative can be found here.

 Picture of a Tree

Links established as a result of the ATLAC initiative, and funding obtained from the British Academy, enabled a focus on science education through this collaborative project. Creativity in in Science Education: Perspectives and Challenges in Arts and Science Educational Collaborations, has been funded for three years with the focus of each year as follows:

Year 1: Identification of and learning from existing creative practices in science education and the building of an initial model.

Science Flower Garden


Creative Materials


Science Material

Drawing of Flowers   Picture of Creative Materials   Picture of Science Instruction


A model to present different approaches linking science and creativity

A Picture of a Diagram 

Year 2: Collaborative workshop with teachers and artist to explore development and practice of creative pedagogies in science.


Exploring Creative Science


Diagram of Creative Science


Discussing Creative Science

Picture of Creative Science   Picture of Creative Science   Looking at Creative Science


Year 3: Follow up from teacher workshops and wider survey to supplement the first two years and to scope existing practices and views in primary and secondary practice.

This research project is scheduled to report in September 2016.

Building on, and working in parallel with this project, the BERA Commission Research project led, by Dr Laura Colucci-Gray, is exploring the potential and challenges of developing STEAM education