The study aims to understand, how innovation and creativity are framed within the EU member states’ learning objectives and/or school curricula at primary and secondary level. In total, 37 countries and/or regions were studied, as some regions of the 27 countries (EU27) were investigated individually from each other. Around 1,200 curricula documents were identified and analyzed, using the key search terms.
Two approaches to creativity are used – creativity defined as a creative task or activity is usually linked to specific subjects such as art, music, languages, and technologies, while the other approach conceives creativity more broadly and considers it as a skill („creative thinking“) which should be encouraged and developed in all subjects.
The occurrence of these terms is also analyzed according to the subject and type (whether it’s in primary or secondary school curricula). Since the number and categorization of subjects taught in schools varies across countries, subjects are divided into eight main groups. These are:
• Information and communication technologies (ICT)
• Physical education
• Social sciences
• Natural sciences
The study reveals that creativity is relatively frequently mentioned in school curricula in all countries and is already part of the educational political discourse in most European countries. Its occurrences for both primary and secondary schools are at rather similar levels for all subject groups, with secondary schools slightly above primary schools in most subject groups. It is followed by synonyms whereas innovation hardly occurs at all. The subject group “Arts” shows the highest overall relative occurrences, followed by “ICT” and “Physical Education” while all other subject groups score below the average.
As for Estonia, the study shows the second highest relative occurrences of the search terms in compulsory education school curricula after Northern Ireland, more than twice above the EU27 average. For the term creativity, in the primary school level it has the highest relative occurrence, this can be observed across various subjects.