The Impact of the Core Knowledge Curriculum on Creativity

John Baer
2003 Creativity Research Journal  
The Core Knowledge Sequence, which has been proposed as a voluntary national curriculum and has been adopted in many school districts across the United States, is unusually specific about the content students are expected to learn at each grade level. This has led to suggestions that it may promote rote learning and result in a decline in creativity. This possibility was investigated by comparing the creative performance of middle school students who had been attending Core Knowledge schools to
more » ... nowledge schools to that of students at a matched non-Core Knowledge school. There were 3 comparisons: poems written by seventh-grade students, short stories written by seventh-grade students, and short stories written by eighth-grade students. Experts evaluated the creativity of these stories and poems using a consensual assessment technique. Only 1 of the 3 comparisons yielded a statistically significant difference, and that difference favored Core Knowledge students. These results suggest that the Core Knowledge Curriculum and its detailed and specific requirements of content to be studied at each grade level do not negatively impact students' creativity and may even have a positive impact on creative performance in some areas.
doi:10.1207/s15326934crj152&3_20 fatcat:yih4aize5rddtizabemasxhlbe