Problem and project-based learning through an investigation lesson: significant gains in creative thinking behaviour within the Australian foundation (preparatory) classroom

Sharifah Balkish Albar, Jane Elizabeth Southcott

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Creativity is identified as the 21st Century Skills needed for the new economy. Diverse positive developmental outcomes are associated with young children's creativity. Creativity is well documented as not limited to any particular discipline or activity, but most research in the Australian context relates to art, dance and music education. Very little is known to what extent creativity is integrated and implemented outside the expressive arts. Research that links curricular areas and creativity is scarce both in the international arena and within the Australian contexts. In this case-study, I explore how Foundation-preparatory stage children express their creative thinking behaviour across the curriculum within the strategies used by teachers in school classrooms environment. Thirty-five hours of observations, semi-structured interviews, and artefacts data were gathered over five months. Purposive sampling through a local school was selected because the school's motto and mission promulgates partnership that fosters inspiration, innovation, and creativity. Findings reveal that problem-and-project-based learning strategies used in the Investigation lesson immensely aroused children's creative processes. Exploratory thinking, risk-taking, experimentation and being resilient were exhibited in the creative endeavour. Creativity in varying level of occurrence was found exhibited across curriculum but all elements of creativity which is both cognitive and affective were manifested intensely in Investigation lessons. Such engagement is applicable to all educational research, learning and teaching by enabling people to grow ideas together. This offers more informed perspectives around developing creative capabilities across curriculum for researchers, teacher educators and curriculum developers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100853
    Number of pages19
    JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


    • Creative process
    • Early childhood creativity across curriculum
    • Investigation lesson
    • Problem-based learning
    • Project-based learning
    • Teacher-child interactions

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