Educators have a great deal of tools at their disposal when it comes to measuring their students’ academic progress. Between observing responses to creative curriculum, test scores, and classroom engagement, this progress can be made somewhat clear as the year progresses. Nonetheless, it can be more difficult for educators to determine exactly how their students are developing in terms of creativity. While this process is difficult, it’s certainly not impossible. Take a look at these tips for assessing creativity in students and try implementing a few of them in your classroom:

1. Observe Moments of Difficulty

Whether you’re an educator, parent, or school administrator, you’re bound to celebrate moments in which your students succeed. Nonetheless, there may be more to be taken from actually observing instances in which they struggle. According to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, creativity can often be gauged well by watching students deal with new challenges. Students who are learning creatively are more likely to view these moments as opportunities to further their education through new processes. For example, a student who is using trial-and-error methods to determine how to take on a new problem is learning creatively. This sort of progress should be observed, encouraged, and celebrated in your classroom on a regular basis.

2. Note How Your Students are Communicating

This is a photo of two students constructing a model.

Obviously, we all want our students to arrive at the correct answer to whatever problem they are working on. Still, their creativity may often be indicated not by the correct answer, but rather by how they communicate that solution. More clearly, students who constantly use the same method or speech tactics to discuss the answers to their work aren’t creatively engaging with their curriculum. According to Edutopia, when students continue to find new and exciting ways to speak about their academic work and the answers that they are developing, teachers will have an indication that their creativity is growing along with their knowledge base. In order to foster this within your classroom, try encouraging students to use new methods of communication via classroom activities. For example, in a math class you might ask a student to show the class their answer by working backwards through a problem instead of forward.


3. Look For Natural Inquisitiveness 

As many teachers will tell you, the most constructive classroom conversations and lessons often come from student-led learning. When the teacher is able to present a topic and watch as the students explore it largely on their own, the creative processes are moving at an ideal level. In an article recently tweeted by Edutopia, inquisitiveness was cited as a natural indicator of creativity on the part of the student.

If you’re looking for a basic way to determine exactly how your students are engaging creatively with their work, try observing how inquisitive they are in relation to daily lessons. If the conversation flows naturally with the teacher acting as a moderator instead of a lecturer, then it’s being indicated that students are working creatively.