Critical & Creative Thinking

Critical and creative thinking fosters deep learning, builds confidence and prepares students for their future. The importance of teaching critical and creative thinking is widely recognised however the method of teaching and assessment of the curriculum is varied.

Having a shared understanding of what creativity actually is is critical before teaching. This should be unpacked with students and include indicators such as synthesising ideas in original and surprising ways, asking questions to build on an idea, brainstorming multiple ways to solve problems and communicating ideas in new and innovative ways. It is clear here, that there is a close relationship between these critical and creative thinking skills and STEM learning in the Makerspace. 


Use the ‘Maker Cycle’ to guide projects/ learning experiences, whether they are 10 minutes or a term long. This looks different in different schools and Makerspaces and is sometimes called the ‘Design Cycle’. I adapted it for Canterbury Primary School in 2016.

The Maker Cycle
The Maker Cycle used to inform Success Criteria in a project.

Break down the curriculum. I created two resources using the Victorian Curriculum, both are in student friendly language. One is a checklist of ‘I can’ statements that students use to self assess and set goals and the other is a visible curriculum that is displayed in the Makerspace. Students use this to track progress (see Gamification for more information on the importance of making progress visible) and teachers use it to create learning intentions in the Makerspace.

Critical & Creative Thinking Curriculum Checklist – Year 3/4
Part of the Critical & Creative Thinking Visual Curriculum displayed in the Makerspace
Critical & Creative Visual Curriculum

Critical & Creative Visual Curriculum