School of Creative Education Mission and Vision

Mission and Vision

SoCE’s Mission

Our mission is to enable students to learn, grow and achieve in light of who they are through the creative process rather than traditional academic processes, within a learning culture that is founded upon the world’s best creative education and democratic education principles and practices.

SoCE’s Vision

Our vision is to facilitate a creative education and democratic ‘school of thought’ for creative students on campuses throughout Australia, within a learning culture that is founded upon the world’s best creative education and democratic education principles and practices.

“Tomorrow’s citizens must be effective problem-solvers.
That is precisely what intelligence is all about”
(Isaksen and Parnes, 2013)

What concerns us

Research shows:

  • global social, ecological, political and industrial sectors are calling loudly for more creativity
  • children are more likely to be able to deal with the social and ecological problems facing them if their creativity is empowered
  • the creative industry in Australia is growing 40% faster than any other
  • 25% of children prefer creativity and display creative characteristics impaired by the academic process
  • the creative process is an equally, if not more effective approach to learning as the academic process as it is a natural, huma learning process
  • when creativity is entrenched in a culture, it generates a more responsive, more just society; a society that collaborates and solves its problems… an active, empowered culture, and
  • creativity and its capacities grow only by being creative, by being immersed in one’s creative state of being.

The children who need us

The number of children

25% of Australian society has a preference for creativity. (SGS Economics and Planning, 2013). They have a preference for creative jobs, creative lifestyles, and learning through the creative process over academic processes.

Therefore, we may presume that 25% of children also prefer creativity, and these children learn better through the creative process rather than traditional academic processes. That is a lot of children.

Research released in October 2015 showed 81,199 nineteen-year-old Australians had not
completed school (Lamb, et al. 2015). This number happens to be 25% of our student community.

It is to these children our school is dedicated.

The childrens’ struggles

In the academic classroom, our 25% stand out, often as problematic children. Dr Barbara Clark of the California State University, Los Angeles, identified several creative characteristics which are perceived as problematic including little tolerance for boredom, preference for complexity and open-endedness, need for space, need to release certainties, need to question, ability to accept tension and conflict, concern with truth, desire for more spontaneity, need for more autonomy, high theoretical and aesthetic values, and a desire for a greater involvement with daydreaming.

What tends to happen for these students is they “are not able to identify with what they are
learning and are unable to see how the information applies to everyday life, and are more likely become unresponsive in class and possibly be disruptive to others”. Children can end up in a
“series of processes, actions and consequences” (KPMG, 2009) consisting of disciplinary
procedures including suspension and expulsion, and referred to alternative educational and
specialist services. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt” (Plath, 2000).

The childrens’ needs

While every person is born with power to create, our 25% demonstrate the ingredient of creative motivation that, when united with creative capabilities, form creative behaviours (Rhode’s
‘person’ strand, 1961) from which a “high level of creative achievement can be expected
consistently” (Torrence, 1979).

Offering learning through the creative process is key to attaining high levels of creative achievement, however, “Simply requesting students be more creative can render them more creative if they believe the decision to be creative will be rewarded rather than punished” (O’Hara & Sternberg, 2000). “Culture plays a role in the development of creativity by increasing the rewards and decreasing the costs” (Sternberg, 2006). Learning successfully through the creative process is best met by the quest of a whole school culture… including learning and governance.

SoCE as a solution

Creativity is a state of being.

It has three factors… skill, practices and knowledge. Many creative skills we’re aware of, such as imagination and divergent and critical thinking. However, creative practices we’re less familiar with, and creative knowledge even lesser-so again.

For example, creative practices include self-discipline, self-motivation and self-evaluation, and creative knowledge (theory) includes creativity’s purpose, functions and gifts.

So, to be creative, one must master these three factors of creativity:

  • creative skills
  • creative practices, and
  • creative knowledge.

However, to be creative (remember creativity is a state of being), requires IMMERSION.

Creative Education must, therefore, educate through the creative process rather than the academic process.

SoCE facilitates developmentally appropriate creative experiences that build upon each student’s innate state of creativity and drive for creative and academic learning.

By the time students graduate, their creative state should be self- mastered, so they may:

  • create their lives and enterprises
  • collaborate on social and ecological change, and
  • co-create their desired culture.

By being creative in their learning experiences, our students will know creativity is a learning
journey. Whenever they are needing to create, do and learn something new, they will have the cognitive insight and creative capacity to do so.

“Tomorrow’s citizens must be effective problem-solvers.
That is precisely what intelligence is all about”
(Isaksen and Parnes, 2013)

SoCE’s educational objectives

For our children to enable their creativity, their education must be creative.

Our objectives are to enable each students’:

  • lifelong creative learning journey
  • capacity to identify and create solutions to problems
  • development of creative and co-creative capacities and capabilities
  • ability to co-create their society, environment and collective aesthetic
  • progression through curriculum levels, and
  • achievements of national benchmarks in literacy and numeracy

by facilitating and evaluating developmentally appropriate creative and democratic experiences that build upon students’ innate state of creativity and drive for creative and academic learning, and to ensure the school:

  • plans for and achieves improvements in these learning outcomes in the context of our creative and democratic learning community.

Australia’s Victorian government states in its 2015 Education State Consultation Paper, “Our economy is changing rapidly and we’re experiencing unprecedented demand for highly skilled and creative workers. Employers want a workforce that can think critically and creatively, apply skills that are relevant to industry, understand the world through the eyes of others, and work collaboratively to solve problems.”

The creativity agenda is here, and many schools around the world are educating to it. The difficulty is that creative education in the mainstream environment requires substantial changes in curriculum, delivery, and evaluation practice.

So, creative schools are being consistently created.

From across the globe, approximately 610 student-directed, learner-centred educational settings are registered with the Alternative Education Resource Organization in New York. AERO’s goal is to advance student-driven, learner-centred approaches in education. SoCE is registered with AERO, along with 12 other schools across Australia, and has developed supportive relationships particularly with
Fitzroy Community School in North Fitzroy and Koonwarra Village School in Koonwarra.

As an example, a review of research on inquiry-based and cooperative learning by Dr Brigid Barron and Dr Linda Darling-Hammond from Stanford University found, “Decades of research illustrating the benefits of inquiry-based and cooperative learning, helping students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a rapidly changing world.”

The results they found include:
• “students learn more deeply when they can apply classroom-gathered knowledge to real-world problems, and when they take part in projects that require sustained engagement and collaboration
• active learning practices have a more significant impact on student performance than any other variable including student background and prior achievement
• students are most successful when they are taught how to learn as well as what to learn, and
• students learn increasingly important twenty-first century skills, such as the ability to work in teams, solve complex problems, and to apply knowledge gained through one lesson or task to other circumstances.”


Barron, Brigid, and Darling-Hammond, Linda. Teaching for Meaningful Learning: A Re-view of 
Research on Inquiry-Based and Cooperative Learning. Stanford University. [Re-port] Retrieved from

State of Victoria Department of Education and Training. (2015) The education state; consultation paper. Retrieved from

“Tomorrow’s citizens must be effective problem-solvers.
That is precisely what intelligence is all about”
(Isaksen and Parnes, 2013)

SoCE’s materials

Our values of:

  • sustainability
  • self-sufficiency
  • re-cycled and up-cycled
  • hand-made, and
  • local

inform our choice of materials, toys and furnishings and will be incorporated into the buildings and overall development of our property as well.

We aim to be Australia’s first metro off-grid school!

SoCE as a model of education

SoCE is a unique and specialised model of education.

SoCE has been designed through years of research and collaboration with excellent creativity philosophers,creative education experts, business mentors, alternative education organisations, and creative education brother and sister schools from around the world.

SoCE’s business model, cultural model, and learning and teaching model are driven by the principle of integrated creativity.

‘Integrated creativity’ is a term Jane uses that describes creativity as the foundation of every element of SoCE, forming a holistic educational model.

For our children to activate their creativity, their education must be creative.

Creativity, just like academia, is a learning and teaching methodology. But learning creatively isn’t easy… learning consciously about creativity isn’t easy, just as living creatively isn’t easy. Learning creatively has it’s own set of challenges. Every time creatives aspire for new outcomes, they employ the creative process and in doing so, embark on a new learning journey rich with inner and outer challenges.

We are dedicated to increasing our students’ creativity and co-creativity so they may learn how they learn through the creative process. Creative education gives children the practice they need to graduate as masters of their own creative processes… thereby positioning themselves as capable, lifelong learners and contributors to local and global social and ecological creations.