1st Edition

Creativity and Education in China Paradox and Possibilities for an Era of Accountability

By Carol A. Mullen Copyright 2017
    202 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    202 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Published with Kappa Delta Pi, Creativity and Education in China takes readers on a journey through research-supported ideas and practical examples of creative and innovative schooling within a changing regime. Analyzing the consequences of exam-centric accountability on the creative and critical capacities of Chinese students, author Carol A. Mullen’s dynamic portrait of a country serves as both a cautionary tale and an inspiring example to emulate. Examining creative endeavors and breakthroughs within a competitive, globalized educational landscape, the chapters are organized around environmental and global issues impacting education, expressions of creativity within pre-K–12 schools in China, and creative innovation in higher education learning environments. Presenting captivating cases from the field, the book offers novel approaches to fostering creativity as a natural, integrated part of high-stakes education systems in Eastern and Western cultures alike.



    Foreword by Faye Snodgress




    Part I: Environment

    1 Creativity Frames and Aesthetic Study in Chinese Environments

    2 Economics and Education in the Asia–Pacific Century

    Part II: Expression Cases

    3 Dragon, Fish, and Butterfly in Rural Pre-K–12 Schools

    4 Garden, Horse, and Crane in Urban Pre-K–12 Schools

    Part III: Innovation Cases

    5 Larva: Discovery of Creativity in Undergraduate Education

    6 Bamboo: Accountability Debate in Undergraduate Education

    7 Water: Curriculum in an Accountability–Creativity Environment

    8 Bat: Creativity in Postsecondary Science




    1.1 A Synthesis of Psychology Models of Creativity for Education

    3.1 Kindergarten Dragon

    3.2 Schools of Fish

    3.3 A Boy's Dragon Etching

    4.1 Garden Rooftop

    4.2 Horses Running Wild

    4.3 Elder Cradling Child

    5.1 Miracle Geniuses’ 3D Paper Poster Rendering of the 4-Cs

    5.2 Step-by-Step’s 3D Paper Poster Rendering of the 4-Cs

    5.3 Cardinal Direction’s 3D Paper Poster Rendering of the 4-Cs

    5.4 Overall Curriculum and Phase I Component: Creativity and Accountability Interplay in the Larva Case

    7.1 Overall Curriculum and Phase III Component: Creativity and Accountability Interplay in the Water Case


    Carol A. Mullen is a Professor of Educational Leadership at Virginia Tech and a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Mullen is recipient of the 2016 Jay D. Scribner Mentoring Award from the University Council for Educational Administration. She also received the 2017 Living Legend Award from the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration.

    "A fascinating tale of creativity in China’s education system with significant implications for America."

    • Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas

    "Carol Mullen’s new book takes the reader on a literary journey through an educational culture that is as geographically distant as it is ideologically different. As seen through the research eyes of an American educator, the book frames a discussion of creativity via a comparative analysis. And, through cultural symbolism, the book provides an individual’s insight into the Chinese educational system."

    • Rosemary Papa, Del and Jewell Lewis Endowed Chair, Learning Centered Leadership, Northern Arizona University

    "Mullen has written a very important book examining the tension between the tight hold of rote learning and testing in China and the attempt to introduce creativity in the schools. Though the rote learning approach to teaching and learning can get in the way of serious attempts at creativity, Mullen offers an array of examples in which educators seem open to ideas that encourage critical thinking, student-centered, and activity-based learning."

    • Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar, Stanford University