Creativity forum 2014: academic success of students linked to creativity and empathy of teachers

Friday, 22 August 2014
Stanislav Nemeržitski. Photo: Irina Vassiljeva/ Stanislav Nemeržitski. Photo: Irina Vassiljeva/

"Teachers' ability to empathise is directly linked to students' academic success," claimed Tallinn University doctoral student and service design company Brand Manual client manager Stanislav Nemeržitski at this year's creativity forum, which was entitled 'Creative self-expression'. Nemeržitski was explaining the behaviour typical of young people in searching for information and study materials.

Nemeržitski says students would read more if they had easy access to books – digital access, for example. In response to the claim that teachers have no time for empathy because of their workload, he says it is a matter of priorities.

The creativity forum, which was organised for the third year under the aegis of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia, was this year held on 18 & 19 August at the Narva College of the University of Tartu. It was attended by around a hundred teachers, trainers and education workers from all over the country. This year's forum, entitled 'Creative self-expression', looked for and presented creative forms of expression in words, music, movement, dance, art and drama that can be used in everyday study work, communication and cooperation.

Experts from Estonia and the Nordic countries shared their experience and showcased in practice the theory discussed in the creativity studios that took place at the event. Keynote speaker Nikky Smedley from the United Kingdom opened her presentation by defining creativity through keywords including boldness, communication and trust.

The forum was closed by Irene Käosaar, the director of the General Education Department of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, who highlighted the need to talk to children, ask them questions and put yourself in their shoes. "Creativity is neither a fixed phenomenon nor a nebulous element floating about in the ether, but something that can and should be developed," she said. "Knowledge and creativity should go hand in hand and balance each other out. We have to allow mistakes, since they lead us down creative paths."

  • Loovusstuudio "Draama ja mänguga koolikiusamise vastu"
  • Author: Irina Vassiljeva/
  • Hannes Võrno ja Toomas Roolaid
  • Author: Irina Vassiljeva/
  • Helen Kaasik, Eda Heinla ja Marit Kuusk, ühendus "Loovharidus", loovuseringide korraldajad
  • Author: Irina Vassiljeva/

The education and research strategy of the Nordic Council of Ministers lists the Nordic education system as one of the strongest foundations of society – one that must be developed by giving priority to children and young people. A high-quality and inclusive school supports the well-being and values of every individual and society. This is why the Nordic Council of Ministers looks to support initiatives that improve the knowledge of education professionals and enable the more efficient use of resources. It is necessary to develop creativity, innovation and enterprise in schoolwork, from pre-school to university, in order to contribute to quality and equality in education, work and health.

More information about the creativity forum, as well as pictures and presentations, can be found here.

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