Centro Universitario Villanueva (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 1968-1979
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The objective of the current research is to describe creativity as a competency in the context of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), and show some of its limitations and risks if it is understood as an end (final end) of the educational action. It is, therefore, a critical analysis from the perspective of the aims of education (theology) and of creativity as a generic competency of primary importance. The conclusion is that the notion of final order must be articulated with competencies (partial ends) so that they do not substitute each other. This is justified by the educational requirement of the person itself, which is not a way, but an end of the educational action.

There have been many interesting contributions about creativity from the beginning of the EHEA; amongst them, those included in the Bologne Declaration (1995). Their objective is to prepare Europe for new challenges: revitalize the mission of universities or redefine it. In this context, the assessment of learning and skills in terms of competencies has become a central issue and directly affects the quality of educational programs for their legal approval. However, some authors have highlighted the poor presence of the competency "creativity" in the curricula of Spanish universities. At the same time, interesting efforts have taken place in order to help teachers investigate and assess this competency.

It is worth noting the special character of creativity as a competency, because it can be considered a trait of the personality or cognitive style and decision-making capacity of the individual, or a quality of products made by students, or a learned skill. Creativity can be understood in connection with the artistic ability or with any other ability of the person. That is the reason why to define its content is not easy; besides, according to some proposals, it may become the most influential vector or transferable competency in the new socio-cultural and professional context in which college students have to live. The lack of this competency might suggest that the end of education has not been reached, since it capacitates people to face new challenges in a constantly changing world.

However, when the question is further studied, one can see that the notion of competency belongs into the sphere of partial achievements, either by its proximity to the goals or by its authentic understanding. The partial end has not its rationale —its justification— in itself: it is justified by something good of a higher level. Similarly, each partial end is juxtaposed with other ends. Moreover, it depends on various other contexts, and does not affect the final purpose of life itself. The purpose of education has to be analogous to the purpose of life.

It might seem that trying to identify creativity —understood as competency— as the final end of education is based on an utilitarian understanding of the educational action —also at a university level—, in which students are at the service of the good of society, but not of their own good, understood as personal fulfilment. It must be, therefore, clarified which the link between partial goals and final end should be, as well as the characteristics of creativity as competency, that is to say as a partial order. The consideration of creativity as belonging to a special order is particularly relevant, due to its connection with a particular aspect of the person: its character of novelty.
Competencies, Creativity, Bologne, Educational purpose.