Creative Leadership in Learning at the Sydney Opera House

  • Michael AndersonEmail author
  • Peter O’Connor
Part of the Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education book series (LAAE, volume 27)


The creative leadership in learning program was a partnership between a major performing arts venue and creative learning researchers. This program developed an approach to creative learning that moved beyond the ‘bums on seats’ approach to performing arts venues and reconceptualised young people as creative makers of art rather than just a convenient audience. This chapter reflects on the process‚ providing some of the key underpinnings and some of the theoretical orientations that drove the development of the creative leadership in learning program. It describes the approaches undertaken to offer school leaders an opportunity to reflect on their school’s approach to creativity and to implementant an approach to creative learning in their schools. The chapter describes the relative roles of the partners in the transformation for a major performing arts venue: from a collection of stages to a making place for young people. The program was developed in the hope that this collection of venues could become a creative resource for young people in Sydney and beyond. The chapter concludes with some reflections on partnerships with large performing arts organisations and academic researchers and reflects on the potential of these kinds of programs to reach new and harder to access young people.


Partnership Creative learning School leadership Performing arts venue 


  1. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2014). Critical and creative thinking. Retrieved June 21, 2015, from
  2. Anderson, M. (2012). Masterclass in drama education: Transforming teaching and learning. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, M. (2016). Negotiating arts education research: Setting the scene. In J. Fleming, R. Gibson, & M. Anderson (Eds.), How arts education makes a difference: Research examining successful classroom practice and pedagogy (pp. 29–38). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, M., & Dunn, J. (2013). Drama and learning: Landscapes of an aspirational pedagogy. In M. Anderson & J. Dunn (Eds.), How Drama activates learning: Contemporary research and practice (pp. 3–11). London: Bloomsbury Academic, imprint of Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, M., & Jefferson, M. (2009). Teaching the screen: Film education for generation next. In Crows Nest. Australia: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  6. Craft, A. (2002). Creativity and early years education: A lifewide foundation. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  7. Davis, S. (2010). Creativity in drama: Explanations and explorations. NJ (Drama Australia Journal), 33(2), 31.Google Scholar
  8. Eisner, E. W. (2002). What can education learn from the arts about the practice of education. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 18(1), 4–16.Google Scholar
  9. Florida, R. L. (2002). The rise of the creative class: And how it’s transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life. New York: Basic books.Google Scholar
  10. Frey, C. B., & Osborne, M. A. (2013). The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?. Sept, 17, 2013.Google Scholar
  11. Galton, M. (2008). Creative practitioners in schools and classrooms (Final report of the project: The pedagogy of creative practitioners in schools). Cambridge: Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and Arts Council England, Creative Partnerships.Google Scholar
  12. Gumusluoglu, L., & Ilsev, A. (2009). Transformational leadership, creativity, and organizational innovation. Journal of Business Research, 62(4), 461–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harris, A. M. (2014). The creative turn. Toward a new aesthetic imaginary. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  14. Hargreaves, A. (2003). Teaching in the knowledge society: Education in the age of insecurity. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  15. Hunter, M. A. (2015). Rethinking industry partnerships. In The Routledge international handbook of the arts and education (p. 361). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Jefferson, M., & Anderson, M. (2017). Transforming schools: Creativity, critical reflection, communication, collaboration. Bloomsbury PublishingGoogle Scholar
  17. Martin, A., Mansour, M., Anderson, M., Gibson, R., Liem, A., & Sudmalis, D. (2013). The role of arts participation in students’ academic and nonacademic outcomes: A longitudinal study of school, home, and community factors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 709–727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. OECD. (2001). What schools for the future?: Education and skills. Paris: OECD Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Puccio, M., Mance, M., & Murdock, M. (2011). Creative leadership: Skills that drive change. Chicago: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Robinson, K. (1999). All our futures: Creativity, culture & education. London: Department for Education and Employment.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sydney School of Education and Social Work, Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Education and Social WorkThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations