The Internationalization of Creativity as a Learning Competence


  • Tavis Jules Loyola University Chicago
  • Kelly Cebold Sundberg Loyola University Chicago


Intelligent Economy, 21st century frameworks, International Assessments, creativity, learning competences


This study uses a quantitative content analysis of learning competences – as described and prescribed in 21st century frameworks – and those competences evaluated by international assessments to explore the nexus between recommendation and reality. In drawing insights from the theoretical underpinnings of human capital theory we argue, with respect to creativity, that (i) there is a degree of alignment in the prescription and assessment of creativity as a learning competence and (ii) there is a divergence in the way the competence is discussed, which may account for the lack of acknowledgement as a key skill in preparing students for employment in the knowledge-based economy. These findings suggest a discrepancy between recommendation and reality in that the international frameworks consistently place creativity in the top five highest priority learning competences being prescribed while one of the two international assessments examined places it in the top five highest priority learning competences being assessed. Based on the discourse examined in the documents, we assert that schools need to adjust how and when creativity is discussed, ensuring it is included in every subject. This will ensure students link creativity and innovation in every subject area and, subsequently, every industry in the knowledge-based economy. By making this shift, schools will help students ensure long-term employability as the knowledge-based economy transforms into the intelligent economy.

Author Biographies

Tavis Jules, Loyola University Chicago

Tavis D. Jules, EdD, is an Associate Professor of Cultural
and Educational Policy at Loyola University Chicago,
specifically focusing on Comparative and International
Education and International Higher Education. His most
recent books include The New Global Educational Policy
Environment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Gated,
Regulated and Governed (2016); Educational Transitions in
Post-Revolutionary Spaces: Islam, Security and Social
Movements in Tunisia (with Teresa Barton, 2018); and ReReading
Education Policy and Practice in Small States:
Issues of Size and Scale in the Emerging Intelligent Society
and Economy (with Patrick Ressler, 2017).

Kelly Cebold Sundberg, Loyola University Chicago

Kelly Cebold Sundberg, M.A., earned her degree in Cultural Education and Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago. She works on the Worldwide and U.S. Education teams at Microsoft, based in Chicago. Her research focuses on the intersection of education and employment, specifically the alignment of learning competences and entry-level workforce competences in the global economy.