ABSTRACT The concept of creativity is hugely popular in education, but the way it is used to defend dissimilar and sometimes even opposing paradigms baffles observers. The author argues that the use of the concept of creativity within education cannot be understood without taking into account its historical construction. From the moment of its introduction, educators appropriated and adapted the concept of creativity to fit their particular needs, traditions and practices. The article will show how the use of creativity as a rhetorical tool was made possible by the strong link between creativity, mental health and social harmony which has been a stereotype in the creativity literature since the 1950s. To demonstrate these points, the author will explore Belgian catholic education between 1930 and 1980. pp. 51–73

Keywords: creativity; education; conceptual history; Catholicism

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University of Leuven

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