CULTIVATING CREATIVITY IN THE CLASSROOM
As a new school year begins, why not create an educational environment that cultivates creativity in the classroom! Donald Treffinger, a leading theorist in the field of creativity, believes that for many children, a major source of criticism and a barrier to self is “right answer fixation.” That is when children are criticized for ideas that are out of the ordinary or different. This so-called “right answer fixation” ultimately leads children to take fewer risks – creative risks, out-of-the-box thinking, innovative reasoning. Their ability to produce a solution suffers. Following are a few tips and tricks that you can use to avoid this and keep their creative juices flowing:
1. Love & Listen: Sounds strange? Peter Reynolds, a best-selling author and advocate for “off the path” learners, says, “The most powerful tool we have to help students realize their true potential is love.” He suggests that through the “humanly exquisite act of listening” we can change a life — even save a life.
2. Leadership: Reynolds believes that connection is the key to cultivating creativity. We need “brave leaders who can invent the future with their staff and with the next generation.” Those who dare to go beyond the bounds of convention.
3. Environment: Create an open-minded environment. Allow and teach kids how to listen to others and to themselves, exploring new ideas and possibilities that lead to problem solving.
4. Adapt: Chris Matier, a writer and specialist in education, suggests adapting to students’ ideas rather teaching that there is only one way — yours!
5. Non-judgmental: “Accept unusual ideas from your students by suspending judgment of their divergent problem-solving,” Matier says.
6. Humor: Creativity and humor are linked. Encourage it. Humor loosens the hold of the intellect, which can restrict playfulness and out-of-the-box thinking.
The education we give our kids today can’t possibly anticipate the information and skills they’ll need years down the road. But as educator and creativity expert Ken Robinson points out, “If they have the tools to be creative and to innovate, they will have a much better chance of succeeding no matter how the world changes.”
Every child is naturally creative. Let’s keep it that way.
- Who Killed Creativity? – Who Killed Creativity? a great book by Jason Gallette, Andrew & Gaia Grant; first published in 2012, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 300 pages.
- The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything – Sir Ken Robinson’s best-selling book based on a collection of interviews with highly successful people.
- Stop Stealing Dreams – Stop Stealing Dreams is a 30,000-word manifesto written by Seth Godin; first published as a free e-book in February 2012.
- http://www.teachersource.com/ – A website offering teachers a plethora of innovative tools geared for science, K-12 and College.
- http://www.pbs.org/wnet/innovation/ – Learn about fascinating innovations.
- http://www.creativity-portal.com/ – Invigorating, online community alive with the voices of creative people in various career fields.
- http://www.teacherprintables.net/ – Hundreds of free printable teaching resources especially made for teachers to quickly print-off and use in their classrooms.
- Innovative Connections (http://innovativeconnections.blogspot.com/p/blogs.html) – Contains a plethora of interesting blogs for teachers and by teachers.
- IDEAS AT WORK (https://ideaworksblog.wordpress.com/) – Created for Abraham S. Fischler faculty, staff and students to be encouraged and motivated by creativity and innovation.
- Do Schools Kill Creativity (Sir Ken Robinson) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY
- Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play –http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/tim_brown_on_creativity_and_play.html