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On Creative Teaching

How  creative ARE  you ?

You see these four random objects and you're maybe thinking, what on earth...why...huh?

brick wallsheeptelegraph poleglass flower

well, have a go at ranking them in order of danger, of cost, of humour potential, and of age
Now consider what they've got in common, and finally, how would you combine them into a new business enterprise?

It could be argued that completing any of those tasks was creative; you made something of value that hadn't existed before you turned your mind to it.

Your thinking was most likely new, though were your answers/solutions 'of value'? And did they serve a purpose other than playing with ideas about randomly placed images?

What if you applied the same type of thinking to challenges such as embedding a new initiative? Solving a staffing problem? Raising academic standards? or making lessons more engaging?

Creativity in learning
is more than painting keywords, dancing times tables or role playing the periodic table. These are interesting activities but creativity in learning goes much further: creative thinking, creative problem solving, building a creative learning environment and nurturing a creative learning community. It's as much about attitude and belief as it is about what you actually do.

Being creative means following one or more of these principles:

  • A belief that
    creativity can change things and improve things

    creative potential is inside everyone and can be found everywhere
    mistakes are to be celebrated, learned from and used
    creativity can be a natural response to pain, suffering and boredom

  • An attitude of
    positivity towards surprising and unexpected events
    openness to new ideas and experiences when they appear
    smart risk-taking
    non-judgement

  • An ability to
    actively seek out new ideas and experiences
    see familiar things in new and different ways
    use both analytic and holistic thinking
    make, think or do things that haven’t been made, thought or done before
Go back to the tasks at the top of this page. Which beliefs, attitudes and abilities helped you to engage with the challenge?

What does it mean for you to, "make something new of value"? Believing that all your learners have the potential to be creative? Taking a risk with your planning and classroom interactions? Allowing 8 seconds thinking time in class and sitting comfortably with the silence while children work it through? Getting the glitter out in numeracy?.

(adapted from Thinking Classroom Magazine Article July 2010)

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