By Jessica Robinson
Are you a teacher who wants to offer more than knowledge to your learners? Or desire to help them understand their inner abilities and develop their talents? Fostering creativity might be the answer!
In this article, we look at a natural skill, and in fact, an exceptional gift known as creativity. We will further continue to understand its importance and how to cultivate it in a classroom. So, let’s get started!
Creativity: What is Creativity & What Does it Really Mean to be Creative?
In simple words, creativity refers to the ability to come up with new ideas or create something new that is useful. People who are creative are able to bring about incredible breakthroughs or innovations in any area of their specialization. They may take what seems ordinary to us and bring out extraordinary things or ideologies.
One study by NASA asserted that we are all born creative, but many of us aren’t creative in the real sense. So why is that so? In the study that involved children between the age of 4 and 5, it was found that 98% of the children fell in the genius category. But the subsequent studies left the scientists in shock as well.
The results showed that only 30% of the previous respondents fell in the genius category after five years and when the study was conducted again at the age of 15, only 12% came up in the genius category. The results worsened with the passage of time! So what happened?
The Need to Foster Creativity
Like imagination, independent thinking, and curiosity, creativity is another skill or trait that can be nurtured. However, the environments we expose our children or learners to, commonly affect these natural skills. Precisely, when kids are exposed to environments and experiences that promote creativity, they become creative or more creative.
Precisely, they are able to reflect, utilize or develop their creative muscles. Like any other skill, creativity can develop or decline in a child, learner, or person. The lack of creativity can hamper a learner’s learning experiences, academic performance, and success in later life.
Therefore, it’s very important for teachers and parents to help nurture a child’s creativity and other soft skills that are generally within them from childhood. Helping kids or learners to exercise or become creative can help them in many ways for example;
- Independent Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
- Self-Awareness etc.
Music and music-related activities can increase creativity in learners; however, there are so many other approaches to fostering creativity in children and learners. Teachers can leverage these to help produce formidable future professionals!
5 Incredible Ways to Foster Creativity in a Classroom
1. Topic Introduction Followed by Questions
Much as technology is conquering the educational sphere, there is no way traditional learning approaches can be eliminated from the education systems. These seven teaching strategies and other teaching methods like direct instruction or explicit teaching can be altered for fostering creativity in learners.
As a teacher, you can introduce a topic and then ask students different questions related to the topic. Analyze their answers and style and then build on that. For example, you can explain what science is and then ask the students how science is currently influencing our way of living.
This will not only help students become creative, but they will also learn the several applications of science in daily life. In the long run, the students will become more creative and cognitively flexible.
2. Use STEM Activities
The future of the world lies in the hands of problem solvers! Innovation in the field of science is seen as a major player in tackling current problems like diseases, infections, global warming, and poor standards of living. That is also why STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects are given prime importance. There is also another concept known as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) that includes art activities.
Likewise, try to leverage STEM or STEAM activities as a teacher in order to foster creativity in learners. STEM and STEAM activities are generally hands-on interactions where students apply their knowledge and skills to problem-solving.
They not only attain instruction but also engage in activities that provide a platform to apply and reflect on what they have learned. Today, there are many interactive STEM learning apps that even promote various learning outcomes for learners.
3. Recognize & Appreciate Effort
Quite often, children or learners aren’t given a supportive learning environment which kills or diminishes their creativity. Besides that, there is a range of educational systems that do not favor the fostering of creativity alongside other vital skills like imagination. In the long run, this affects the learners’ learning outcomes and success.
Also, many teachers emphasize scores or marks and this downplays many learners’ potential. Therefore, as a teacher, try to recognize students’ learning efforts and progress. Learners who try out new learning approaches despite their poor performance deserve to be recognized.
For that, a teacher can guide a student through the learning process. Let the learner know that effort and doing things differently also matter. In this way, a learner will become creative and motivated to try out things differently.
4. Try out Digital Tools
Technology has become a wheel for every aspect of life and there is no way we can ignore its influence in the education realm. On a favorable note, technology has altered the way students learn and has made learning more immersive. Instead of sticking to traditional teaching techniques solely, it’s essential to try out new learning techniques for example apps.
Introducing your students to smart classes, learning apps, and hands-on activities is one of the best approaches that can prevent schools from killing creativity in learners. Technologies like VR, AI, and gamification are currently seen as effective approaches to fostering creativity and enhancing learning outcomes and experiences.
5. Help Students Learn Through Mistakes
We once knew that experience is the best teacher, but this statement ignores the aspect of “how”. Precisely, mistakes, failures, and challenges are the best learning opportunities. Quite often, schools train learners to be successful, but many times, success comes after multiple failures.
Since teachers emphasize success more than the process, many students recognize failure and challenges as threats and easily give up. However, the modern world presents different inventors who came up with incredible innovations after multiple failures. For example, Albert Einstein is credited for many inventions and contributions in the physics arena that are still being followed in the modern era.
On the other hand, Alexander Graham’s invention of the telephone is another formidable innovation that occurred after several hardships. With that, teachers should try to teach the value of the process of learning. Let the students know that it’s okay to fail, however, persistence and resilience are what lead to success. This will motivate the learners to be creative and persist in their learning journeys.
To encapsulate, creativity is a vital skill that can set any learner apart from others. Students who are creative have an interest in coming up with something new or finding a solution to a common problem. They also show independence and innovative capabilities that others can benefit from.
Therefore, it’s essential for teachers to provide a supportive environment that can foster creativity in learners and also help them express it. The approaches given here are some of the most ideal ways teachers can help learners develop creativity.
Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.