The Art of Teaching Part 2: Creativity

Creativity as a subject is as I mentioned last time not new, but perhaps has not been fulling understood or executed. The idea behind it is to create an art like class that does more than just basic visual arts, it allows for students to discover what exactly they are creative in. But the problem is it rarely focuses on creativity as much as it focuses on talent. In the examples I have observed students do better by finding the medium they excel in, not creatively, but rather as a measure of talent.

Rather what a class based in creativity should be is a measure of how to think on your own. Creativity is not limited to art alone, it is something that we uniquely bring to everything we do. There is creativity in even the most basic human actions of eating and moving. When we teach it, and we should teach it, we need to focus not on exercises of talent in any specific field or medium but rather on how to do something your own way. In a sense such a class would fly in the face of your traditional subject classes which take so much time teaching a very specific, formulaic approach. So yes this would be rather difficult to incorporate into any traditional system already in place.

But It is necessary all the same. Success in life doesn’t come from following the rules but from breaking or augmenting them. I’m not suggesting that this be a class to teach revolution or decent but rather that it focus on the simple idea of thinking for yourself and in your own way. Those two ideas, simple in presentation yet complex in execution, would form the foundation of a creativity class essential for cultivating independent thinkers.

Lastly such class would need be early in the educational plan, save time for teaching specific ideas for later. Once a student has mastered the concepts of creativity they are ready to engage in history and science on a whole new level.




One response to “The Art of Teaching Part 2: Creativity

  1. Creativity has too frequently been viewed as a requirement for only artists. It seems that once children have finished finger painting and making objects out of pipe cleaners and squares of colored paper we call it a day and move on and in its place start teaching all of the content that we might call English or Social Studies. I would rather see creativity as the essential component of all truly successful endeavors; in other words it makes more sense to use creativity based on the notion of creating, to create a work, something original, a new approach to an old problem. In that light plenty of class time could be devoted to turning problems inside out, to solving math problems with rods, to performing science experiments with only a tool or two, to mixing up new paint colors, to making paper and trying to create a printing system. To create a generation of students who, unburdened by watered down content, can approach real content in higher grades with a highly developed sense of being creative would bean educational revolution.

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