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How to promote creativity in classrooms ?

Updated on January 30, 2014

Promoting creativity and innovation in the classroom

Though Creativity is an inborn talent, it can be taught also. Major Academics like E. Paul Torrence vouchsafed the importance of creativity in education. In fact he dedicated his entire lifetime for promoting creativity in the classroom. He had to face severe opposition to his hard work. Creativity was considered as an immeasurable talent. According to Torrence, creativity had to be taught explicitly. Creativity was skill specific and it required intentional instruction. Torrence’s works paved the way for Torrence’ tests and other gifted programs which are popular across the world.

Gone are the early days when creativity was not accepted much. Recently, there has been a positive attitude towards creativity as more and more people are accepting the importance of creativity in learning. A bout 5 million viewers viewed a TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson discussing the subject of creativity. The main subject of his talk was the suppression creativity in our school curriculum. According to Sir Kelly, our present school system does not encourage divergent thinking.

The reason for the lack of creativity can be traced back to our traditional education systems. Earlier the education system relied on teaching the correct answer. The need for the day is of course an innovative thinking model.

Robinson recently tweeted about a survey result which showed that 80% of the educators preferred creativity in their classrooms. Davidson, founder of decision labs and Professor at UNC Chapel Hill thinks similarly. He is of opinion that innovation is essential for our global economy. Davidson too feels that much of the blame for the lack of creativity can be traced back to our traditional education systems

Talking about practicing creativity in classrooms, most of the creativity is done by consulting firms and trained persons. These persons are given special training for creative problem solving methods. Universities are still following the age old teaching systems since 1950. A fine proof for this is seen in the inaugural address by famous Psychologist J.P Guilford, the president of American Psychological Association. He stated that educationist mostly neglects the creativity in teaching.

Adding fire to the fuel are factors like textbooks which are published out of date. Educational systems are some of the slowest adapters of innovation. This shows that our educational institutions need a strong dose of creative problem solving.

Now, how can we as educators try to solve this problem? Or how can we foster creativity in our classrooms?

A fine answer to this question is to promote creativity in the classrooms. Practical methods involve creating design awards or bulletin boards showcasing different ways of problem solving. You can feature creative solutions to real world problems in these bulletin boards.

Torrence used a meta- analysis to discover the methods for teaching creativity. Under this analysis, he discovered that most successful ways for teaching creativity involves creative arts, media oriented programs etc. Osborn-Parnes training program is another effective method for teaching creativity in classrooms. Those programs which involved emotional functioning and cognitive training proved to be the most successful.

If you want to promote creativity in classrooms, you should first think creativity as a skill. It is proficiency that can be easily taught rather than trait. As educators we have to find ways to encourage the learners to use these skills. Most Psychologists consider creativity as Big C and Little C. Big C involves big drives like Civil rights movement. Another example for Big C is opting for a new literary style.

Little C means a working model for solving everyday problems dealing with creativity. Both these concepts can be used practically in classrooms.

For those educators who want to promote creativity in classrooms, the best way is to participate in such programs. On the other hand, they can create such programs in classrooms involving students. Examples of such programs include Think Quest and Odyssey of the Mind. These programs help to bring students from across the world and compete with each other.

In Conclusion, the above mentioned practices are just some ways of promoting creativity in classrooms. Using motivation and allowing young minds to be innovative can also be very productive. The above tips also allow teachers to improve and excel in their profession igniting young minds thorough their career.


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    • SolveMyMaze profile image

      SolveMyMaze 4 years ago

      Excellent hub! Creativity in the classroom is the first step in making the child interested in the source material. Whilst some people are naturally creative, I agree it can be learnt as well. I still remember teachers at school who went out of their way to promote the creativity in the pupils, where as other teachers simply didn't care.

      It was no coincidence that the teachers that promoted the creativity in their pupils resulted in better grades compared to the teachers that simply 'phoned it in'.