I was having a think the other day about how some of the jobs that young people will do in the future haven’t even been invented yet. It’s a crazy thought, but it really is the case and in order to get the most from them, we need our next generation of workers to be creative, and to essentially shape future society.
Is it that simple though? Is creativity something that can be taught, or is it something that you either have or you don’t? With a national curriculum, standardized testing and schools measured against a certain criteria; have students got the freedom to be as creative as they would like?
I guess creativity is a subjective thing; every individual’s idea of being creative is different, which in itself sums up the very concept! For some it is inventing new things, new ways of thinking and doing things. While for others, it is about uncovering new forms of knowledge or using existing knowledge in new contexts. Whichever approach they take, all of these require children to have space, and time to think and to experiment.
Creative Learning Happens By Chance
For some people, creative learning happens by chance; by looking for a solution to a particular problem, they discover something else that is related but different.
Personally I think space to think and reflect is essential. I know for a fact it can be difficult to have an imaginative thought in a meeting, for example, as I am too tied into an agenda. Imaginations tend to work better when you we are not being forced to think about something specific – so when driving home, in the bath, or perhaps watching TV. All that said, I do think we need some knowledge and understanding of something in particular to spark off those thoughts.
With students in mind, providing the foundation knowledge around a topic or a project should occur in the classroom. As an environment that also provides an opportunity for children to play with ideas, share thoughts with other students, and suggest new ideas, does it provide the ideal creative backdrop? On the flip side, perhaps stepping outside of that classroom situation is where the ideas come flooding in – when that ‘forced’ pressure isn’t hanging over them.
The Tools Of Creativity
It used to be that students were either creative or academic, but I think as time goes on those boundaries are blending. Many schools are already discarding the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of teaching and learning; they are aware that simply adding on some ‘creativity time’ during the school day’ is no longer enough. Creativity needs to be infused into all aspects of education.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to creativity, which is the beauty of it! What methods do you use to encourage your students to be creative? Do you set a task and use the classroom as space for them to come up with ideas as a group; or do you use homework as a tool for them to get creative?
Serif’s free online teacher resources cover a wide range of cross-curricular topics and provide fresh new ideas on enhancing creativity in the classroom. Visit Serif for more information. We’d love to see examples of your students’ creativity through some of the projects they’ve done using Serif’s educational software! Feel free to send any work our way: email@example.com.