11 ways to help teachers foster creativity in the classroom

creativity in the classroom

Creativity frees the mind in a way that enables a person to absorb knowledge more efficiently. It makes the learning process more efficient and enables alternative ways of thinking. Creative individuals are able to unblock old patterns or habits of thinking and are more likely to think out of the box.

Creativity is a difficult thinking skill to acquire while being the MOST desired. Possessing creativity gives you the ability to create something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form. Creativity serves us greater importance than we realize. We value creativity in our technology, entertainment, music, and in most if not all industries. 

“What are the 5 main types of creativity?”

1. Divergent Thinking – the exploration of many solutions.

Divergent thinking is non-linear and spontaneous. Rather than finding an objective answer, a divergent thinker discovers multiple options and possibilities for solving a problem. For instance, if a car breaks down and the first thing you do is call a mechanic to get it fixed, you possess convergent thinking which is linear and analytical. You know the mechanic can solve your problem and hence your reaction is to call them up for help. A divergent thinker would pull up by the roadside where it is safer, examine what seems to be the cause or problem, think of ways to solve it if they are able, and only finally choose the most suitable option. 

2. Lateral Thinking – the ability to come up with out-of-the-box, and innovative solutions.

Lateral thinking involves letting ideas flow in a step-by-step format.

3. Aesthetic Thinking – the knowledge to create art and beauty.

Focuses on reframing the problem to see its inherent beauty and value, like looking at a painting.

4. Systems Thinking – the skill of synthesizing several elements into one.

It is a holistic way to investigate factors as a whole instead of looking at each one separately. 

5. Inspirational Thinking- the sudden ideas that seem to pop into your head from nowhere.

Inspirational thinking focuses on imagining the best-case scenarios to find a new way to solve a problem. Allowing an incubation period is how most inspirational creativity happens. It is when your unconscious mind is working on the problem without your conscious awareness and suddenly comes to mind. We might have little control and understanding of it, of it, but there are things we can do to make it happen more often. For instance, starting a project early, giving yourself breaks when you feel stuck, and sleeping on it. 

“Why is creativity so important?”

Being creative makes possibilities endless. Anything is possible when you can think about it and make it come to life. Creativity always starts with imagination, and history shows that many things that were imagined were then later actually created. The reason behind our appreciation and yearning for creativity is that it enriches our understanding and can make our lives easier. 

Creative classrooms allow students to express their ideas freely, and learn faster and more effectively. Imagination drives human discovery, hence incorporating it into the classroom prepares students at a young age for a future of creating innovative solutions.

“How can teachers foster creativity in the classroom?”

1. Create a Supportive Environment

Establish a classroom culture that values and celebrates creativity. Encourage risk-taking and reassure students that mistakes are opportunities for learning. Provide a safe space where students feel comfortable expressing their ideas without judgment.

2. Encourage Open-Ended Questions

Ask questions that do not have straightforward answers, encouraging students to think critically and explore multiple solutions. Promote discussions and debates that require students to consider various viewpoints.

3. Offer Choice and Autonomy

Provide students with choices in assignments or projects, allowing them to pursue topics or approaches they are passionate about. Give students some autonomy in setting their learning goals and exploring their interests.

4. Integrate Arts and Creative Subjects

Incorporate subjects like art, music, drama, and creative writing into the curriculum to stimulate artistic expression. Use interdisciplinary approaches to connect creativity with other subjects.

5. Encourage Divergent Thinking

Assign brainstorming sessions where students generate as many ideas as possible without criticism. Foster the ability to see problems from various angles and consider multiple solutions.

6. Expose Students to Diverse Perspectives

Incorporate diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives into the curriculum to inspire different creative viewpoints. Encourage empathy and understanding of different worldviews.

7. Promote Collaboration

Arrange group projects and collaborative activities to encourage students to work together and benefit from each other’s creativity. Teach teamwork and effective communication skills.

8. Incorporate Technology into Lessons Wisely

Integrate technology tools and platforms that support creative expression, such as multimedia presentations or creative software. Ensure a balance between technology and non-digital creative activities.

9. Showcase and Celebrate Creativity

Display students’ creative work in the classroom or around the school to celebrate their achievements. Organize exhibitions, performances, or creative showcases for students to share their talents with others.

10. Offer Feedback and Encourage Revision

Provide constructive feedback that focuses on the creative process rather than just the final product. Encourage students to revise and refine their creative work based on feedback.

11. Support Continuous Learning

Emphasize that creativity is a skill that can be developed over time with practice. Encourage students to seek out new experiences, interests, and knowledge to fuel their creativity.

Remember that fostering creativity is an ongoing process, and it’s important to adapt your strategies to the unique needs and interests of your students. By creating a classroom environment that values and nurtures creativity, teachers can inspire students to explore their imaginations and develop into creative thinkers and problem solvers. Imagination and creativity are the traits that fuel the future. They enhance the learning experience by increasing motivation, deepening understanding, and promoting joy in students. Hence, imagination and creativity should be integrated into every part of learning from a young age.

We know that teaching students how to think is more important than teaching students what to think. Our minds work in different ways and to be able to explore those areas, educators should give students the opportunity. We learn by doing, and allowing them to immerse themselves in the learning process truly would really help them in figuring out their true potential. 

We hope these tips are helpful and stay tuned for more teacher tips and tricks! Do you have your own tricks? We would love to know!

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5 thoughts on “11 ways to help teachers foster creativity in the classroom

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