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 because 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 learning activities allowing students to explore their creativity and test their strengths.
Creating activities and assignments that allow students to explore on their own and put their own unique strengths to the test will encourage them to be more engaged in the challenge. Despite piquing their interest, these activities will also encourage students to channel their thoughts and ideas. Re-wording assignments to promote creative thinking can be a great help to get students started. Using words like “create,” “design,” “invent,” and “imagine,” in your assignments as well as adding remarks such as “Be creative!” can really increase creative performance.
2. Remove constraints in assignments to give students space to explore on their own.
No two people are the same and hence no two students should need to learn in an identical way. Rigid guidelines will prevent students from using their own creative skills to solve a problem. It is best to avoid spoon-feeding or giving out tasks with instructions that constrict their imagination. A rigid framework will create constraints for students and now allow them to test out their full potential when carrying out the activities.
3. Celebrate and reward students while also embracing failures.
Rewarding students for their great work will encourage them to keep up the momentum or even do better in future assignments. However, building a safe and welcoming environment where their failures are also embraced is crucial. It is important to give students the assurance that it is okay to make mistakes and that they can always try again. Adults often forget that words of encouragement and assurance could really change a child’s life. We do not want them to feel left out or worthless for not being able to execute a task well which would result in them giving up everything (because they feel like they’re not good enough, so why even try?). Perhaps their strengths are in other areas and these words of encouragement would help them push forward and discover their own unique abilities.
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 why 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!