Recognizing and encouraging the potential and power of creativity in a classroom is equal to acknowledging the learner’s own learning styles and expression of his or her ideas. Curiosity is actually one of the triggers that ignites the child to explore and discover the things around him or her, and guided explorations usually result to the unfolding of new ideas which brings forth new set of information. This information can also be fused with the child’s current set of knowledge and skills so a better and more complex form of idea will be created. Creativity, fuelled with our encouragement and guidance together with child’s motivation, make classroom dynamics more interesting, exciting and interactive.
As teachers (whether in the industrial/corporate or academe setting) it is important that we use learning materials and employ teaching techniques that spark their creativity: Below are some of the tips based on my experience as head of my department and other tips that I’ve found on desk research:
- When asking for comments, suggestions and ideas, always practice “Green Light Thinking” – in Dale Carnegie, Green Light Thinking refers to the process of spontaneous and fluid method of thinking wherein all ideas are considered to be neutral, not absolutely correct or wrong since this thinking includes the own belief, perspective and experience of the one who is giving the suggestion and ideas, Once we gather all the information, we can now employ “Red Light Thinking” where we can now filter all the ideas and obtain all relevant, sound and viable ideas that are helpful to the main topic or problem.
- Provide lessons, activities and exercises that will require collaboration, physical, emotional and mental participation. For instance, all groups will draw on a cartolina the answer to the teacher’s question instead of just reciting it in front of class. Some may do drama, or spoof a commercial to express the idea or answer of their team.
- Lay options – creativity will be further enriched if the children have many options to play and learn with. Let them use what they’ve learned and their imagination to construct and express their ideas in their own way. It will be interesting to see how every student will use what they have to create connection between their idea and to the materials presented.
As teachers or managers of our own classroom, we have to remember to put room for creativity in our lessons by adding elements of flexibility, individual autonomy and self-expression. We also need to be creative more than anyone; thinking creatively means looking at things from our learners’ perspective, respecting viewpoints diversity, and classroom dynamics shouldn’t be restricted by rules, customs, or norms.