Thursday, 27 November 2014

Spark creativity in children

Recently in my conversation with one of my students, I asked him to think out of the box. But I guess, that wasn’t enough for him to act out differently in the given situation as the assignment seemed little complex. Later, I kept thinking about the whole episode, I had in my class for that day. After contemplating I realized it was not the questions, basically the situation and the plan that needed correction to elicit a response from the student.

Well, this reminds me about the talk that I had with Lisa Bonazza, a PYP teacher, and an IB Workshop Leader. A little while back, our school had organized an In-school workshop on Teaching and Inquiry, and there I got the chance to know more about teaching creatively and teaching for creativity. It was a wonderful experience as we acquired new ideas and ways of looking at the term "creativity" differently. We cannot define creativity in a single, commonly accepted way. Definition and interpretations of creativity varies from person to person and from situation to situation. I hope that I’ll be able to do some justice to my learning while writing about it.  

I included various thoughts during my conference with my grade team and also shared few learning with my PLN (professional learning network) using Twitter. It is indeed very exciting to look at the planning and execution through a different lens. I remember one task where we teachers were asked to rank 5 different people whom we think are creative people. And I could not think of anyone other than the people around me and two of my students. At that time my question was, why should I only look out for the people who are successful and not others whom I know are hardworking and full of creative ideas and thoughts.

‘Wow’ Is the word I would use it for the people and my students who inspire me, give me lots of new ideas to include in the planning, think differently and also help me become a better educator. My students are my co-facilitators in various disciplines. Aren’t they also creative?

I recollected their responses during various class activities. They were creative while playing ‘I need a Synonym’ in order to build vocabulary for their grade section names, ‘I know a word,’ ‘Number Number,’ ‘Rapid fire round,’ ‘Scamper’ for their ice breaking activity, and many other. Besides these , there were numerous ways in which they displayed their creativity. They relied on each other for resources, grouping strategies, station models to help them revise the concepts and build on their prior knowledge, strategies that leads to mastery based approach and personalized learning, and the list goes on.

Is creativity 'innovation'? Is creativity thinking out of the box? Is creativity lateral thinking? Is creativity being a risk taker? Is it a passion? Well, if the answer to all these questions is YES, then definitely, we are teaching creatively and teaching for creativity, as we all are lifelong learners.

But as parents, how do we create environment in which child blossom? How do we help them live up to their potential? How do we help them develop their own genuine selves? These are some of the questions that we need to inquire, to reflect on, to work upon. As parents’ given all the moment in time, riches, concern, and love we expend on our child, let’s make sure that we are focused on the questions that really matters. Let us be committed in developing the potential of our child and be more observant about their physical and mental health.

Undoubtedly, Parents are named as children’s first teacher. Therefore, encouraging curiosity in them, by asking the right questions, keep on inspiring their imagination through various provocations; weave creativity through day in and out experiences; help them build their confidence; take their concerns seriously and look at their work positively; persuade them to try new ideas and diverse approaches; enthuse them to perk up their skills through practice; try out some good discussion starter; show appreciation; share your opinion on how the child worked and help them elevate his/her own targets, are some of the ways that helps us build the surroundings. Spark your child’s creativity by boosting their confidence using the art to spark conversation.

Children need to be unconditionally loved, grant them an efficacious and virtuous childhood, encourage them to challenge themselves, disciplined them when necessary, and value their uniqueness and capacities that they bring to this world.

Marshall Dimock in his writing "Currents and Surrounding" on creativity mentioned that, Creativity is different for different people, because the ways in which we articulate our thoughts and ideas differ. The word rightly describes the human courage and achievements.

My evolving action as an educator is to foster creativity right from planning/designing a curriculum to classroom environment that includes various models and categories. Also ensuring to make right trans-disciplinary connection that helps students think globally and become internationally minded lifelong learners. The values of creativity lie in what useful outcomes are produced. Creativity is a process of generating and testing ideas.

There is lot to share and talk about creativity, but to conclude, I would press upon the point that it is a process and it needs lot of courage to be creative.

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