Education and Creativity

Have you ever given your students colored paper, ribbon, crayons, tape and scissors? It is fascinating to sit and watch their imagination in motion. Each student creates their own masterpiece and none of them are the same. Our minds are unique entities and we learn to express ourselves in multiple ways. Children love to learn and observe their environment and how things work daily. They are full of questions and wonder about the world around them.

What is creativity? I could write a whole book about it.

How do we teach it?

How do we measure it?

How do we foster it?

However, it is a hard concept to define. We know creativity when we see it. Creativity transcends subject matter and levels of expertise. Did you know there are over 71 different learning styles? I only learned about visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles in school. As educators, we can provide materials and guidance for students to be creative in art, music, drama, and technology.

Teachers and students can easily name famous artists, musicians, directors, and actors. Nevertheless, many teachers fail to see math, science, and engineering as creative fields. Testing is focused on memorization and finding the right answers. Tests can’t measure traits such as intuition and creativity. We also don’t want to hinder creativity with too much testing. I have worked in schools that begin standardized testing in Kindergarten. I believe that children need time to play and explore the world around them. Let’s take another look at our school schedules and see how much time there is for students and teachers to create. We have to be mindful of the future generation that we are creating in schools today.

“Success lies in the ability to solve problems in novel and creative ways.” -Salman Khan, Founder of Khan Academy

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