Sunday, April 22, 2012

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts- Special Post #12A

Creativity and Curiosity 

    In my opinion, creativity and curiosity go hand in hand. How can we have one without the other? Either a students creativity will spark their curiosity or their curiosity will spark creativity. For me, creativity sparks my curiosity. If an assignment or project allows me to be creative or is presented in a creative way, I am more curious about the subject at hand. I think I could become more curious if I start to look under the surface of things. Most of the time there is an underlying message in all that people do.
   We were asked if teachers can increase the creativity and curiosity of the students and my answer would definitely be YES. I read the article by Elspeth Bishop, who is a writer for In Good Measure and goes by Elli, Curiosity fuels Creativity and she makes some really good points. One of them is that we should let the students know that it is okay not to know the answer and to ask questions. This will spark curiosity in the children. Elli also comments that the curious student is an engaged student. Isn't that what we all, as teachers, want to accomplish? Asking questions and and the children being involved invites creativity. The students can bounce off of each others questions and give ideas to others. One good way that teachers could allow this process to happen is instead of the teacher answering a posed question, he or she could let the other students have a try at answering it.
     "if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with something original"
                                                                                            Sir Ken Robinson

     Teachers kill curiosity and creativity by not letting the students express their ideas freely in the classroom. The classroom should be a place where students want to learn. Personally I believe it lies in the teachers hands. Some teachers are so rigid that they do not even involve the children or promote question asking. As I learned from Mr. McClung, we should let the audience guide our lessons. The curriculum has a lot to do with the creativity and curiosity of the children. The way the material is presented is very important. The more creative way material is presented the more curious the students are about the matter.
    In the article Creativity in the Classroom, the author gives suggestions to teachers on promoting creativity and I wanted to share it with all of you.
  • Encourage owning and creating ideas, and discourage borrowing and stealing answers. The idea is to teach children the importance of assembling their own thoughts and ideas, even if they are imperfect.
  • Always assign grades with some productive feedback about what to do in order to improve bad grades. Never undermine a child for lack of effort, because if she is getting bad grades it is solely your fault and responsibility.
  • Instead of demonstrating something to the children, have them practice it individually. A child will never learn the right way of doing something without doing it the wrong way first.
  • When a problem arises, it should be defined and analyzed before a structured solution is offered for it. This is a far better way of doing things than simply explaining an example.
  • Discourage conformity and challenge the child to think for herself. Do not praise neatness and tidiness too much as this restricts the child from truly expressing herself.
  • Instead of making suggestions yourself, ask open questions. Let the flow of the interaction determine the course of action to be taken. You will be amazed at how often the end results of this process coincides with the very suggestions you had in mind.
  • Lastly, teach the child to follow their own minds rather than copying the answers from other places. Originality and uniqueness is far more valuable than a blatant duplicate of someone else's work.

  Teachers who can relate to the students are the one's that will spark creativity and curiosity in the students. They remember what it was like being a student. I will say that some teachers want to be the ONE who promotes creativity, but the school will not let them. The schools play a big role in not allowing the students to be expressive. I completely agree with Sir Ken Robinson in that the schools are killing creativity. They are to worried about the presentation of the school and the overall test scores that it is diminishing creativity for the students. How can students express their ideas freely if the overall school system is demeaning the idea? These individuals should be more interested in what the students are actually taking form the educational experience rather than uniform policies and scores. It should be an experience that will help them excel in the present future. I truly think that incorporating technology into the classrooms will spark so much creativity. The students could do so much more with what they know and take the assignments to the next level.
    A transformation in the classroom that involves the students in giving ideas about what happens in the classroom. I recently tweeted Ms. Cassidy, a first grade teacher in Canada, and asked her how her classroom has changed since she has incorporated technological tools like blogging in her classroom. She replied back that she thinks her classroom is more connected, the kids are more empowered and parents more aware of what is happening in the classroom. Ms. Cassidy's reply should be enough to sway teachers into using technology. The children are more empowered. Think about how they will carry this empowerment and succeed in the future. We should start instilling this in our children at a young age. The kids already use technology as a tool at home socially and for games; why not use it in the classroom as a learning tool to expand their knowledge. In general schools, teachers,and administrations should understand the need for creativity and curiosity in the classroom. We all should let the children have a voice and instill values that promote creative thinking and spark curiosity to the highest degree.

"I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn"
                                                                                            Albert Einstein


  1. I really like how you have incorporated previous assignments into this post!

    Thoughtful. Interesting. Well written. A delight!

  2. Thank you Dr. Strange. I really enjoyed this assignment!