“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
Creativity is often described as thinking “ out of the box” ,coming up with fresh ideas ,divergent responses ,original ideas, and objects, new solutions to problems ,or ways of looking at problem. Creativity enriches the quality of life and of learning. It stimulates, engages, motivates, and satisfies the learner in a deep sense. .Likewise, creativity tends to improve student self –esteem, confidence, and self- awareness. Children have more creative skills in comparison to elders as they aren’t aware of the rigid logic and convergent views of the society. A creative individual is open, inventive, divergent and playful, risk taker, has strong memory powers, resourceful, adventurous and possesses many more qualities.
Creativity can be developed in a classroom at whatever age and level of children the teachers teach, and whether they are using digitally sophisticated materials or no technology at all. Thus, the classroom learning environment, in which creativity flourishes, needs careful nurturing.
How to nurture creativity in the classroom:
- Build up positive self esteem: Self esteem is characterized by five components: a sense of security, a sense of identity, a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose, and a sense of personal competence ( Reasoner,1982).Children’s positive self esteem can be built by recognizing their individual strengths ,valuing their contributions, respecting divergent views and a classroom community where collaboration and integration are the norms. This helps children to engage in flexible thinking and willingness to take risks.
- Model creativity yourself: To develop any skill or quality in others one should be a model .Thus, in order to encourage children to see things in new ways the teacher must explore ideas and come with original outcomes and model creative processes in their teaching.
- Offer children choice: Children learn to take responsibility of their decisions when they are offered choice. They develop autonomy and this leads to a sense of ‘ownership’ and motivation to produce creative work. Offering choices helps to make learning memorable and personalized and can be a powerful tool in behavior management.
- Use questions meritoriously: An essential skill the teacher must posses is the way he or she uses questions to engage students and lead them to think creatively .It is helpful to use HOTS (higher order thinking skills)which are identified as analyzing ,evaluating and creating ,makes learning more memorable and engaging. It also helps in the development of thinking skills that are transferable across the curriculum and can lead to creative thinking.
- Make connections: Ideas generate and creative thinking is sustained when we are able to make connections and see relationships. Children should be encouraged to make connections between subjects across the curriculum. The awareness of connections helps the child to build confidence and provides the foundations to become extremely adventurous and creative in their work.
- Explore ideas: To encourage students to explore experiment and play with ideas, teachers need to provide the framework and stimuli. This fosters an open and creative mindset among the learners .Students can be engaged in brainstorming, problem solving tasks etc.
- Encourage critical thinking: Lastly, to nurture creativity amongst learners, teachers should train children to evaluate and reflect critically on their own ideas, performance, actions and outcomes. It is the critical reflection which assesses the validity of the creative work and over the time leads to the development of enhanced creative thinking.
Although there are many barriers to developing creativity, it has many benefits for developing educational objectives, attitudes and values. Whatever the age and level of children, these seven pillars will help to establish a classroom learning environment where creativity flourishes.
Dr. Tandra Sharma