“How Can I Help My Students Be Creative When I’m Not Creative Myself?
Does that sound like you? Many technology advocates claim that high tech environments are the key to supporting students’ creativity. But it doesn’t always feel that simple. Because we know more about history, English, or long division than our students do, it is easy to understand how we can help them learn that content. But if we don’t feel particularly creative, trying to support students’ creativity can be intimidating.
First I must say, I suspect you (yes, really, you) are more creative than you think. Many of us assume that if we can’t draw realistic pictures or compose original music, we must not be very creative. Not true. Creativity comes in many forms: pulling together dinner from random ingredients in the refrigerator, planning a spur-of-the-moment poetry lesson when the cat walks in the window, or even doodling to keep yourself entertained during a long dreary meeting. Opportunities to exercise creativity are waiting in virtually every corner of our personal and teaching lives.
But if we want to help our students be more creative, the key is not how many gizmos we have in our classrooms (though gizmos don’t hurt!) but how we think about the curriculum. Supporting students in their creativity entails helping them think about content in flexible ways, examining new possibilities and points of view, raising questions and solving problems. Creativity in the curriculum comes first, then the right technology tool.”
Read more from Alane Starko in ‘How can I help my students to be creative when I’m not creative myself’.
Alane Starko is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University and author of Creativity in the Classroom: Schools of Curious Delight. She is a former elementary school teacher and teacher of the gifted, currently enjoying the adventure of online teaching. Read her blog at: http://creativiteach.me/