Creativity (Classroom Snapshot - Stimulate Creative Thinking (Unit of…
Classroom Snapshot - Stimulate Creative Thinking
Unit of inquiry titled 'Where do imaginary animals come from?'. In this lesson, they will be creating their own imaginary creatures.
Sts List on WB - recall diff categories and types of living things (mammals, insects, birds, dogs, cats, butterflies, spiders, snails). Reflects children’s
Prompting questions: What about things in the water? Sts recall fish, crustaceans and whales. Do all living things move? Coral stays put. What about things that live in river mud? Worms, frogs, eels and tadpoles. List starting to show
. T displays charts of images (grouped) - sts compare facial features on one chart, wings on another, tails on another. Sts describe how features vary.
(pairs) - drawing outlines of body parts and vocalising their thinking
Teacher modelling and sts
3 new creatures. T provides 1 drawing of an invented creature created using body parts from different animals (budgifisduck -head of a budgie, the body of a fish and the feet of a duck).
Sts put together unlikely combinations from store of info creating unique creatures. T praises efforts by drawing attention to their
Encourage sts to
on way the brainstorming strategies about existing animals helped generate a bigger range of options that they could work with.
Next Lesson - sts select one of their creatures to enlarge for a painting activity.
How to foster and nurture it in the classroom
Development of creative abilities demand an inquiry-led approach that is founded on creative or imaginative thinking and design
Australian Curriculum, the development of critical and creative thinking listed as one of the seven general capabilities
98 per cent of children are positioned in the genius category of divergent (creative) thinkers as 3–5 year olds, but only 10 per cent remain in this category as 13–15 year olds, and only 2 per cent of 200 000 surveyed adults fit this category (Robinson, 2001)
Teachers need to rethink educational practices if they want a different outcome.
Teacher's responsibility to facilitate approaches for students to process and interpret their experiences of the world, rather than approaching creativity as a separate, particular skill that we have or do not have.
Structure teaching and learning
to develop creative dispositions
Curious, inquiring and observant
- Play and discovery learning - natural way to begin interaction with the world. Understand about the world and way things work, the more chance of pulling disparate ideas together to find new solutions (inventors)
Interested in learning through exploration
‘what if’ approach, delighted by the possibilities, the revelation and the excitement of probing the unknown
Persistent in their quest for understanding, solving or inventing
- trial and error approach, comfortable trying something, assessing success, making adjustments and trying again. Failure seen as part of the process.
Able to take intellectual risks
- adventure, comfortable about not knowing what they will find or where they will end up
Comfortable with difference and non-conformity
- not bound by rules, conventions, categorisations - doing things in new, unconventional ways, improvising, making unlikely connections
Playful and divergent in approach to problems and able to suspend closure
- interested in possibilities and anticipate more effort and exploration may reveal something better.
Good at recognising opportunities for problem solving
when working on a solution, creative thinkers inclined to adopt open mind and recognise the fragment of a possibility that others overlook or dismiss
Inclined to play with ideas in their minds
play with mental images, often crafting fanciful scenarios and constructions
Accustomed to working with intuition and hunches
not pre-judging outcome, but attentive to free-flowing thoughts
by pleasure of intellectual challenge and revelatory nature of task
Creativity underpins Authentic Arts Education as well as our role in nurturing this skill in the classroom.
opportunities for self expression - kids exploring and making mistakes - don't give them boundaries
ways of questioning, rather than stifling
sts as active participants in the arts, but also balanced with appreciating other people's arts
not about talent, but about area of growth for each student and measuring that
Theorist 2: Guilford's Model (1986)
: the ability to generate ideas. A greater volume of ideas represents greater fluency
Getting students generating lots of ideas in lots of contexts
When engaged in creative problem solving - may generate different solutions to problem. Using divergent thinking strategies.
: capacity to generate ideas in many different directions and to see a range of alternative possibilities and diff viewpoints e.g. Role-playing diff parts in situation – the mother, the bus driver and the policeman – good way to develop flexibility
ability to produce clever or unusual responses. E.g. stimulating creative thinking demonstrates how children create original responses by putting animal body parts together in unusual combinations
ability to expand, develop and embellish products. Ability to draw ideas together – to synthesise – come to a result or solution. E.g. completed artwork or dance routine.
- creativity must result in outcomes or manifestations – solutions, products, paradigms and theories. In arts context - dances, drama productions, musical compositions etc.
They are original
- creative outcomes are new interpretations/solutions generated by application of imaginative thinking and exploration to challenge. Unique and unlike the traditional, expected, conventional or routine.
They are revelations
- until outcome was created, not known that it would be the solution to the problem or resolve the challenge. Artwork represents revelation for the creator and others who gain insight from it. Results of ‘cookie-cutter’ projects are predetermined - no revelation. Open-ended activities, every response a revelation.
They have solved a problem/resolved a challenge
creativity is purposeful and outcomes valued because they are effective, useful, enjoyable, satisfying, valid or tenable (National Advisory Committee on Creativity and Cultural Education, 1999).
E.g. trying out different marks made with charcoal are making discoveries - use discoveries to solve challenge of convincingly drawing texture of a fluffy cat on a hard surface - generate creative outcome.
They are elegant
(insightful, captures essence of the idea). Creator used arts knowledge and skills to good effect and the end result is clever and subtle.
Difficulty with the term ‘creativity’
- use the word rather loosely. Sometimes no creativity at work, but rather skillful completion of a project requiring manual skill and the ability to follow directions. Admiring new song a friend has written or the solution to an engineering problem - admiring creative thinking.
Eludes definition. Most researchers settle for indicative descriptions – examples of creativity in action – as a way of understanding creativity. Explained in terms of the characteristics shared by people with creative dispositions or the climate in which creativity flourishes
Creativity appears in the form of:
• new things invented
• situations interpreted in unique ways
• ingenious solutions to problems
• novel ways of seeing the world
• artistic expressions that bring intriguing insight
• new perspectives on old situations.
Creativity is cognitive behaviour (ways of thinking), and capable of being nurtured and developed in every child.
Theorist 1: Graham Wallas (1926) - Stages of the Creative Process
- becoming acquainted with the challenge, gathering ideas and hunting out information that may be useful e.g. brainstorming ideas
('what if') - pondering on problem, active exploration of ideas - play and experiment with possibilities, materials or processes.
- light bulb moment, moment of revelation, possibilities crystallise, see signs of solution that meets req
- work on production, refining possibilities. Verification end result of inquiries – final artwork (dance, painting) – solution or response to challenge. The resolution.
Theorist 4: Cindy Foley
Embody the habits of artists
Comfort in Ambiguity - obstacle to creativity is discomfort (part of the process). Consistently question.
Idea Generation - make ideas manifest, be at play
Trans-disciplinary Research - other subjects being of service to others
We all have different capacities, we need to practice them.
Creativity is our capacity to:
try something new
Thinking and acting creatively is a capacity that can and should be nurtured in children
Theorist 3: Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (2001)
Schools are stifling creativity
Approach classroom tasks as an open-ended experience
98% of a group of children are positioned in the genius category of divergent [creative] thinkers as 3-5 year olds, but only 10% remain in this category as 13-15 years old.
Valued in today's society
Ability to be inventive, innovate, ‘think outside the square’, develop new paradigms, find new solutions, think flexibly and solve unfamiliar problems are the types of capabilities
deemed necessary to meet the challenges of our rapidly changing world