Creating Opportunities for Creativity
This week, #gtchat welcomed Dr. Rick and Patti Shade of Curiosita Teaching in Denver, CO and authors of The Creativity Crusade: Nurturing and Protecting Your Child’s Creativity to chat with us about creativity.
Our first question centered on defining creativity. According to our guests, “Creativity starts with both creative and critical thinking processes and ends with a product. Here’s our formula. Creativity = Creative Thinking + Critical Thinking + Creative Productivity. Products are visual or verbal (written or oral) representations of students’ thinking.” Creativity is using one’s imagination; being inventive, original and innovative.
“Everyone is creative, but often it is silent teachers who need to give it a voice.” ~ Melissa Chouinard, teacher, Katy, TX
Can creativity be taught? Rick and Patti believe that not only can it be taught, but improved with practice. In fact, they stated, “Everyone is born with creative abilities. Some are born with a lot! All of us can learn to be more creative. Just like learning to ride a bike! Not everyone will become a Jordan or Jobs, but practicing increases our creative abilities.”
The Shades told us how creativity affects a student’s thinking process, “It opens their minds to pondering and possibilities as permissible thinking. Creativity makes their thinking and attitudes more flexible and open to change and new ideas. It makes them see life and learning as a continuous improvement process.”
“Students who say “this is boring” can be taught to connect new learning to background knowledge to creatively extend understanding.” ~ Dylan Smith, educator, Ottawa, Canada
What is required to establish a creative classroom climate? Rick and Patti explained, “Make students aware of the behaviors associated with creative thinking. Design your classroom space for flexible thinking and display representations of creativity. Use the four Rules of Brainstorming as classroom norms – especially deferred judgment. Make your classroom psychologically safe. Encourage intellectual risk-taking, view mistakes as great!”
We were pleased to have Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman join the chat and he suggested that his recent book, Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind , offers ways to introduce creativity into the classroom.
Next we explored how creativity can be assessed in the classroom. We learned from our guests, “Teachers can assess elements: Fluency, Flexibility, Originality and Elaboration in lesson design and students’ work. Products are assessed using rubrics for: presenting skills, product appearance, work effort, and elaboration. Product Assessment must include real world skills students will need in their professional lives. Students must be given time to develop and refine their products (weeks not days) using self, peer and teacher reflection.”
Finally, the chat turned to what parents can do to nurture their child’s creativity. Rick and Patti suggested, “Teach children the Elements. Practice Fluency and Flexibility daily. Look for and celebrate Originality and Elaboration. Make on-going display of creativity in your life: photos, poems, songs – things that inspire our imaginations. Teach children creative and critical thinking skills/strategies: SCAMPER, Think Tanks, and brainstorming techniques. Use Kreative Kwuestion stem prompts. Eliminate Kreative Killer statements from your vocabulary.”
In closing, the Shades said, “Join the Creativity Crusade for every child, every student . . . Every Day! Live creatively and prosper!” Their weekly updates can be subscribed to here. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding Creativity (Amazon)
Flow, The Secret to Happiness (TED Talk 18:55)
Changing Education Paradigms (TED Talk 11:40)
Jonathan Plucker – What is Creativity? (YouTube 11:04)
James C. Kaufman – Creativity 101 (YouTube 3:54)
Teaching for Creativity (Torrance pdf)
Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.