Decoding the traditional classroom approach
The industrial revolution that took place between 1820 and 1840 transformed society with the development of machine tools, engines, and many other inventions. It marked a defining moment in mankind’s history when almost every aspect of daily life was influenced and transformed by new technology.
This historical period also gave birth to the traditional classrooms model that is characterized by top-down management and standardization among many others. This traditional classroom also called the factory model classroom inspired the classroom functioning in schools across the world. In this approach, the teacher functioned as the head of the system and all the teachings were aimed at standardization.
However, this model is fast turning obsolete. Today, it is imperative to break the barriers of conformity and reinforce the importance of creativity as a skill at every level of education.
Understanding the Importance of Creativity in Classrooms
Creativity to aid emotional development of the students
Children are filled with endless imagination and they express their innermost emotions, conflicts, and happiness through creative expressions. This creative expression not only mirrors the emotions of a child buy it helps them make sense of their surroundings. Unfortunately, this creativity is often curbed during the formal schooling years. By encouraging activities that promote creative thinking and creative expressions of art, music, theatre in the classroom, it helps students express themselves. It also aids their emotional development, helps reduce stress and keeps the students in a positive frame of mind.
Creativity to enhance intellectual development of the students
Creativity often changes the way students and teachers can look at the learning material. It drives the students to ask new questions and find innovative solutions to these challenges. A creative environment in the classroom fosters the freedom of thinking in the learners. It stimulates the minds of the students, motivates the quest for constant learning and helps their intellectual development.
Creativity to prepare students for an unpredictable future
Today we live in a digital era, that is characterized by innovation and technology. The traditional a one-size-fits-all classroom values and teaching approach can no longer equip the students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in this digital era. To be successful in today’s knowledge-driven economy it is necessary to create a culture of creative learning in the classroom.
More than a decade back, in a milestone TED Talk, educator Sir Ken Robinson made the powerful statement about students. He commented that students entering classroom today will be entering a job force that no one can predict or visualize.
With the world and the digital technology evolves constantly, it is vital for educational institutions to realize that facts taught today can be obsolete within a few years. The current educational system isn’t preparing students for today’s needs. Given the dynamic nature of the world we live is it is essential for students to learn to create, to invent, to imagine and effectively solve problems on their own. The most effective way to do this is by reinforcing creative learning and creative education.
Classroom Ideas For Improving Creativity Among Students
In most classrooms, the most common way to teach the student is through rote learning and memorization. This method is not conducive to creative learning and does very little to nurture out of the box thinking that students need to be equipped for the future.
Introduce new and unconventional learning material
Instead of the regular textbooks, introduce your students to unconventional learning methods such as videos, podcasts, virtual field trips, TED talks etc. The new methods will not only appeal to the digitally savvy students, but it will also help teachers to reach out o students with different learning styles.
Encourage student collaboration and classroom discussions
Every student in the classroom must feel that their individual opinion matters and so teachers should promote informal discussions and debates in the classroom. This will encourage students to voice their ideas and get the confidence to explore new ideas and concepts.
Similarly, student collaboration projects help in the exchange of ideas in the classroom, where students can inspire and learn from each other. This exchange of ideas is conducive to creative education in the classroom.
Create a creativity period in the schedule for the day
Often the student’s day is packed with so many activities, that free thinking and other activities that promote creative thinking takes a back seat. To counter this, you can set a devoted period of time every day where students can explore new ideas. These new ideas can either be showcased in projects, art sessions or simply a new way of looking at textbook concepts.
Introduce multi-format assignments
When assigning homework to students, teachers can look at various formats for students based on their interests. For instance, book reports can be submitted in a blog format, through videos, powerpoint presentations etc.
Similarly, class exams can be done through quizzes, interactive tests, scavenger hunts and other exciting methods that will make it interesting for the students.
When you start allowing more formats to test the students, the assignments transform from boring to exciting. This excitement and enthusiasm is a great way to spark creativity in the classroom
Introduce technology in the classroom
Introducing technology in the classroom with the help of a learning management system is a great way equip students with tools necessary for creative education. Students looking for information can access a variety of video, audio, online resources available on the LMS system. Teacher too are equipped a wider range of teaching tools that will excite and motivate the students.
Today, new age students are looking for engaging learning experiences that will help them think out of the box and unleash their creativity. Understanding this, it is vital for schools and educational institutes to look at ways to reinforce creativity in the classroom.