“Creativity” is a word we often use to describe an individual’s ability to produce some form of art. While producing art is one way to display and utilize creativity, it is certainly not the only way. Dictionary.com defines “creativity” as the following:
Why is it important we teach creativity?
Children are the future leaders of our world. They will be in charge of solving the problems their community faces. As the world continues to get more complex, and problems become harder to solve, we must ensure that children growing up obtain the ability to think abstractly, create, and think critically about complex problems. Creativity is what will give these future leaders the ability to be imaginative in the face of difficulties. The potential in children is limitless, and so is there ability to be creative. If we foster that creativity, our future is in good hands.
What are the three developmental domains of creativity?
The Center for Childhood Creativity released a report in 2015 synthesizing more than 150 research studies on the topic of igniting creativity in young children. The Center for Childhood Creativity found that components of creativity can be organized in the following three childhood developmental domains:
- Decision Making
Social and Emotional
- Communication and Self-Expression
- Action and Movement
I think it is important that as educators we imagine that there is multiple ways to be creative, and each child in our care possesses different creative strengths. It is our job as educators to be observant and then nurture those strengths. We can also help children explore domains in which they feel less comfortable expressing. I’d recommend that you watch the TED video in which speaker Sir Ken Robinson, an education expert, discusses how educational organizations can create environments that ignite child creativity.
Activities that Help Foster Creativity Growth in Children: (I have linked to articles that convey/promote these activities)
- Let children make their own decisions (within reason)
- Let children lead the play process
- Propose questions without answers
- Encourage them act in a made up drama, in which they can improvise
- Magical Movement
- Using blocks to build something they want to
What if I don’t feel creative as a teacher?
This is likely a feeling that many teachers can associate with. How can I teach creativity if I’m not creative? The answer is you are creative, it’s part of our human nature, according to Sir Ken Robinson. We are often creative in areas of our life that we excel at. If you excel at a sport, audiences witness your creativity watching you play. If your area of interest is math and you are talented at it, you likely use creativity to solve complex problems. Creativity can be applied to any skill or activity, and we all have creativity, we just need to recognize it and use it! Still don’t feel creative? Check out this resource, “101 Ways for Teachers to be More Creative.”
Prepare for Failure:
Creativity requires you to take risks (safe ones). Failure is inevitable. It is how you respond to the failures and those of your students that really matters. Be resilient.