Ken Robinson famously suggested that creativity is the heart of all successful learning experiences. Creative teaching provides learners rich and varied contexts for developing their subject knowledge and encouraging critical thinking.
In physical schooling, we have a classroom environment that promotes creativity. Students have opportunities to converse and stimulate innovative thinking. As we moved to a physical classroom, I faced the enormous challenge of transforming my virtual class into an environment that could stimulate creative thinking. And I found three ideas suggested by Robert.J.Sternberg to nurture creativity in the classroom and promote it as a habit to be highly useful:-
Opportunity to engage in creativity – Students need varied activities to engage in creativity through interactive and engaging lesson plans. So, I make sure that I plan a few hands-on activities for creative exploration; performance activities like role play and character study to develop a deeper understanding of the concept. Using tools like ‘Do Now, Think-Pair-Share, Put on your Thinking Caps’ allows students to follow along and participate creatively in our lessons.
Encouragement to participate in the opportunity– Sitting with students 5 minutes before a session for an early chat with classmates and I has proved to be a great way to build informal connections in my class. Open discussions on any topic help students think critically, and open-ended questions help students think out of the box and develop innovative solutions.
Allowing students to make even seemingly small choices can be motivating, like letting a student choose which song to play before the lesson starts.
Reward when they respond– Recognising all types of achievements, not only academic but non-academic, has played a vital role in tuning in. Rewarding gives students a sense of pride and an incentive to continue doing great work.
Learning and teaching may seem complicated, but they are much simpler when we use the right tools and teaching strategies. By focusing on the needs of our students and preparing our materials well in advance, we can ensure that our classroom remains creative and rewarding.
Ms Shanthi Shetty
PPM Facilitator, Ekya BTM Layout