Thursday, January 3, 2013

Facilitating Creativity in the Classroom

After reading John Spencer's sharing about (what appears to be) writing a book:
I stare at a blank document. The flashing cursor taunts me. It's the same emptiness that led me to abandon painting for over a decade. It's the unspoken message that it won't be good enough, that I'm wasting my time, that I would be better off chatting away my time on Twitter.
As I read his blog entry, I'm perplexed (again) about why teaching, or even facilitating, creativity in the classroom is so hard. Don't get me wrong, John's writing about his own creativity, struggling with the blank page, a struggle I well understand. This is really just a trigger to my own struggle with trying to explain to another teacher what creativity looks like.

My definition of creativity usually involves reading, consuming an incredible amount of content, waiting until something kicks something else off in my brain, and then following where that goes. Or, it could be trying to work through a specific problem and reading about how others have solved it, then trying to apply it.

Periodically, I have to ask myself, What does facilitating creativity in the classroom, as a guide on the side, look like? Does it look like graphic novels, like these that Lisa Johnson (@techchef4u) shared? I so often feel it's a slippery beast, creativity. It's something that results from a teaching and learning environment that has the right elements. When my students wrote in writing workshop, there was no shortage of student generated content. Why are we having such a problem being creative with technology?

A part of it may be that humans are inherently creative, and teaching & learning environments that are available involve being creative with paper-n-pencil, not technology. How do we get students that comfortable, so that they can begin to do learning and creating on their own at the transformational levels of SAMR Model?

Another question that comes to mind: Do we make too much of creativity in a high stakes testing environment that both teachers and students have to perform in?

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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