Developing Creative Thinking

Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity

Today my colleague shared an awesome TED talk entitled “schools are killing creativity” for author Ken Robinson in discussion forum about creative thinking. In the video the author argued that not only the K-12 education system lacking the creative thinking skills that are necessary to students’ success in typical 21st century communities and workplace but its practices kills student’s innate creative talents. When thinking of author’s message I see a strong Link between it and the strong calls to terminate standardized tests still existing especially in schools. Those high stakes not only proved to increase anxiety, retention and dropouts but they encourage conformation as many teachers are pushed to focus on that one shot term paper which discourage them from using strategies that promote creativity and risk-taking. If we really want to reduce the gap between the knowledge and skills most students learn in schools and college and creativity we need in typical 21st century, first we need to use frequent low stake grading can help students know where they stand and reach out for their goals, and  second we need to train educators to utilize strategies to develop students’ innate skills effectively.

There are two essential points educators have to keep in mind if they desire to utilize strategies that tap students’ creativity. First they must learn how to suspend our judgement, giving out quick comments or criticism makes students conform as they fear to get upset and embarrassed among their colleagues. Second  ask students through out the course to generate many new ideas, possibilities, experimentation, exploration of the limits of reality and fantasy, that could be done via brainstorming, assignments, and projects.

According to Gerard Puccio chairman of International Center for Studies in Creativity that when teaching techniques that develop creativity thinking, there are four stages clarifying, ideating, developing and implementing. He explained that clarifying is ensuring you’re asking the right question, ideating is about quantifying as many solutions as possible, in this stage he asks his students to brainstorm a problem and then present them with an object at random, insisting they find a way to connect it to the discussion in order to force their brains to give up conformation and search for new ideas, and the last two stages developing and implementing are making sure the idea is acceptable and practical (Barras, 2014, March 14)


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