A short video I made about Creativity in the English classroom.
Inspired by the novel ‘Creative Schools’ by Ken Robinson, I asked myself what does it mean to be creative, and how can we teach it? This video is an answer to that question.
I remember being identified as ‘creative’ in year 10 when I met with the careers advisor to select my HSC subjects. I remember being told my curiosity and energy would be best utilised in ‘creative arts’ subjects, and was immediately directed towards drama and music.
Instances such as this show how schools proliferate myths that have long tainted the image of creativity; making it into something unattainable, unstructured and arts specific.
Here are some solutions to the three myths of creativity.
Myth 1: There are only two types of people; those who were born creative and those who were not.
What can we, as English teachers, do to ensure all students identify themselves as creative? We need to encourage curiosity, inspire, build confidence and develop skills of independent thought. In the classroom, this could be asking students to produce work that will not be graded or implementing discovery learning to peak student curiosity and imagination.
Myth 2: Creativity cannot be structured or taught
To encourage creativity, English teachers should initially provide high levels of scaffolding to assist students in developing original thinking skills. Creativity is not genius or magic. It is something that can and should be fostered in the classroom. In doing so, teachers can enlighten students to the complex processes of creativity by structuring tasks that progress from brainstorming to drafting to re-writing and fine-tuning ideas until finally a creative work is produced.
Myth 3: English is not a creative subject
What can we do to banish the stigma that English is unimaginative, essay based and repetitive?
We can incorporate activities that encourage students to ask questions and find their own answers and we can change our classrooms. Get rid of line-by-line rows and set our spaces up in a way that encourages this collaborative learning and critical thinking.
Because creativity is found in every student, must be fostered by every teacher and present in every classroom. We must rid ourselves, our subjects and our students of ‘creative’ labels, encouraging them all to question, collaborate and think critically so that every student has the capacity and confidence to create.