Yesterday, I discussed ‘Creativity in the classroom’ at the Busan-Kyeongnam branch of KOTESOL. My talk went for about a hundred minutes and I am mostly satisfied with it.
I posted about the upcoming meeting a week or so beforehand and mentioned that I was nervous about it. I can say now that I was indeed nervous, very nervous, for the first few minutes of my talk. Teaching students now seems comfortable. Speaking before my peers remains, well, less comfortable.
In my talk, I described how teachers could encourage creativity and even teach how to be creative, but to be careful because sometimes you don’t want creativity in a specific lesson.
The last point first; When it comes to memorizing multiplication tables, there is little room for creative thinking for the student. In a more scholarly vein, according to Bloom’s Taxonomy of education, one first builds knowledge and comprehension, then works towards using that knowledge creatively. Beginners are not ready to be creative in most fields.
In how to teach creativity, I discussed a few exercises designed to ‘force connections’. Creative thinking can be defined as deliberately focusing and loosening your concentration. You think specifically about your problem – perhaps how to flood-proof your house. Then you think generally about houses. Hey, a turtle carries it’s house. A mobile house might be flood-proof.
To encourage creativity, I referred to Drive, By Daniel Pink. It’s an interesting read about motivation.
I am not sure if these slides will be all that useful without the one-hour-plus of narration that accompanied them, but have a look, if you like.
Hmm. I can’t embed the Google Doc. Alright, time to give up a little more privacy. Here is a link to creativitiproject. Someone else had already taken the name with ‘creativity’ spelled right. The linked blog feels a little rougher than this one as I wrote it mostly for myself and left links that I could check up on later and such. Still, it includes just about everything discussed in the presentation and has the slides.