Creativity Module 2:
Instructors and Creativity
Creativity involves a different way of looking at problems and solving them. A student's creative activity provides teachers with a different view of their students’ strengths. Creativity also fosters mental growth in students by providing opportunities for trying out new ideas, and new ways of thinking and problem-solving. Teachers who frequently assign classwork involving creativity are more likely to observe higher-order cognitive skills e.g., problem solving, critical thinking, and making connections between subjects. Creativity requires two different sets of knowledge:
i. knowledge and skills in a discipline, and
ii. knowledge and skills related to the creative process.
Ensure that all ideas are listened to and given feedback in a respectful manner. Establishing a creative classroom environment requires that students feel a sense of psychological safety when sharing ideas.
Foster students’ persistence, discipline, resiliency, and curiosity. These are essential components of the creative process. Students who are more intellectually curious are open to new experiences. Encourage students to offer multiple paths to a solution as well as coming up with the correct answer.
Support the creative process by having students engage in identifying the REAL problem using the Creative Problem Solving Grid shown below within the Assessment section of this module
Engage students in idea generation through brainstorming, in which the individual or a group generates as many ideas as possible.
Encourage students to self-reflect during the creative process, as this provides students with increased skills in metacognition (see chapters 1 and 7) and a deeper understanding of their creative competencies
It may be more useful to formatively assess the process the students are going through rather than the final product, which in this case is identifying the REAL problem. By exploring how students generated ideas, whether the method of recording ideas was effective, whether the final solutions were practical, and whether they demonstrated curiosity or resilience can often be more useful than merely assessing the final product. The final outcome for an activity may take into account a combination of the creative process as observed by the teacher, the creative process as experienced and reported by the student and the use of the Creative Problem Solving Grid (CPS) (Reisman & Severino, 2021; Torrance & Reisman, 2000). Remember, the CPS grid, shown next, is merely a heuristic (tool) for helping to make a decision.