Teachers struggle today to learn how to encourage creativity in students. It is not commonplace to come across individuals who have the capability to think creatively. The reality is we live in a setup that requires creative thinking and solutions to resolve complex, persistent issues. The teachers often try to come up with teaching methods for fostering creativity among students with mixed results. The endeavor is fueled by the belief that the fast-changing global economy needs people with enough flexibility of mind. They can adapt to the changing situations better.
Ways to encourage creativity in students
It is not difficult to motivate the students to think in creative ways given their uncomplicated mindset and adaptability. In most school setups, the students are taught to adhere to a fixed studying pattern and learning methodology. Stress on completing syllabus for each topic and scoring high percentage in exams. This eventually takes a toll on their natural creativity.
To enhance creative thinking skills for students, teachers can resort to the below-listed measures:
Develop and maintain Question-Friendly Environment
When they are young, students are naturally curious, and that is not necessarily a bad thing! The teachers should not restrain students from coming up with queries that pop up in their mind spontaneously. Such questions may not always be relevant to specific syllabus but dissuading the students is not the way. The teachers should encourage students to resolve their curiosity. This opens up their mind to think freely.
Encourage students to come up with unique ideas
The teachers should encourage the students to come up with unique ideas for various situations. While there can be existing solutions for specific study related problems, helping the students to think and come up with new ideas is welcome to move or fostering creativity. After all, a tech behemoth like Google allocates Genius Hours for its employees.
Encourage students to acquire new skills
All students may not have an innate inclination for similar things, and teachers should understand that. For example, some students may be more interested in dabbling with paints while many may prefer sports. Some of them may also be more interested in picking new skills like playing guitar, singing or dancing, etc. The teachers should have eyes open for such skills in students, and they should set creativity challenges for students accordingly. Learning different things and practicing new skills stimulates the brain and it kick starts cross-pollination of ideas.
Assign projects that encourage individual thinking
Teachers can resort to well-planned creative teaching activities to let the pupils think creatively. This is possible to do in many ways. For example, they can give an assignment to the students in a class on the same topic, but they have to work on it individually. Sometimes, discouraging group work helps the students make the maximum use of their creative thinking capability. It can be something as simple as designing a model farmhouse or developing a project on nature-related topics like plants and the ecosystem.
Inspire the students to try despite failures
Sometimes, creativity does not flow free in one effort. Whether it is about painting or working on a basic science related project, the teachers should be there to provide a required morale boost to the students. Some of the greatest creative masterpieces, in fields of music, films or even painting were produced after plenty of average stuff were churned out by the same artists or persons.
Act as role model for fostering creativity
Sometimes it can be useful if the teachers act as the role model for the students to work and think creatively. There is no firm way for this. However, the teachers can incorporate somewhat usual teaching methods from time to time to encourage the creative thought process in the students. One instance is using music in innovative ways in classrooms or assigning different roles to the students to simulate lifelike situations.
Summing it up
Of course, there can be many more ways to encourage creative thinking prowess in the students. The teachers have to keep in mind; they can play pivotal roles in either encouraging or suppressing flow of creativity in the students. So, they may sometimes deviate a little from the present teaching patterns for the betterment of the future generation and humankind.