Encouraging creativity is a skill not all teachers possess, and only the ones who have this trait are the ones who are fondly remembered by the students in the future. Moreover, teachers who actively do this are the ones who prepare their students for future success in the best possible manner. Teachers have to set examples for their students at the very beginning.
The Importance of Creativity
Classrooms are supposed to be fun learning centers, where the most important quality required is freedom of expression. By encouraging creativity, a teacher is ensuring that the student has the ability to analyze a problem and think for herself, and is not swayed by orthodox and conventional rules. By promoting free speech, the students are more capable of expressing their thoughts and views regarding any anomalies.
This will ultimately prove fruitful in the child's life, as they will use the concept of free thought and speech to take steps into areas they never dreamed of visiting before. If a child is encouraged to be creative from a young age, she will carry this quality with her all her life, and this quality will enable her to succeed in the ruthless corporate world as and when she is ready to step into it.
So, how exactly does one go about promoting and developing cooperative learning in the classroom? It all depends on the mindset and the principles of the teacher, and the techniques that she is willing to apply to achieve this purpose. Here are some ways that can be adapted for each teacher and each classroom.
- Encourage owning and creating ideas, and discourage borrowing and stealing answers. The idea is to teach children the importance of assembling their own thoughts and ideas, even if they are imperfect.
- Always assign grades with some productive feedback about what to do in order to improve bad grades. Never undermine a child for lack of effort, because if she is getting bad grades it is solely your fault and responsibility.
- Instead of demonstrating something to the children, have them practice it individually. A child will never learn the right way of doing something without doing it the wrong way first.
- When a problem arises, it should be defined and analyzed before a structured solution is offered for it. This is a far better way of doing things than simply explaining an example.
- Discourage conformity and challenge the child to think for herself. Do not praise neatness and tidiness too much as this restricts the child from truly expressing herself.
- Instead of making suggestions yourself, ask open questions. Let the flow of the interaction determine the course of action to be taken. You will be amazed at how often the end results of this process coincides with the very suggestions you had in mind.
- Lastly, teach the child to follow their own minds rather than copying the answers from other places. Originality and uniqueness is far more valuable than a blatant duplicate of someone else's work.
A teacher is merely a facilitator for the children, and this role must be understood in its entirety. All children are masterpieces in their own special way, and the best qualities in them can only be honed, if there is enough creativity, and only if, freedom of thought and speech are encouraged and rewarded with a compliment.