How To Keep Children Imaginative As They Grow Up? Cultivating Creativity in the Classroom | Alternative Fruit
In our verbal world of written word instructions and commands, our perception on life becomes ever more skewed towards authoritarian linguistic order. We stop thinking in terms of smells, feelings, and sounds, but more into realms of abstract symbolism that suits particular elements of life. If we don't have a word for it, it isn't considered. What we don't consider doesn't become part of the process of exploring life and all it has to offer. So as we grow more groomed into the verbal unitarian forms of thought and therefore experience, how do we manage to stay one step outside of the box?
When two thirds of prospective teachers in the USA consider memorizing answers as a better form of education than imaginative thinking (source), no wonder the world appears to struggle having an original thought. The parrot fashion mannerisms that automatically dictate how me make decisions and how we prioritise our goals have begun to sink deep into our personal psyche. As we're told the same stories with the same morals and the same behaviour, the education on what it is to be human is instilled with very page.
Imagination helps us to think subjectively and objectively at the same time. Once we have a multiple perspective on situations and people, we can begin to appreciate the dynamics of situations. With a direct positive influence on social life and sense of belonging, having an imaginative side to our personality gives us the keys to a life with much more variety and intrigue than those without it.
Author of Cultivating Curiosity in K-12 Classrooms, Wendy Ostroff, has outlined several techniques for investing in the creative and imaginative potential of students in the school system. With a modern outline, taking into account for the millennial lifestyle of transmedia and digital footprints, the nest egg of ideas caters for the modern young learner. Although detailed and explained in full through the book, the key points are mentioned here.
Brighten Up – Don't take lessons so seriously. The information will find its way into the mind somehow, and as long as students feel relaxed and confident the learning will be secondary to simply being themselves.
Hold “Creative Councils” - Form think-tanks of students with visionary and problems solving minds to discuss and formulate solutions to problems. Have other children take part in the whittling down of ideas into more realistic and feasible suggestions.
Doodle Time – Art can be limitless and using doodles to free up the creative elements in the mind is an excellent and simple method of teaching. The psychological benefits of simple doodling are well documented and art therapy often makes use of this doctrine for helping clients to relax.
Make It Real – At every opportunity, translate the lesson material into something real that students can relate to. Draw on the experiences of self and students to talk about the lesson in terms of something that actually happened and can be discussed.
Have A Go Impro – When we make things up as we go along, sometimes we get a mess. Other times our minds seem to be able to create a picture from seemingly unknown connections and create something fresh and exciting. It's a great idea to encourage this in the classroom and see what everyone comes up with. It really helps students to think holistically about the subject.
Collaborative Story Telling – Get everyone to have a go at adding a few lines to a story or poem. Using each student in turn can reveal interesting groupings and networks of creative thought.
Track Google Searching – By looking back at the chain of searches while researching a topic, students can begin to appreciate how one piece of information inspires further questioning. These questions all formulate a web of knowledge around a subject. Tracking web searches helps to plot mental images of these information networks.
That's the outline, and of course everything is explained in much more precise and deep detail in the book, out now.
It was Michelangelo who said that “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Perhaps a child can be seen in this way, and within the individual is much more than a statue. With the right nurture we can produce a generation of creative heroes.
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