What do you do to encourage creativity in your classroom?

Dr. Purushothaman
November 25, 2013


When we think of "creativity" we think of the obvious art and music.But in reality. "creativity" can be found in all areas of the curriculum. Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. Creativity is the ability to produce something novel, something with the stamp of uniqueness upon it. Some teachers still follow a formula-oriented agenda in which all children are allowed to do is follow directions. The results all look the same. This does not provide children with experiences that will help them develop into creative thinkers. It is very important to expose children to creative experiences because it will lay the foundation for a lifetime of creative expression. Art activities should be chosen the same way that a child development specialist use to recommend and select toys for children. They recommend that we choose toys that are open-ended such as blocks and legos. If there is only one way to play with a toy, it is very limiting to the child's imagination. Children may refer to create something different every day with their toys, and this kind of play is more valuable for development. Activities should be planned so that the child has input, so that the results of each child are different. it is important for a teacher not to provide a finished example of an art activity. This will limit the child's ideas.
Young children need many appropriate chances to make choices, and here is an opportunity for us to give them freedom to do so.Children are extremely creative and revel in the opportunity to choose materials. If children have choices to make, they are learning to make decisions, The simple choices for teachers become major decision-making opportunities for children. What color paper to choose, what color crayons or paint, what size of paper are all options the child should have.
Children benefit from ample opportunity to combine most media to provide rich, creative results. They can use markers and crayons; watercolors and markers, paint and chalk,etc. Children who get to combine materials will discover the properties of each material as well as new and varied techniques

We as teachers can encourage creativity by:
-Emphasizing process rather than product
-Providing a classroom environment that allows children to explore and play without undue restraints
-Adapting to children's ideas rather than trying to structure the children's idea to fit the adults.
-Accepting unusual ideas from children by suspending judgement problem solving
-Using creative problem solving in all areas of the curriculum. Use the problems that naturally occur in every day life
-Allowing time for children to explore all possibilities, moving from popular to more original ideas
In order to make creativity a part of your classroom experience, read stories, laugh together, join in tea parties, invite puppets to talk, change the furniture in the classroom, use common everyday objects for new uses, have a picnic style snack instead of at the usual table,etc.

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