Why creativity should play a key role in education

| December 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

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Education has come on leaps and bounds over the years, with repetitive drill lessons being replaced by interactive, engaging and stimulating activities including poster work with sugar paper and group discussions. Teachers are much more aware of what each student needs and prepare varied and innovative lesson plans – but why is creativity so important when it comes to educating future generations?

Interest and intrigue
If students aren’t interested in what is being taught, there’s a high chance they will switch off and either become disruptive to the rest of the class, or lazy. Similarly, even if a pupil loves a certain subject, they might not concentrate if the lesson is not to their taste, which is why it’s essential for educators to change their material constantly and make it as exciting as possible – and relevant to the age group. While young children might enjoy colouring in letters and doing role plays, for instance, older children might prefer doing computer-based projects.

Personal connection
There really is no right or wrong way to capture the hearts and imaginations of a class, and much of it is trial and error, however creative thinking will allow you to try something new if your planned activity isn’t working. One of the best ways to prepare suitable activities is to get to know the children you are teaching; find out their likes and dislikes and tailor your lessons to suit their personalities. Sure, classroom sizes are fairly large in mainstream schools and there is a strict National Curriculum to follow, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try a range of creative activities that children will enjoy – regardless of their social/economic background, race or gender.

If you are trying to work on the speaking and listening skills of a multinational Year Nine class, who speak fluent English but are from very different parts of the world, for example, why not ask them to prepare a presentation about their country of origin? Allow them to bring in objects and materials from everyday life; use IT props; play music; make printouts; show photos and do anything else that will make their talk personal and engaging. Not only will this adhere to the curriculum, it’ll give students the chance to talk about something they feel passionate about and share important information with their peers.

Different ways of learning
Whether you’re an educator or a parent, it’s essential to understand that children learn in many different ways. While some are auditory learners who would prefer to listen to things being explained rather than read about them, others are visual learners who absorb information by reading, looking at graphics or watching a demonstration. Kinaesthetic learners also progress quicker through hands-on activities, which is why teachers must tailor their lessons to suit all different kinds of learners. This, of course, requires plenty of creativity, diversity and careful planning, but educators should do their best to use a wide array of teaching methods and stimuli.

Creativity is key when it comes to education, so whether you’re a primary/secondary teacher, afterschool leader, sports club owner or a mum/dad, try to think outside the box and open your children’s eyes to the world in a fascinating way.

 

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