Nowadays all representatives of educational sphere agree on how important creative thought is. Creativity gives individual an opportunity not only perceiving the universe and its phenomenon in multiple ways, but also to aspire to new ideas, to make discoveries, to gain instant experiences. All this, in total, are the guarantee for the development of the universe.
Creativity is a wide notion, thus it is commonly argued to connect creativity with particular aspects. Creativity is considered to be as one of the aspects of intelligence but if we think over the diversity of intelligence then it becomes difficult to agree. (Howard Gardner „Theory of multiple intelligences" are sorting some type of intelligence: Linguistic, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalistic and Existential). As it is described in scientific literature, many factors influence on creativity, including environmental conditions. High degree of autonomy gives individual the opportunity to reveal creativity and it cannot be said about authoritarian environment.
Sometimes creativity is characterized as a “curved” thought that is distinguished from traditional, overall thought. Teacher – moderator plays important role in the class-room, who should use his/her own skills and multiple instruments and make school children becoming maximally creative.
This article, first of all, is written for the teachers but it will also be interesting for parents to know how to encourage children to develop their creative thought. Let us think again about what strategies are used by us in daily life.
Notion of creativity, its importance and opportunities of its development
Notion of creativity has become in the limelight in the end of 1st half of XX century. The approach of 90ies toward creativity is different from the approach of 1st half of XX centuries. It researches creativity in daily life and does not consider as the gift of specials. Its initial point is not “product”, but a particular invention. It accents on the process, the development.
While discussing the theories of creativity, some distinguishes scales of creativity – revealed in dairy life and characterizing the geniuses. According to scholars, if we are focusing on extraordinary people, it is possible to disregard daily creative experience.
The mentioned theories emphasize different aspects. General accents are on: the process, the product, person and the place. We can remember several scientific hypotheses regarding creativity that can be argued among scholars for a long time:
- Creativity is been developing during a time in connection with person and environment. Common developing point of creativity in this theory are the structures of family and environment; the role of play is great and the effect is conditioned by various factors;
- Creativity may be measured and its activity and reliability be may determine. It may be characterized by special creativity. Here, main focus is product;
- Creativity is determined by “Market Requirements” and is influenced by macro factors. Here are some focuses: person, the product, the place, persuasion;
- Expression of creativity goes several stages. It can have linear and recursive elements. The process has advantage importance here;
- Creativity, mainly, is cognitive process. Forming idea is fundamental. Here main concepts are: association, metaphor, conceptual combinations, meta-cognitive processes, linear/curved thought. Main focuses are person and the process;
- Searching and solving problems in creative manner is the rational process which may be based on expert knowledge and experience. Creative people are actively involved in searching and solving problems. Main focus is made on person, the process and the product here;
- Creativity is the result of complex systems and their interactions where focuses are on person, the process, the product and the place.
During planning and presenting lesson process, it is important that teacher has to think about stages of her/his students’ consciousness in the process of cognition. Teacher should know what instruments should use for making interesting, effective and joyful process of study.
Psychologists and theoreticians, who are working in education sphere, are also noticing importance of participation of student in the process of study. “Activation of imagination is not a beautifully designed addition to the process of study but it is the essence of study. It exactly gives the meaning to the content that we wish to transfer”.
Creation of emotions is very important in development of creativity that can be reached by different instruments.
Teachers wish to develop creative thought to students but frequently they are not assured whether using right strategy or not. Therefore we would list several instruments. Most of psychologists name common cognitive instruments: story, metaphor, binary resistance, rhyme, rhythm, jokes, mental images, gossip and play, secrets, basic literacy instruments. Story makes emotion. The value during the process of study is the mobilization of students’ emotions and imagination. Telling story is not only telling factual parts of it, but it requires synthesis and analyze of facts, events’ order, connection between them.
Using metaphors gives us the opportunity to see one subject though the second subject. This broadens thought. Using metaphors is available during the process of everyday lessen that encourages development of skills for metaphoric thought and notions connection.
Joke, humor is one of the effective instruments to emerge positive emotion in students. They can be encouraged to invent joyful and creative jokes on particular theme themselves. It is desirable to use homonyms that will aid for development of brief thought. Joke is not only means for involvement of students in the process of study but it also strengthens their skill of imagination.
Mental images help students to create images in mind through familiar words and to connect to unknown events. Imaginary icons become familiar and trustful. Accordingly, student easily perceives and works out new notions.
Gossip, no matter how ridiculous it seems, is considered to be the one of the important source of social stability of people. During the lesson it is important to tell such gossip and story which will help students for better perception and imagination of theme.
Meaning of the play is well described and approved by researches. It should be marked the importance of the play as the cognitive instrument. The play helps child to develop multiple skills (thought, memory, sympathy and etc.). The type of the play should be different in accordance with the studying subject (table competition, invention, research, assembly of something or other).
The phenomenon of secret emerges the feeling that the world we see is not as it seems. There are many vague matters that are unknown for us. Using activities with secret raises curiosity in the process of lessons, directs mind toward unexplored and strange things.
This is little enumeration of instruments that helps students in development of creative thought. It is important that we should plan the process of study so that it encourages students to have new ideas, generating, sharing between them. We should foresee that some thinking skills are used and are balanced by it: skill of synthetically thought, which is the skill for creation of new ideas; skill of analytical thought by which student analyzes and evaluates (critical thought) and skill of practical thought – creative individual uses this skill for transforming theory into practice and accomplishing good idea. It is important to encourage development of all three skills. Here we should notice obstacles that can prevent development of creativity.
As Ken Robinson, the expert of education notes in one of his speech: “How schools kill creativity”. This is strict and thinkable statement. School environment is one of the important environments where creativity should be developing. According to the expert, it is necessary to make creativity as important as literacy is. He sees main problem in neglecting multiple talents of students and dividing subjects into so called “major” (mathematics, natural sciences and etc.) and “minor” (art, music) subjects in schools. Expert focuses on the fact that “all children are born talented” and designation of school education is not to raise the professors of universities; School is the place where students should reveal and develop multiple talents. Ken Robinson states: “creativity is not connected to the subject”. Therefore it is important to develop it in the context of all subjects. False is opinion regarding students should reveal creativity only in the lessons of applied arts. We should add the strategy of tolerant attitude toward “making mistakes”: “If you are not ready for mistakes, then you will never have original ideas” (Ken Robinson). This is the one of the important problems that prevents student before entering school door. Strict punishment for mistakes may establish fear in students not to reveal new ideas. Our society did not recognize mistakes as something usual. Even today “ordinary” mistakes are unacceptable in the Post-Soviet space.
Accordingly, we should search preventing factors of creativity in curriculum and cultural-social rules. Here we can present several advices of psychologists and theoreticians:
- Encourage creation of ideas;
- Award students for creative ideas;
- Encourage reasonable risks;
- Be patient toward mistakes; focus on analyzing them;
- Search for stimulating environment;
- Show students connection between them and environment;
- Support discussion of other opinions and views;
- Make an accent on questioning and not answering.