Nowadays all representatives of the educational sphere agree on how important creative thought is. Creativity gives individuals an opportunity not only to perceive the universe and its phenomenon in multiple ways but also to aspire to new ideas, make discoveries, and 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 one of the aspects of intelligence but if we think about the diversity of intelligence then it becomes difficult to agree. (Howard Gardner’s „Theory of multiple intelligences” are sorting some types of intelligence: Linguistic, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalistic, and Existential). As is described in scientific literature, many factors influence creativity, including environmental conditions. The high degree of autonomy gives individuals the opportunity to reveal their creativity and it cannot be said about an authoritarian environment.
Sometimes creativity is characterized as a “curved” thought that is distinguished from traditional, overall thought.
The teacher–moderator plays important role in the classroom and should use his/her skills and multiple instruments and make school children become 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.
The notion of creativity, its importance, and opportunities for its development
The notion of creativity has become in the limelight at the end of 1st half of the XX century. The approach of 90-is toward creativity is different from the approach of 1st half of the XX century.
It researches creativity in daily life and does not consider it a gift special. Its initial point is not “product”, but a particular invention. It accents the process, the development.
While discussing the theories of creativity, some distinguish 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 experiences.
The mentioned theories emphasize different aspects. General accents are on: the process, the product, the 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 a person and environment. Common developing points 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 determined. It may be characterized by special creativity. Here, the main focus is the product;
- Creativity is determined by “Market Requirements” and is influenced by macro factors. Here are some focuses: person, the product, the place, persuasion;
- The expression of creativity goes through several stages. It can have linear and recursive elements. The process has an advantage importance here;
- Creativity, mainly, is a cognitive process. The forming idea is fundamental. Here main concepts are association, metaphor, conceptual combinations, meta-cognitive processes, and linear/curved thought. The main focuses are the person and the process;
- Searching and solving problems creatively is a rational process that may be based on expert knowledge and experience. Creative people are actively involved in searching for and solving problems. The main focus is made on the person, the process, and the product here;
- Creativity is the result of complex systems and their interactions where the focuses are on the person, the process, the product, and the place.
During the planning and presenting the lesson process, it is important that teacher has to think about the stages of her/his students’ consciousness in the process of cognition. The teacher should know what instruments should use for making an interesting, effective, and joyful process of study.
Psychologists and theoreticians, who are working in the education sphere, are also noticing the importance of the participation of students 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 the study. It exactly gives the meaning to the content that we wish to transfer”.
The creation of emotions is very important in the development of creativity that can be reached by different instruments.
Teachers wish to develop creative thought in students but frequently they are not assured whether using the right strategy or not.
Therefore we would list several instruments. Most psychologists name common cognitive instruments: story, metaphor, binary resistance, rhyme, rhythm, jokes, mental images, gossip and play, secrets, and basic literacy instruments.
The story makes emotion. The value during the process of study is the mobilization of students’ emotions and imagination. The telling story is not only telling factual parts of it, but it requires synthesis and analysis of facts, events’ order, and connection between them.
Using metaphors allows us to see one subject through the second subject. This broadens thought. Using metaphors is available during the process of everyday lessons that encourages the 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 a particular theme themselves. It is desirable to use homonyms that will aid in the development of brief thought. The joke is not only a means for the involvement of students in the process of study but also strengthens their skill of imagination.
Mental images help students to create images in their minds through familiar words and to connect to unknown events. Imaginary icons become familiar and trustworthy. Accordingly, student easily perceives and works out new notions.
Gossip, no matter how ridiculous it seems, is considered to be one of the important sources of social stability of people. During the lesson, it is important to tell such gossip and story which will help students to better perceive and imagination of the theme.
The meaning of the play is well described and approved by researchers. Should be marked the importance of play as a cognitive instrument.
The play helps the child to develop multiple skills (thought, memory, sympathy, etc.). The type of play should be different by 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.
Many vague matters are unknown to us. Using activities with secrets raises curiosity in the process of lessons and directs the mind toward unexplored and strange things.
This is a little enumeration of instruments that help students in the development of creative thought.
We must plan the process of study so that it encourages students to have new ideas, generating, and sharing between them.
We should foresee that some thinking skills are used and are balanced by it: the skill of synthetical thought, which is the skill for the creation of new ideas; the skill of analytical thought by which student analyzes and evaluates (critical thought) and the skill of practical thought – creative individual uses this skill for transforming theory into practice and accomplishing a good idea.
It is important to encourage the development of all three skills. Here we should notice obstacles that can prevent the development of creativity.
As Ken Robinson, the expert on education notes in one of his speeches: “How schools kill creativity”. This is a strict and thinkable statement. The school environment is one of the important environments where creativity should be developed. According to the expert, it is necessary to make creativity as important as literacy is.
He sees the main problem in neglecting the multiple talents of students and dividing subjects into so-called “major” (mathematics, natural sciences, etc.) and “minor” (art, music) subjects in schools.
Expert focuses on the fact that “all children are born talented” and the 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 the opinion regarding students should reveal creativity only in the lessons of applied arts.
We should add the strategy of a tolerant attitude toward “making mistakes”: “If you are not ready for mistakes, then you will never have original ideas” (Ken Robinson). This is one of the important problems that prevent students from entering the 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 for preventing factors of creativity in curriculum and cultural-social rules. Here we can present several advice of from psychologists and theoreticians:
- Encourage the creation of ideas;
- Award students for creative ideas;
- Encourage reasonable risks;
- Be patient toward mistakes; focus on analyzing them;
- Search for a stimulating environment;
- Show students the connection between themselves and the environment;
- Support discussion of other opinions and views;
- Make an accent on questioning and not answering.