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Assignments that require students to put two things together are also likely to promote creativity.
Although that may be true in general, only assignments that allow student choice in matters related to what the student is supposed to learn develop student creativity in the area under study.
For example, if you ask students to compare characters in two novels and allow them to choose the characters or novels, they have the opportunity to develop creativity in their approach to literary criticism.
Myriad opportunities for fostering creativity are right under our noses in school, because learning is a generative act.
However, what's missing in many classrooms is deliberately noticing and naming opportunities for creativity when they occur, giving feedback on the creative process, and teaching students that creativity is a valued quality.
Fifth graders were busy writing acrostic poems on small posters.
One girl wrote a school spirit poem, with the first letter of each line spelling out the school name: S for "super," N for "nice," and so on.
Of course, a poem that is uninterpretable or meaningless, no matter how original, can't be creative.
What does it look like when schoolwork is original and of high quality?
She needed to know that her work was proficient—but she also needed to be challenged to work with more originality when writing poems. He needed to know that he had used a prescribed format creatively—but he also needed to be challenged to check his spelling and use a ruler to make straight lines of text on posters. What was missing in the teacher's feedback is easy to diagnose—her criteria for success were too limited—but it's harder to put right. Here's how to assess and give feedback about creativity and, in the process, help students become more creative in their work.
Creativity is a simple concept that can be difficult to get your head around.