Developing Creativity & Innovation in Education
Education systems around the world are changing at an ever-expanding rate, much quicker than ever before. Information can change on a day-by-day basis and the volumes of information our children are absorbing are becoming more challenging with every generation.
With this in mind, it is important for education systems to become more flexible, more adaptive, more creative and more innovative. But how can this be implemented by schools and educational facilities and how can these institutes become ready to face the upcoming challenges that will present themselves in a few months and years.
Changes must be made now, otherwise we will find ourselves unprepared. In this article, we will explore ways for teachers to become more creative in their teaching methods. This will enable them to encourage positive and creative thinking among their students and help them prepare for the future.
Be direct and to the point
The traditional method of teaching involves students following a predetermined timetable in which they attend various lessons and take part in different projects in each lesson. By focusing your students on one project at a time, you allow all your students to combine their collective knowledge in a technique called Project-Based Learning. This allows children to combine all subjects into one large project.
Let the students take control
In most classrooms teachers lead the lessons and the students are sitting down, watching and taking notes. This is an extremely outdated and ineffective technique that represses the student’s ability to teach themselves. By allowing students to learn by themselves and teachers stepping aside to provide guidance and information when necessary, students can learn at a much higher rate.
Marc Peters, an educational expert and writer explains:
Giving children the responsibility to be in control of their learning, even from a young age, can have a huge, positive effect on their learning abilities throughout their lives, enabling them to produce high-quality results and learn vital skills that will help them decipher problems and solve them efficiently. Personally, I create guidelines for the projects I carry out in classes that the students can follow. I leave them to it, offering guidance and help where needed that allows them to explore solutions to find their own results.
Make room for discussion
Commonly referred to as the Harkness method of teaching, the technique is used in classrooms to enable open discussion. Instead of the traditional row-by-row seating plans, children are positioned around tables, which motivates and encourages them to take control of their own learning, developing ideas and solutions with other students and allows them to share their opinions.
Motivate your students’ independence
This technique is commonly referred to as the Pestalozzi Method. Instead of using traditional teaching methods where students give direct answers to direct questions, this method gives students the opportunities to find the answers by exploring the questions themselves. This helps to teach students many different skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and even have opportunities to develop their own capabilities.
Professor Mike Brewer said that:
Allowing students to have their own independence is a crucial element of today’s learning system. It’s, quite simply, inefficient to stand in front of a class and just lecture away for hours, especially with younger years. Providing students with a set of questions or ‘puzzles’ in which they can work alone, or in groups, helps to explore methods of solving and new ideas to come to their own conclusions.
It is often said that imagination is a strong factor in education. While it is true that facts are facts and should be taught, concepts are equally important when it comes to educating children. By teaching students in the form of concepts, you are opening up their minds to new thoughts and ideas and once again enabling skills such as problem solving and critical thinking.
Utilise the latest teaching tools
There are countless apps, software platforms and websites that can help students to learn more effectively in the classrooms. Using innovative tools that open opportunities for group discussions, allow children to brainstorm with one another and help to boost overall creativity.