Teacher Magazine just published an excerpt from our TLN daily discussion which they titled "The Power of the Imaginative Mind." It's a conversation that began with some discussion of Sir Ken Robinson's recent speech to 100 international school superintendents, in which he called for making creativity a schooling priority comparable to literacy and numeracy.
Gail, a school-based teacher coach, wrote:
A high school colleague and I are considering how we can do some investigatory research into the question of what happens to students' creativity during their K-12 years.
As a K-6 instructional coach, I see kindergarten students who are very creative and original in their thinking and approaches to problem-solving. And they love being at school and learning. By 6th grade, many students seem to have lost this love of learning, and they have few, if any, opportunities for creative thought. (Yes, changing this is definitely on my "To Do" list as a coach).
My high school colleague sees the same lack of creativity and willingness to take risks or problem-solve among her chemistry and physics students. We have some assumptions about why this is (standardized tests are on our list of possibilities), but we'd like to affirm or rebut our beliefs with actual data.
One idea she had was to survey students, parents, and teachers, asking them how they define "creativity" and then use those definitions as "keywords" to create a checklist for use when observing various classrooms in action. Of course a major concern is that teachers won't want to see their classroom "labeled" as a place that is noncreative and/or as a place that stifles creativity. Any ideas or suggestions our readers have would be most gratefully welcomed.
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