3 Reasons Why Cultivating A Creative Classroom Is Important
The Greek philosopher Plato said that “The direction [in] which education starts a man will determine his future life.” One of the goals of education is to prepare our youth to embrace and develop their strengths. For educators like you and me, this means our preparation to create a great classroom for our students is one step for them to become capable, productive citizens. Creative classroom practices and a combination of school structures put in place will support students on their learning journey. Here are some reasons why it is important to create one that fosters creativity as well as learning outcomes.
A Creative Classroom Enables Students to Become Better Problem Solvers
Fostering a classroom that allows your students to be creative throughout their activities can have a profound effect on how they do their work as they grow up. It has been found that giving more creativity-based activities for students will exercise their higher-order cognitive skills such as lesson retention and critical thinking (Saad, 2019). Doing this will help them remember more information that they can use to solve problems inside and outside school.
A Creative Classroom Gives Students Confidence and Motivation
A major tenant in having a creative classroom is embracing growth mindset by reframing failures and mistakes. It is awesome seeing a struggling student finally get their aha with perseverance and productive struggling on a problem and finally figuring it out for themselves? Giving them more creativity, problem, and project-based activities will help increase their creative potential. Activities should be designed to allow for “productive struggle” (Krueger, 2021), which is a term for allowing some wrestling of ideas, failure and going through a trial and error process to figure out for themselves. We need to take into account the zone of proximal development of students and scaffold and hold curiosity long enough for them to learn! Not easy but it is something we as educators and parents should strive to do to support creative learning.
A Creative Classroom Helps the Student Understand their World
Another tenant of a creative classroom is to teach systems thinking by an integrated approach across disciplines. When we teach we should teach things to show connections. As students gain more knowledge as they are exposed and also because they are encouraged to follow their curiosities the make more connections. When students see themselves as part of a whole, they will see how their choices and actions effect the community, world and living system as a whole. This is one of the best leaps that humans can make in order to feel responsibility to solve small and large problems we face on our planet.
For students to strengthen their strengths, nurture their passions, discover their learning styles and be open to opportunities to explore and discuss ideas, it is absolutely critical that educators like you and me create a culture of creativity at our schools. Little barriers will not hold back your students from challenging the way they see things or seeing things differently. The goal for us as educators is to provide our students with experiences (and for them to seek out experiences on their own) that encourage the mindset of continuous innovation.