Nurturing Creative Children
Creating opportunities for children to engage in investigation and represent their ideas may make your children grow into Inventors!
Creativity is all the divergent ways of thinking that lead to something new and useful for the thinker’. Imagination in this creative process refers to an ability whereby one can create concepts or mental representations of objects not immediately present or seen. This human creative behavior orients human being toward the future, towards creating the future and thus altering his own present. Vygotsky, a famous developmental theorist, claimed that the operation of imagination is contingent upon the richness and wideness of an individual’s experience. Moreover, both artistic and scientific creativity require the collaboration of imagination and thinking in concepts. Inventor Nicoli Tesla had, from his childhood, a vision that he could create images of inventions, without the help of drawings.
The concerns in today’s society demand creative and novel resolutions, which require creative thinking and problem-solving. A vast body of research studies justifies the development of educational creativity training programs. Parents and Teachers can promote the children’s thinking capacities by providing rich environments that contribute to their creative thinking potentials that may flourish in the children’s development. Creativity and imagination have been becoming topics of ever-increasing interest to educational settings. Teachers are imperative resources at their disposal to facilitate and maximize students learning experience and to release students’ potentials in classrooms into practical uses in everyday life.
Working from imagination is both entertaining and stimulating for children. Play activities for children provide an arena for creative thinking processes. Some observations of people from creative fields uncovered that their work process stems from some aspects of child’s play. A developmental view of adolescent creativity underlines that interactions between imagination and reasoning lead to more mature and productive forms of creative thinking in adulthood. In the psychology literature, there have been found fruitful connections between the development of creativity and the cognitive-affective processes in children which in turn stimulates the development of divergent thinking and creative problem-solving.
It is believed that creativity is an important capacity for students to possess in order to face this fast-changing world. Creativity and imagination, when encouraged among school-goers can help one break through fixed ways of thinking; encourage one to ‘Think out of the box’, or think beyond current solutions; build upon each other’s ideas; and develop new inspiring and surprising ideas. Though creativity is a quality that some individuals possess more, than the others, everyone is capable of being creative and imaginative, especially when encouraged by teachers in the classrooms, and by parents while teaching at home.
Techniques for developing Creativity and encouraging Imagination
The following strategies that can be used with the children to encourage divergent thinking, creative thought and problem-solving.
Mind mapping or Spider Webs: Teachers can give a theme based on an important subject matter to the pupil, write the idea on the board, encourage children to think broadly and give their thoughts about it. They can be asked to write an essay or a paragraph using the discussed ideas to give their understanding of the discussion in the class.
“Why?” : Young children ask questions about everything because practically everything is new to them. Play the ‘Why?’ game with a kid; it’s infuriating, yet surprisingly enlightening how imaginative they can be. Thus the more questions that are asked, the more imaginative and divergent one can encourage them to be.
Six Thinking Hats:
In a class environment, distribute these hats among children, and form groups, either of same hats, or different color hats in each. Take a topic, related to their syllabus, or even general knowledge and let each team have time to come up with their content. This may inculcate the qualities of being objective and yet creative, divergent and imaginative at the same time. The content from all the groups can be discussed, and then integrated into one for a broader understanding of the subject matter.
Random Word Generation: Simply pick two random words from the subject matter you intend to teach and try and tie your content to it in the most imaginative way possible. The real fun part is how you choose to come up with the words. For example- The pupils could flick through a dictionary; or the teacher could write words on a bunch of plastic balls, throw them into the air, and then have the pupils choose the words on the first two balls they catch. Let them have fun and do the learning simultaneously.
Picture Association & Analogies: When stuck for ideas, perform an image search on your topic of choice, pick a random photo, and develop a story around how the photo was taken. For example, let the pupil see a picture of a dog looking up at the night sky, ask them what it could be thinking. Is it a stargazing dog? Does that dog secretly long to be an astronaut? Perhaps a story about a space dog would be awesome! One can characterize the people and objects within the image and the imagination can be encouraged to develop some fantastic ideas through this technique.
Get Up and Go Out: Take the children on a walk around your local woods, and let them indulge in their contemplation montage. On coming back, they can all share their thoughts and experience. It can often prove both relaxing and rewarding just to get up and walk about for a bit, let the mind wander instead of focusing on daily tasks.
Teachers, in fact, especially stand in a unique position in fostering creativity in the classroom. They should not only encourage students to express their creativity but also utilize different materials and teaching approaches to inspire students’ imagination and think outside of the box. Most importantly, teachers should cultivate a pleasing, respectful and playful environment without any pressure for students to explore their wonderlands.