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Do Schools Kill Creativity? | Michelle Vruwink | TEDxYouth@FranklinSchoolOfInnovation

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Do Schools Kill Creativity?  | Michelle Vruwink | TEDxYouth@FranklinSchoolOfInnovation

Creativity and Curiosity

  • Creativity is closely linked to curiosity, and the conditions that support one support the other.
  • Schools are often seen as places where creativity is stifled, but it doesn't have to be that way.
  • A study by George Land and Beth Jarman found that 98% of preschoolers are creative geniuses, but only 2% of adults retain that level of creativity.
  • Standardized tests and an emphasis on convergent thinking in schools may be contributing to the decline in creativity.

Divergent Thinking

  • Divergent thinking, the ability to come up with many new ideas, is essential for creativity and is best fostered in relaxed environments without a focus on right or wrong answers.
  • Creativity requires both divergent and convergent thinking, but schools currently reward and measure convergent thinking skills almost exclusively.

Teaching Creativity

  • Creativity can be taught through a process involving preparation, incubation, illumination, evaluation, and implementation.
  • An example of teaching the creative process is seen in a middle school art classroom where students create maps of imaginary worlds.
  • Teaching creativity in the classroom is essential for student growth and development.

Fostering Creativity in the Classroom

  • Creating a safe and inclusive environment where students feel comfortable taking risks is crucial for fostering creativity.
  • Providing students with clear expectations and choices in how they participate and demonstrate their learning can help them feel more secure and motivated.
  • Allowing students to grapple with problems and work together on challenging tasks encourages problem-solving and creativity.
  • Sharing student work beyond the classroom can motivate students and provide them with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
  • Learning Expeditions, which involve students in complex projects that address real-world issues, can provide opportunities for creativity, collaboration, and community engagement.

Overcoming Barriers to Creativity

  • Overcoming barriers and providing teachers with the time and permission to create non-traditional learning experiences is necessary to support creativity in schools.
  • Teachers can inspire creativity in the classroom by teaching it, creating a safe environment for risk-taking, providing choices, allowing students to solve problems independently, sharing their work beyond the classroom, and letting them engage in meaningful real work.

The Importance of Curiosity and Creativity in Education

  • To foster curiosity and creativity in children, schools must prioritize and allocate time for these practices.
  • Teachers have the power to transform their classrooms into environments that spark curiosity, joy, and creativity, preparing students for the future they will shape.

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