Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between phenomena, and to generate solutions.
However, the education system has continued to kill the creativity in students. Every other aspect of life is changing and evolving -the automobile industry, the medical field, the engineering field, the banking sector-. These sectors have new innovations daily but the education sector keeps lacking behind. The way our students were taught in the 60’s is the same way they are being taught in the 21st century. Most schools in Nigeria do not encourage creativity among students rather they encourage the students to read their school textbooks, prepare for exams and are rewarded for their ability to remember what they read.
This cycle –Read, Write examination, Reward (the Grade) will not increase the creativity among our students. There is more and I am here to share with you how to increase creativity among students in your school.
First of all, increasing creativity in students starts from the attitude of the teachers. It is the responsibility of a teacher to increase the creativity of her students. The reason for teaching should not be to make money alone but also to impact and transform young minds. If our teachers can make it their responsibility to transform the lives of students and not just feed them with letters and numbers, then we will help the students beyond our imagination.
How It Works…
- INTEGRATE MORE HANDS-ON LEARNING
Students tend to forget 75% of what they are taught after some time but will always remember what they did with their own hands. The memory will stick to them. So, while teaching Mathematics, English, History or Biology, encourage the students to do something. Let them solve questions on the board, let them read passages, let them design on the computer. Encourage them to do something.
A teacher can bring a ball, a die, a kite, a toy car or anything to class to teach the students. Let them feel things. They should not just read from books, they should make things, touch things too.
2) INTRODUCE MORE OF GROUP WORKS
Students see themselves as one big family. Teachers should reduce individual assignments and introduce group assignments. Give them assignments that will encourage working together and thinking. Give them a puzzle to solve and while grouping them, group the weaker ones with the more brilliant ones. When the weaker students work more with the stronger students, they will start showing some attributes of intelligence. They will want to be involved in the group work too and make contributions.
3) ENCOURAGE DISCUSSION
Let me share with you mistakes most teachers do while teaching; they come to class, dictate lecture notes to students, explain the notes and leave. Some try to answer questions from one or two students. This process is wrong. Teachers should encourage discussion in class, talk to the students, have an open discussion with them and let everyone make contributions.
Students feel comfortable when they are discussing with their teachers without fear. Everyone in class should be carried along, both the weaker and intelligent students.
4) GIVE STUDENTS PROJECT TO DO
This is a combination of point 1 and 2.
In fine and creative art, technical drawing, agricultural science, economics, etc… students should be given projects to do. Assignments should not just be written, students should be given assignments that will make them think and research.
These students will be proud of doing things themselves and teachers should encourage it.
5) INCORPORATE HUMOUR INTO CLASSROOMS
Why do you think students sleep in class while a teacher is teaching?
Is it because they are tired or the class is boring?
Students won’t sleep in a class that is lively. Teachers should to smile when teaching and tell a joke. Make the students laugh, have fun teaching them. Let everyone be happy. Don’t be in class to killjoy rather be there to create joy, teach, make fun and learn.
Let students have a reason to return to school the next day. They should expect more from teachers. Make learning fun for them.
6) REWARD THE STUDENTS TO MOTIVATE THEM
Humans always want to be rewarded for a job well done. I believe students should be rewarded too. Teachers can take a package of sweet to class and give any students that answer a question correctly. This will make students contribute in class because they want a reward. Teachers can also give gold stars to students for being innovative. Every student will look forward to having a golden star attached to his/her name.
A student can be given a gold star for helping others in the class, for leadership skills, for neatly dressing and well behaved.
6) PIN UP MOTIVATIONAL POSTERS IN CLASSROOMS
When someone fails in life, the only way they can move on is by encouraging them to try again. The same principle should be taught in a classroom; when a student fails in class, he should be encouraged to try again and not give up. This poster is a great way to encourage students to unleash their creative potentials.
Use quotes like, “Sometimes you WIN, sometimes you LEARN”, “If you are making MISTAKES, it means you are out there DOING SOMETHING”, “Discover your POTENTIALS”…
This will make students do more for themselves.
Teachers have more work to do and consistency is what will make this process work effectively.
WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL MANAGEMENT?
Yes, school management also has a role to play in increasing creativity among students.
- INVITE PROFESSIONALS TO CHAT WITH THE STUDENTS
Schools should invite professionals such as Engineers, Dentists, Medical Doctors, Pilots, Bankers, Architects, Artistes, etc to come to speak to the students. The students should start thinking about their future from their tender age. Hearing a professional speaker will make the students think about their health and future.
- ENCOURAGE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Extra-curricular activities should in encourage in schools. This will increase their creativity. Games such as chess and scrabble should be introduced into fun time.
Clubs, competition among students, debate etc should be incorporated into extra-curricular activities.
- LET STUDENTS SET THEIR OWN GOALS
Students should be encouraged to set their own goals and achieve that goal. It gives them a sense of responsibility in life.
Okay, I will stop here. Contact me if you want more.
Written by Livingstone Imonitie
(+234 810 606 8693)