Creativity and Teaching Process

Creativity is an act of free creation where personal traits can be expressed. Dictionary defined creativity as “a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts.” I believe that all people are born with specific creative abilities. There is no single thought about the source of creativity and factors, which influence it but divine intervention, social environment, cognitive processes and personal traits are usually called the factors, which influence this complicated process. As we can see from the list above, some factors which influence creativity are born qualities and can’t be changed or influenced, and the society and surrounding develop others. It means that creativity can be partially taught. Also, even the best creative abilities can be lost if they are not paid necessary attention to.

Unfortunately, the educational process very seldom turns to creativity in both, teaching methods and the object of teaching. Such reluctance is easy to understand as involving creativity in the teaching process creates new challenges. Teaching creativity is a difficult task if the teaching is not creative himself. The theory of Multiple Intelligence proves that there are a lot of fields different people can be creative on and differentiated approach can help to define areas different students are gifted in. Same happens with creativity. There are a lot of fields creative abilities can be applied to, and it takes time to define strong and weak points of each student.

If we pay attention to the factors, which influence creativity, we will see that a lot of specialists define creativity as one of personality traits. The personality is formed in early childhood. This means that creative abilities don’t stay unchangeable and can be changed or developed with the development of personality. Also, social surrounding and close environment also have an extremely important influence on the development of creative abilities. While developing creativity, it’s necessary to pay attention to the special characteristics of this process.

Inspiration and insight strongly influence creativity. Inspiration and insight are hard to control and can be easily ruined by evaluation and criticism. Students should work in the friendly and trusting atmosphere to develop their creative abilities. Excessive control, inflexible evaluation or criticism can easily ruin students longing for creativity. Teacher’s role is extremely important in creating an atmosphere, where a student can be artistic and creative. It’s also necessary to take into account specific role of teacher while developing creative abilities. The teacher should direct students’ actions, but he or she also should give them freedom of choice and opportunities for self-realization at the same time. Creativity can and should be taught, but it’s necessary to take into account the specificity of this process. Creativity should be treated not like the rest of the abilities, which can be developed. It should be treated rather like something, which exists in everyone but should be uncovered. The teacher’s role in this process should be to help students to find the source of creativity and inspiration inside of them and express their individualities in any form they find.

Amabile, T. M., R. Conti, H. Coon, et al. (1996). “Assessing the work environment for creativity”. Academy of Management Review 39 (5): 1154-1184.
McCrae, R.R. (1987). “Creativity, Divergent Thinking, and Openness to Experience”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 (6): 1258-1265.

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