Every now and then the buzzword CREATIVITY pops up in Education circles. It was mentioned again by former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. Quite unsurprisingly, she advocated that the Government wished to promote creativity in their Curriculum whereas critics predictably dismissed the claims. Standard.
My thoughts on this blog come from my own experiences in the classroom and the way I think the school I work at promotes creative learning through a stimulating curriculum. Every day is fun at our school! It has to be!
First of all, I’ll rewind to my days at the University of Northampton. It was there that I was introduced to Sir Ken Robinson. Unfortunately via Youtube, and not the man himself. I would love to discuss his views with him. Sir Ken did make some very key and valid points.
Sir Ken talks about the squeeze that was put on creativity in Education in 2007. Fast forward to 2015 and I’m sure his opinion hasn’t changed with the new Curriculum! But is Sir Ken right? Do Primary schools really suppress the creativity of the children in their care and if so, why? At the BETT show in 2015 he furthered his ideas when he quite rightly suggested that as soon as the classroom door closes, it is up to the teacher themselves to provide the children under their care with the opportunities. And that is the important point. Teachers have to create the opportunities. Curriculums don’t suppress creativity, teachers do. If they choose to do so.
I really do think it is that simple. VALUE creativity in your classroom, provide the opportunities, be prepared to fail (but learn from it), encourage failure and you will have enthused children who are engaged in the learning you provide. What is stopping you?
ALERT: The classroom can sometimes be a place where getting things wrong doesn’t look good. Don’t encourage this. Failure is often a good thing! It is how we learn from a very young age.
I had an interesting conversation with my fellow Year 6 teacher on the day we broke up recently. As part of our leavers’ assembly, we always ask the children to share their favourite school memories. He mentioned that whenever the children talk about them, they always mention the fun stuff. It’s not always the creative stuff they mention, I would be lying if I said they did, but they always mention the fun stuff.
They mentioned making a 1/4 scale Viking longship, being involved in sporting events, going on residentials, doing massive art projects, or creating their own acts for charity events. No mention of SPAG, maths operation strategies, or the such like! Now don’t for one minute think I am advocating that some of these are very important because they are. But it is really important to offer children a balanced curriculum. School should be there to be enjoyed!
And when children are enjoying school, they are enthusiastic and they become more creative! Simple right? I think it is! Don’t hide behind the ‘the curriculum suppresses creativity’ excuse. Get out there and make your classroom a fun place because I can guarantee that you will enjoy teaching it just as much as the children will learning it!
Remember, positive energy! Less time wasted on educational debate = more energy to make a difference!
This is a re-blog post originally posted by Wayne Chalmers and published with kind permission.
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