Student Engagement 2

 

Forms of Thinking 2

Chapter 9 describes creativity as “ the ability to make or do something new that is also useful or valued by others (Gardner, 1993). The “something” can be an object (like an essay or painting), a skill (like playing an instrument), or an action.”  Creativity is something that is not restricted to the genius of the world but is inherent in all of us and therefore all of us have the ability to think creatively. We can all generate ideas that are “new…... useful, productive and appropriate.” teachers can encourage creative thinking by asking openedded questions that can have a variety of answers.  Each student should have the opportunity to contribute their own unique response.

One way in which I try to facilitate this in my classroom is by giving student a variety of options when doing projects.  Some students may enjoy writing, while others enjoy doing artwork or music so I give a basic structure for the assignment and a rubric for what I am looking for in terms of grading the assignment. Then I add the line “ You are also free to propose an alternative option for the assignment provided that alternative meets the key points of the assignment structure.”

Students also have to problem solve.  This is a skill that is applicable beyond the classroom to the outside world.  My high school students are at the age at which they are looking towards the working world.  Many of them will have to work to support themselves while in college. They will encounter situations in which there are not clear cut instructions on how to accomplish a task and will have to find a way out.  The text encourages teachers to help students develop problem solving skills by (1) analyzing the problem: Identifying the parts of the problem and then working on each part separately to solve it. (2) Working backwards from a solution to the original problem.  This allows the students to see the progression of the thought process behind solving the problem. (3) Analogical Thinking: using prior knowledge or experience of a similar situation to solve the problem.

It is important for teachers to have these forms of thinking in mind when developing lessons.  The classroom should be a place for students to be exposed to these concepts. They should be given the time to explore and practice their skills in a safe environment where they can make mistakes and learn from them.  It is my goal to make my classroom this kind of space.