“Education Week” recently posted an article sharing “The Five Habits of Creative Teachers.” The five authors collaborated to create a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) modeled after the University of Pennsylvania’s MOOC developed in the fall of 2013 on creativity, innovation and change. The MOOC, piloted last year, was open to all teachers and free of charge. In the course, the authors sought to build awareness of the importance of creativity in classrooms and encourage a creative mindset among teachers.
The five habits of creative teachers the authors suggest are as follows:
- Curiosity: Creative teachers encourage curiosity in others and are curious themselves. They ask questions and seek knowledge actively.
- Remixing: Creative teachers “remix” knowledge of others to create their own understandings.
- Finding Your Tribe: Creative teachers seek out and find others who have similar goals and interests as them. In essence, they create their own learning communities.
- Failing and Thriving: Creative teachers practice failing, in what the authors call “failing forward.” By failing well, teachers recondition themselves to take risks and encourage a growth mindset in themselves and others.
- Reflection: Creative teachers constantly engage in reflection and seek to be aware of the assumptions they hold. Reflective, creative teachers are also aware of their current situations – they seek to be conscious in the present moment.
As educators, we know that creativity is being challenged daily in classrooms across the country – whether one is a teacher in a private, public, charter or other type of school. With the focus on standards and pressures to increase what students know and are able to do despite their age and developmental ability, creativity in schools is quickly and unfortunately becoming a thing of the past. It is our duty as teachers to not only inspire creativity amongst our students but within ourselves, for we know from James A. Baldwin’s familiar quote that, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
We loved these wise words from the article’s authors: “Creativity is not a singular skill that can be developed in one way or even several ways. As educators, we must create the conditions that allow creativity to flourish in – keeping in mind that creativity will manifest itself differently in every student. One way for educators to learn how to create these conditions is to develop a mindset that allows them to be aware of their own creative abilities. This then creates conditions for a ripple effect of awareness and appreciation for other forms of creativity.”
Which of the creative habits will you engage in to inspire your students in the classroom on Monday?
|Authored by Jordan Khadam-Hir, Rice University School Literacy and Culture|