Some people believe that creativity can not be taught. I believe through my research and almost twenty years of teaching art that creativity can and must be taught. Having said that, there is no specific ‘formula’ to achieve this. It simply is the responsibility of all teachers to create an environment that fosters risk taking and problem solving. Think about it, do you now any teacher who doesn‘t want her students to be creative?
Depending on your students, the weather, and how much sleep you got the night before, this may not be easy, but it is essential. It is the single most important factor a teacher can bring to the classroom. While asking students questions abo
ut an image, respond to their answers in a positive way. Nothing kills creativity more than the child thinking, “I’m wrong, my ideas are stupid and the teacher will expose me to the rest of the class.” Instead, if a child responds to the art in an unusual way, or in a way that you do not understand, ask clarifying questions, and smile. Yes, smile. Children read you body language more than you think. Be intrigued. Ask her/him why they have that opinion. Try to see it from his/her point of view. Remember, the whole point is using art is to generate a variety of ideas, as outlandish as they seem. By accepting the student’s idea and writing it down as part of a bigger list, it also allows that same student to critique it later. Isn’t that the basis of creative thought?