How to teach for creative thinking?
There's no need to learn how to become a 21st century teacher supporting creativity. What we need is to study the children. They will develop as creative thinkers when they are given the time and space to explore, experience and express. We just need to make room for that.
Step 1 – Observing, reflecting and giving feedback
What do they each excel in? What do they find difficult?
The way to get answers for those questions is by giving them independent learning assignments, either in a group or by themselves. Then observe. It means helping them develop as autonomous learners.
When we reflect on their learning processes and give them feedback, they can reflect about their own studying, know their strengths and weaknesses, and develop as learners.
Step 2 – Directing, encouraging and empathizing
As much as we get organized towards such classes, there may be unpredictable situations. But that only allows us to study their thinking, their feelings and their interests further, supplying more much needed feedback.
Directing and empathetically encouraging are innate traits. We chose to study education because we loved kids. Connect with this love, and those innate qualities will surface helping you become a facilitator.
Step 3 – Accepting that less is more
I know how hard it is to implement steps 1 and 2 together with the demands of curriculum. But the fact is even if we tried teaching our students all the knowledge in the world, would they have remembered it? Would they have needed it?
School is about preparing kids for the future. Best we can do is grow our students as independent learners knowing how to find the knowledge they need at the right time and draw their own ideas based on it using their productive and active creative thinking minds. All we need to do is teach a little less, and make space and time for them to explore new knowledge, experience with it and express what they made of it.
Making learning materials creative that way, the students find them relevant. Learning
becomes meaningful. Studying how those bright children think makes teaching a joy.