The value of creativity cannot be undermined. Many critics of traditional education state that the typical classroom does not encourage children to work and think creatively. In addition, programs in the arts are often shunned and discouraged due to their practicality in the business world, making creativity somewhat of an afterthought. In reality, many careers related to business, engineering, and mathematics, to name a few, require strong creative skills, much to the surprise of many who choose those career paths and fail to truly succeed because of weak creative skills. Creativity can be taught, encouraged, as well as practiced; it just takes an open-mind and a bit of work!
How on earth can one teach creativity? It’s just something you’re born with, isn’t it? Well, the nature versus nurture debate is one that surfaces all too often. We don’t really want to delve into that, however, we do know that some combination of genetics and environment is important in determining the individual’s future success. In saying that, creativity can certainly be taught, especially through certain coursework and programs. This does not mean changing the rules of mathematics, but it is possible for problems to be asked or interpreted differently. For example, students can think of even advanced mathematical problems in a creative way if they are asked in a way that fosters creativity. Instead of what does two multiplied by two equal, the simplest of questions can be rephrased to require critical thinking of the answer instead of sheer memorization that does not teach much of anything. “Which two numbers, when multiplied by each other, equal 4?” While this example may not be the best, it does illustrate the idea that subjects which are not typically deemed to be for the creative types can certainly still foster creativity and cater to all types of students from a variety of learning backgrounds!
Encourage Learning Creativity
Teaching creativity is certainly one way of encouraging it, but how else can creativity be encouraged? Well, as touched upon earlier, the arts should not be ignored, and studying them should in no way be considered taboo. If I asked you to name five people throughout history, chances are you would name a few musicians, inventors, successively business people, politicians, as well as artists of all kind. If you had to reflect upon your answers, you’d surely acknowledge the fact that truly creative people are the ones who stand out. Outside of the classroom, children can learn how to play instruments, take dance classes, draw and paint, or even work on puzzles! There are just so many ways that creativity can be encouraged! And while it’s easier to list them, it’s a bit harder to get out there and start developing some of your creative talents. So pick up a hobby and start practicing! You’ll be surprised how much something like dancing can lead to greater success in your completely unrelated career!