Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can you teach creativity?

A few years back I was asked to teach a gifted and talented group of children. I firmly believed that my class was for all children because everyone is gifted in some way. I got my way and the class was extended to any class that wanted me.
My method of teaching creativity was to use drawing as alternative problem solving.
The first challenge was to get over,
"But I can't draw".
"Well," I asked, "Can you put a mark on the paper?"
Uh huh" was the answer.
"Then you can draw," I said. The first challenge was met so I went on to the second challenge,
"Are you going to grade this?" They asked.
"Nope" I answered quietly.
"Huh?" is the collective response.
My answer usually gives me 2 minutes of bewildered looks. Then hands shot up,
"Ms. Higgins, there are no erasers on the pencils! What if we make a mistake?"
"You can't make a mistake because everything and anything you put on this paper is OK"
Then, of course, the too cool kid would ask "So what happens if I don't put anything on the paper?"
"Then you won't have any fun!"
I smile knowing that this student will probably be the one who draws the most.
And so it begins.
Can you teach creativity?
Yes, by teaching people young and old to access the right brain not just the right answer.

Next Blog: How coloring outside the lines (literally) made me into an artist.


Melissa Gill said...

I wish I'd had that class when I was a kid.

Debbie said...

You have such a great approach! I've always heard "you can't teach creativity," but I never believed it. I do feel we are doing our children a great disservice, though, by cutting back on the arts and music programs in schools.

sylvia said...

I love this. I need to work on thinking this way.

Molly Hall said...

Wonderful! I wish that there were more opportunities like that for EVERYONE to follow their creative dreams. For more people to say "YES" to trying something new, whether or not it pays money or gets you a good grade. Those children are lucky to have you. : )