Thursday, June 5, 2014

Encouraging Creativity

When you think of the term creativity, what do you think of?  Maybe you think of drawing or painting. Maybe it's being creative in the kitchen and coming up with new recipes.  The concept of creativity can mean different things to different people.  In Educational Psychology, Anita Woolfolk (2013) defines the term creativity as "the ability to produce work that is original, but still appropriate and useful" (p.339).  In the world of teaching, how can we encourage our students to think creatively and be critical thinkers, but also perform the tasks they are required to perform?  This may be a problem for many educators.  Woolfolk  and others (2013) suggests that "creativity is important for an individual's psychological, physical, social, and career success" (p.342).  Therefore, it is important that we try to foster and develop a child's creativity and critical thinking skills.


In today's society, creativity may not be openly welcomed in most schools.  The reason for this could be that teachers are under pressure for their students to succeed and teacher's are being assessed on their student's ability to perform on state testing.  In schools, teachers may feel the need to focus more on teaching what will be covered on the state tests to prepare their students instead of allowing their students to think creatively, develop their critical thinking skills.  Something that could be done to help change and improve this situation would be to have teachers teach the concepts the students are learning in a creative approach.  Allow them to explore, draw, create, manipulate, and utilize their creative minds to complete their tasks. 

I think it was really interesting how Sir Ken Robinson says how creativity in education is as important as literacy.  I think it gives some great insights that creativity is necessary for child development and expression.


Woolfolk, A. (2013). Education Psychology (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc. 

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