Creativity is a phenomenon where a person uses their own ingenuity to create something that is unique and adds value to someone, or adds extra value to something. Everyone is creative in their own way - from the engineer who can find a cost-effective way to solve a complicated problem related to the construction of a bridge to the artist who created the world’s highest-valued NFT, everyone has their own area of expertise and their own area of creativity. The importance of creativity and creative ideas has increased so much today chiefly because of social media and the increasing demand for art and aesthetics among the masses. To make use of this cultural and societal shift, it is necessary to foster creativity in the younger generation so that they can pave the way for the future. This is where the role of teachers comes in.
Factors Affecting Creativity in Students
Children are some of the most creative units there are. They create games on their own, come up with the most bizarre and creative ideas for art, and find joy in the littlest things. However, this creativity in students is short-lived as they will find it difficult to explore their artistic side along with the school curriculum. So, teachers need to create opportunities and avenues for children to improve their creative skills and come up with more and more creative ideas. However, before getting into the conditions required for fostering creativity in students, it is important to see what the driving factors are that affect creativity in students.
Experience is the most powerful factor in driving creative thought. A child who has been exposed to more worldly experiences will be able to come up with more creative ideas than a child who has had few ones. The more diverse and unique their experience is, the more creative the child will be. There will, of course, be exceptions to this rule, but generally thus is the case.
Believe it or not, self-confidence plays a major role in the creativity of an individual. At the time of conception, not everyone gives importance to whether or not an idea is good or not, but as the possibility of presentation arises, they ultimately do think of it. This is when self-confidence issues kick in. If the student believes that their idea is truly unique and creative, they will present it with complete confidence, but if they have relatively low self-esteem, they will consider themselves to be less creative, which will affect their creativity.
Some creative thoughts require time to be molded into an idea. This is especially true in the case of painting and other forms of fine art, where a concept needs to be turned into an idea with care and precision, which takes a lot of thought and effort put into it, which in turn requires time.
How Teachers Can Foster Creativity in Students
Now that you have an idea of the factors that affect a child’s creativity, the role of teachers in helping them develop it comes in. Teachers can be the biggest influence in funneling the children’s creativity in such a way that they can use it in contexts both within and outside the paradigm of academics. Given below are a few.
Conferring Autonomy Onto Students
Giving students a sense of autonomy in the learning process gives them a sense of responsibility regarding their own education, which in turn provides a feeling of wanting to succeed. It is when someone is determined and focused that they use their full potential, and in this case, the student will be motivated to do their best, which is when their most creative ideas will come to the forefront.
Avoiding Rash Judgement
The teacher has the power to make or break a child’s creativity. Teachers must refrain from commenting or passing judgment on a piece of work a student has done without proper observation. The teacher must also be wary of the language they use. Provide constructive criticism only when necessary, and appreciate them when they do something good.
Rather than the teacher providing them their opinion on where the student might want to improve, make an effort to ask the students what feel they need to improve upon on the basis of their current work. This way, the student will learn to be self-critical, not so much as to demean their own work, but looking through the lens of self-improvement. This is a very powerful tool, not just when looking through the lens of art and creativity, but in all practical aspects of life as well.
Soft Empowerment of Students
Soft empowerment refers to the empowerment of students not through direct encouragement of the students but by making the students themselves say what they feel worked best for them. This is a very powerful method because it instills confidence within the students and at the same time, also helps them see what their strengths are and how they can work on them to improve them.
Today’s youth are the future of the nation, and it is within the control of a good teacher to help them become the best version of themselves. Teachers have the power to not just single handedly change the fate of each individual student, but the entire fate of the country as well. Therefore, it is vital that they put in their best to help their students become the best version of themselves they can be.