At the recent Positive School Conference 2014, I heard Dr Helen Street suggested exactly this. She went on to explain how we are in fact stifling the creativity of our students which directly impacts their wellbeing. She goes on to say that creativity is a skill that can be developed and nurtured with time and opportunity.
She continues by saying, “Creativity not only helps young people to define their humanity, it is strongly linked to their mental health and academic competencies. If young Australians continually rely on being passively entertained, creativity is a precious skill that is in danger of diminishing. We need time to think, time to ‘be bored’ so that we can develop our creative selves. Without creativity, our engagement with learning and our wellbeing struggles”.
Dr Ken Robinson is his popular Ted talk supports this by saying we need to give students opportunities to do nothing and allow space for creativity. A lot of this can come from the notion of “play”. When we don’t play, we lose ownership of thinking, social connections, problem solving and more.
I thoroughly enjoyed Helen talk passionately about her own research and experiences before she left us a TOP 10 List of things to do to build creativity into teaching;
1. Value imagination
2. Give students of voice
3. Encourage collaboration
4. Encourage diversity
5. Support appropriate risk
6. Help students to build a sense of self mastery
7. Support intrinsic motivation with a focus on details
8. Value strength building
9. Reduce judgments and extrinsic is rewards
10. Support the brilliance of boredom – allow time for creativity
To see more information about these TOP 10 TIPS, checkout Positive Times to get notes
Applied Social psychologist and education expert Dr Helen Street has worked extensively in Australian schools since 1999. Her work focuses on how social influence impacts on wellbeing, engagement and motivation in young people and in adults. Her ideas and research findings have been presented internationally in academic journals and in the popular media.
In her book that was launched at the conference, ‘Better Than OK’ it offers a comprehensive, engaging and authoritative look at how teachers and parents who want to help children flourish at school and beyond can do so.