Can Creativity Be Taught?
Getting Smart

The assumption that learning requires teaching is extremely limiting. Creativity is a unique, individual characteristic…and like other innate processes, it grows and develops through use! Children become more creative when they have a real need to do so — a real problem to solve (preferably one of their own choosing). They learn to think deeply when they care about an issue and its outcome.

Creativity and other innate behaviors such as appropriate social/emotional behavior arise from within the child. They can’t be applied like a coat of paint! Modeling creativity, curiosity, problem solving, etc. is much more effective than “telling” children how to “think divergently.” People don’t develop muscles by being “told” how to exercise or learning the names of the part they are trying to develop. Muscles develop when they are used! The same is true with creativity. But setting up artificial situations to be “creative” is not the answer. Take the chains off the students and let them explore their worlds, interact with real problems, and devise their own real solutions. And watch their creativity grow!

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