Teach For Creativity

What and how, a teacher should teach is the question in minds of many parents like me. Thanks to many well known school systems the question of “what” is answered so far but being a parent “how” is still there in our minds. I have been struggling for this “how” since my 12 years boy has arrived to me. I have been wondering that how I should teach him whatever I want in a way that I’m not imposing my point of view on him. So this leads me towards my research.

I as an art teacher have taught visual arts at school for 8 years. The ages of students taught range from 9 years to 13 years (fourth through eighth grade). The wide range of instructional levels and continuous scope and sequence of visual arts curriculum provided me a unique opportunity to observe students over an extended period of time, year after year.

I chose to investigate the precise strategies of teaching art which inculcate personal creative sense among students.

Creativity is something which is inherent in all human beings. As soon as a child learns to hold a pencil and starts writing or scribbling he/she begins to express him or herself in a personal style. Through a research study, a group of students were observed and qualitative data was compiled and analysed as to, how image flooding at the initial stage of an art lesson helps or hinders a student’s personal creativity and also how it would effect and develop the mental habits of creativity in fourth graders. Through the review of literature it was investigated that, how the visual arts could help in educating students and it demonstrated that arts learning should foster mental habits of “Stretch and Explore, Envision, Express and Reflect”. For these mental traits it is necessary to restructure the strategies of teaching an art curriculum in schools. It is discussed, and suggestions are presented, about how introduction of an art lesson could help and motivate students to think innovatively and nurture the creativity within to shine through successfully.

Child’s transition from childhood to adolescence deal with many aspects of behaviour, biological growth, cognitive, social and emotional development and relationships. At this age a child becomes more aware of his own self and gains a better understanding of causes and effects and also cultural and individual differences. She/ he have also started building moral values. At this point children might be trained to use their personal skills and manage their personal needs. This is the time when they could be educated to stretch their knowledge and explore the world with their own vision and experiences. Or they could express themselves by talking back and by showing rebellious behaviour.

Creativity, an essential trait of young children, has been recognized and encouraged through exploration and play in early childhood education. The visual arts are universally recognized as a means to foster and develop creativity and curiosity of the mind. As young students go through their formal education years, a significant shift occurs. Learning to read, write and practice mathematics is emphasized as essential cognitive skills and is pushed to the forefront of elementary education. Parallel to it, change is happening at record pace in the economic world and students need to have certain skills like personal creativity, expression and exploration to adapt and succeed in the new 21st century.

As an art teacher I am mostly interested in facilitating some original, novel, innovative, and fresh work from my students. For me creating something is like making art, in which all thinking is conceived from a chain of ideas, linked together through investigation, exploration and searching with a strong motivation. My basic interest revolves around the method of teaching art, because I have faced this problem that even if the lesson has been planned very properly, it could not bring out students’ creativity (originality, personal reflection and something which was properly explored and searched for, unpredictable work, new ideas). At most time students don’t bother to think and explore on the given topic or project in an innovative way or on a different idea.

Art practices build confidence, self-regulation and ability to explore and take risks in a safe environment. The natural explorations of a child flourish, and he sees the world around him more meaningfully. A child’s inquisitive nature appears as an innate mannerism and this belief is the key for fostering creativity.

Through the my research it was monitored that without using image flooding for visual arts structure cognitive knowledge was fostered and life skills were turned better. On the other hand, the pedagogy of what a teacher teaches was only one factor of fostering creativity through curriculum. How a teacher teaches could be as instrumental in developing creativity in a student as what was being taught. This brought to light an interesting question about what made great teachers. Many qualities and mental traits can be developed and enhanced just by the right selection of the teaching strategy. Through my study I tried to conclude and figure out whether image flooding could help or hinder students to develop their own personal creative sense. With the help of the research I could determine that at some point image flooding during an introduction time of an art lesson hinders or decreases the creative ability of a child. It was recorded and confirmed with the results of the study. I have observed during the six week study time period that the creative expression of the students’ taught without image flooding was improved, but at the same time I felt that the image flooding could also bring Influences on students’ creativity considerable improvement if been used at the right time when students have started their thought process after the introduction of an art lesson. This will help them to explore their vision in different directions instead of hindering their creativity. This led me to work on and investigate this in future trough my teaching practice.  

In addressing the problem of the utilization of image flooding during art lessons one should look forward to enhance and develop students’ creative abilities. For the effective learning, however, the presence of trained and devoted teachers in school also carries great weight. Arts specialists must be present and given respect by their colleagues.

Ideally, employing proficient, talented and trained artists, who had an elementary teaching background in teaching visual arts, would be a way to bring such teaching into schools, and so the availability of such professionals should be prioritized. Utilizing art as the basic trait of developing and fostering creativity among our next generation for a bright future in 21st century should be considered of great importance and need of the time. Change is difficult but it is necessary for opening up new doors for growth. Our education needs to transform into a new era of education: one that can incorporate with globalization. A new curriculum, one that blends ideology of old and new must be found and institutionalized to foster the innovation and creativity, an essential human trait for a new generation. This will only be possible when we adapt those teaching strategies which can develop exploration and investigative habits among students and which can train them to express in a right way and can foster creativity among them.