Although teaching is meant to be creative, there are concerns that teaching has increasingly emerged as a prescribed function that operates to stifle teaching creativity. Even so, there has been a call for a relaxation of the dominant prescriptive and policy saturated teaching and learning agenda…
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12). Even so, there has been a call for a relaxation of the dominant prescriptive and policy saturated teaching and learning agenda (Jeffrey 2006, p. 399). Theory and experience both demonstrate that creativity in teaching and learning is becoming more significant for progress and congruence in the knowledge society of the 21st century (Ferrari, Cachia and Punie 2009, p. iii).
Be that as it may, the interface between the theory and practice relative to creative teaching and learning covet an uneasy co-existence. Sawyer (2011) informs that although creativity or improvisation is a necessary criteria for effective teaching and learning, prescriptive teaching as dictated by a statutory directed curriculum and the focus on public testing outcomes has given way to a culture of “less creative teaching and learning” (p. 2). This essay examines the theoretical basis of creativity in teaching and learning and demonstrates how these theories can be put to practice. The first part of this essay critically analyses theories of creative teaching and learning and the second part will reflect on the experiences and observations of the author during creative week.
Theoretical Perspectives on Creative Teaching and Learning
Definition of Creative Teaching and Learning
30). In this regard, creativity in teaching and learning is characterized by four factors. First it involves “thinking or behaving imaginatively” (NACCCE 1999, p. 30). Secondly, the imaginative thinking and behaving must have a purpose in that it must be directed at achieving goals or objectives. Thirdly, in thinking, acting and achieving, there must be some originality involved. Finally, the results must have some value to the goals or objectives (NACCCE 1999, p. 30). Creative teaching is thus defined as: Teachers using imaginative approaches to make learning more interesting, exciting and effective (NACCE 1990 p. 6). The emphasis appears to be on engagement in terms of making learning more interesting. Perceptions are that students who are engaged are more likely to retain what they are being taught (Willms 2003, p. 3). It is therefore possible to argue, that by definition, creativity in teaching and learning is method for engaging students and therefore improving outcomes for individual learners. Theories of Creative Teaching and Learning Theories of creative teaching and learning embrace the twin concepts of teaching for creativity and teaching creatively. Teaching for creativity focuses on the “learner orientation” of teaching and teaching creatively focuses on the “teacher orientation” of creativity teaching (Cremin 2009, p. 36). Cremin (2009) explains that creative teaching thus makes “learning more interesting and effective” (p. 36). Teachers also identify “children’s creative strengths” and foster “their creativity” (Cremin 2009, p. 36). Creative teaching practices are more effective when students find purpose in the lesson through practical exercises or through mental or personal
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