Everything is… Creative

Encouraging and Valuing Creativity in Students

Did you think I was going to say “Awesome”? If you’ve spent more than five minutes with an elementary age boy in the last year, you already know “Everything is Awesome,” but Nicole Shannon has another message for G/T teachers. Her message is that “Everything is Creative!”

It used to be that society was separated into two classes:

You were either smart or creative (also known as left brained or right brained). Today we are learning that creativity is an essential key to being awesome in anything we do. In this course review of “Encouraging Creativity,” Nicole Shannon explores why creative thinking is so important today, debunks creative myths, introduces some leaders in creative thinking, and shares practical creative activities you can use in your classroom.

Nicole Shannon has over 18 years of experience in gifted education. She serves as the Coordinator of Gifted and Advanced Academic Services for Round Rock ISD. Nicole has a B.S. in Applied Learning and Development and is completing her Masters of Education in Teacher Leadership with specialization in Gifted and Talented Education.

Nothing New Under the Sun, Except Creativity

Sometimes it seems like there are no new ideas; the biggest blockbusters movies of summer always seem to be sequels or remakes of old movies. Apple’s big announcement this fall is just a bigger version of the iphone. Is there nothing new under the sun?

We learn from Edward de Bono that creativity involves breaking out of an established pattern in order to look at things a different way. So even if there isn’t anything new, creativity is the tool that unlocks new ways of looking at what we already have.

Creativity empowers our gifted students to develop innovative new ideas and original twists on the old ideas.

Everything is Creative

Top business executives throughout the world were surveyed, and the number one thing they said their businesses were creative individuals. Creativity is now driving out economy.

Here are some current business trends:

  • Many corporations now have a Chief Innovation Officer
  • Companies value creative thinking in employees
  • By the time middle-school students leave high school, they will have technology that we don’t even know about now
  • Student have to be fast thinkers, comfortable taking risks, and able to persevere

Our gifted students need to exercise their creative muscles often!

Are Schools Killing Creativity?

Nicole highlights some cutting edge thinkers on the topic of encouraging creativity. Ken Robinson’s TED talk about creativity in education is one of the most downloaded of all time. Robinson believes many schools are still stuck on the idea that creativity exists only in the arts. In reality, creativity is everywhere, even in the cure for Cancer.

Traditional methods teach students that being wrong is bad; that kills creativity. Creativity teaches students that mistakes are okay. It just means we need to keep searching for the correct pathway.

The Pathway to Creativity

The reality is that we have many pressures as parents and educators. There are standardized tests, No Child Left Behind, STEM and STEAM pressures, and so much more. What can we do to encourage creativity within the current educational framework: We can provide:

  • A safe environment for creativity
  • Opportunities to flex creative muscles
  • Guidance and modeling in creative risk taking
  • Encouragement to be creative

David Kelly, Founder of IDEO and the Standford Design School, offers the idea of “Creative Confidence” as a pathway to creativity in his TED talk. Educators can use Kelly’s concept of “Guided Master” to help students overcome fears and take risks in creativity.

Other leading thinkers covered in this course include:

  • Ian Byrd of byrdseed.com
  • Michael Michalko, whose books include Thinkertoys, Creative Thinkering, and Thinkpak

Putting Creativity into Practice

Nichole says we need to create an environment in our classrooms where creativity can happen. Introduce students to different types of creative people and their processes through facebook pages, web sites, and books, and then allow students to explore their own creativity.

“The fact is there is a lot you can do to help people become more creative. If someone tells you they cannot read or write, you don’t assume they are not capable of reading and writing, but that they haven’t been taught how. It is the same with creativity. When people say to me that they are not creative, I assume they just haven’t yet learnt what is involved.” Sir Ken Robinson

Start unlocking creativity in your classroom through this course today!

Nicole offers creative curriculum for gifted and talented and concrete example of how you can quickly and easily integrate activities that encourage creativity in your classroom.

Just click here to order, or call GT Ignite if you prefer to speak to someone: 915-532-9965