Creativity is a complex concept. Researchers in neuroscience and psychology, not to mention philosophy, struggle to define creativity – let alone truly understand it. Yet somehow all teachers are expected to be creative, teach creatively and impart creativity to their students along with a bunch of other 21st Century Skills. We know creativity exists. Artists and musicians famously make a living from it, and cities and buildings are created as a result of it. The idea that, as a teacher, we have the opportunity to foster creativity in our students who may leave our classrooms to make fascinating contributions to the world we live in is exciting. So how do we make it happen (in the limited time that we have)? In this course, teachers will explore 21st Century Skills, why they exist and what we should do with them. Teachers will learn from research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology and education about how the brain generates new ideas. Teachers will look at the differences between guided instruction, direct instruction (or explicit teaching) and discovery learning and think about how they can use research to inform their teaching strategies to develop creative and engaged learners.
This academically challenging course is great if you are a teacher who would like to think deeply about the theory behind your pedagogy, as you consider ways you can facilitate creativity in your classroom.