- Encouraging atmosphere
The biggest block to creativity is failure and ridicule. Creativity needs an atmosphere of acceptance where the only failure is “not to try”. Children’s fantasy soon disappears if it is time and again suppressed by adult prohibitions. Imagination instead, should be stimulated.
- variety, the spice of learning
Encourage original expression in writing, singing, painting drawing, acting etc. At an interschool music festival in Calcutta last year, the chief guest opined that a special award be instituted for the best original composition. “Despite lack of training for it, young people can express themselves creatively making their own music, and it could be a light to them about their potential”, he observed.
- Develop the sense perceptions
Nearly all knowledge comes from the five senses and imagination. Creativity depends on the new combinations founded on previous ideas gathered through these senses.
- Encourage a sense of curiosity
Let the students ask questions about things they find puzzling, and let them at first try and find out the answer. Encourage them not to take things for granted. “Does this thing have to be this way? Can’t it be made smaller, bigger, more attractive and stronger?” Are some of questions that may be asked?
- Reward Creative effort
Teacher and Parents should be on the lookout for opportunities of praising any creative effort or achievement, so,
- Treat with respect unusual questions asked by the children.
- Treat with respect unusual ideas and solutions.
- Show students that their ideas have value.
- Provide opportunities and give credit for self-initiated learning.
- Provide opportunities for students to learn, think and discover without threat of immediate evaluation.
- Teacher, be a creative Person
When teachers themselves are creative, they are likely to encourage creativity in students. Creative students easily show boredom with long-tried -out methods of teaching. This may hurt the sentiment of the non-creative teacher, who in turn may consider the student a nuisance. Instead, the teacher should try out new ways of teaching, new ways of encouraging creative effort.
Anil D’Souza had Sam Engineer as his music teacher. Anil was creative, and would find something extra to do besides his lessons. So it was that even before he was allowed to do so, he should venture to write original lines of music, which he would take to the tutor. Instead of scolding him for his presumption at being able to compose, Sam would sit down to play the lines on piano, say how good it was, and suggest one or two corrections.
Wasn’t Sam an easy going teacher? “No” Anil says, “As a matter of fact, he was strict, but he was also a friend, and I was sure he would do the extra bit for me.” Little wonder then that Anil would walk straight to his teacher with his little creations.