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How to Bring a Creative Learning Structure into your Classroom (Ep 3)

/ Jason Sholl

As educators, how do we encourage, support and promote the process of creativity? Students naturally crave ways to express themselves creatively, so how can we help foster that natural curiosity? Creativity means to use the imagination freely without constraints, but that doesn’t mean your classroom will turn into creative chaos. The most creative endeavors actually require some sense of structure, organization and a safe, nurturing environment so that students can focus their energy and cognitive efforts on play and creativity.

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Transcript

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Deeper Learning with WeVideo podcast. I am Dr. Nathan Lang-Raad and this is episode number three. In this episode, I want to talk with you about how to bring a creative learning structure into your classroom. Okay, let's get started.

As educators, how do we encourage, support, and promote the process of creativity? Students naturally crave ways to express themselves creatively, so how can we help foster that natural curiosity? Creativity means to use the imagination freely without constraints, but that doesn't mean your classroom will turn to creative chaos. The most creative endeavors actually require some sense of structure, organization, and a safe, nurturing environment so that students can focus their energy and cognitive efforts on plea and creativity. Creation is a result of being curious, asking questions, and doing. It results from being present and aware of the world around us. It's an outward expression of heart, mind, energy, hope, and hunger.

Creative learning is fueled by the tension between excitement and anguish. Cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman at the University of Pennsylvania uses his neuroscience of creativity research to conclude that the creative process can be divided into four stages, preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Set aside time during a school day for students to progress through the creative process at their own rate. Next, I'm going to share some guiding questions and prompts that students can use to help them successfully navigate the creative learning stages.

First is the preparation stage. At this stage, the brain is seeking information. Some questions and prompts to ask your students are, what concepts am I studying at school right now that are most interesting to me? What do I love to work on the most? I wish, I hope, this makes me really angry, this makes me sad, this makes me happy. The next stage is the incubation stage. At this stage, the mind simply wanders with no expectations. So we would ask our students just to go outside and wander, let their thoughts take them wherever they want. There are no expectations, just let your curious mind wander. The next stage is the elimination stage. At this stage, connections between ideas are made. This is where we typically find the aha moments.

Questions for students to consider, did you notice anything new or interesting? Why was it interesting to you? How did it make you feel? Does it make you want to do something or solve a problem? How did what you notice connect to something you're hopeful about or passionate about? The last stage is the verification stage. At this stage, creative ideas are communicated in a way to reach as an audience, articulating a purposefully constructed message about the student's creation. Questions or prompts to consider, what does your creation mean to you? What does your creation mean to others? What visuals, music, et cetera, can best articulate your creation? How can you tell a compelling story about how your idea became a new creation so that others can experience the process through their lens?

An effective way to package student creativity is to allow students to create a video about their creation and provide a platform for them to share it with each other or their community. The video should in some way demonstrate how they progress through the creative stages, how their thinking changed throughout, new questions that emerged, challenges they encountered, any aha moments. For more ideas and inspiration, check out WeVideo's resource hub, and see how educators like you are using video to spark creativity in the classroom.