Strategies to Encourage Creativity & Innovation

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world.”

-Albert Einstein

When we have no idea what tomorrow will look like for our students, it becomes essential that they be able to innovate.  When we return to the original guiding question of this blog, we now are going to ask: “but HOW can we encourage our students to innovate and be creative?”

Designorate gives 10 tips to achieve creativity & innovation:

  1. Encourage children to find the answer: allow students the freedom to find the answers on their own.  By doing this it helps the students to learn how to observe, imagine, judge and reason.
  2. Children learn, teachers observe: give space to the students to learn on their own so that the teacher can observe the progress.  This leaves space for students to develop their own skills and capabilities to innovate.
  3. Sit in round tables rather than desks: This turns the class into an open conference style of interaction, which encourages them to take responsibility adn share their opinions instead of just following the teacher.
  4. Focus on one project instead of multiple projects: rather than splitting up the day into chunks of time, focusing on one project allows students to put the knowledge together in the form of focused questions.  This is closely connected with Project-Based Learning.
  5. Focus on the Concept:  rather than just giving facts, focusing on the concepts helps the students to find solutions through exploring ideas and evaluating the best answers.
  6. Every idea is a patent: innovation is unique and should be treated as a patent.  Treat each new idea as a success and encourage them to continue.
  7. Use design thinking tools and methods: use a variety of thinking methods that encourage creativity and explore innovative solutions.  This could be a group discussion, a brainstorm, problem-solving activity, etc.
  8. Problem-to-Solution vs Solution-to-Problem models: the first model drives the students to find solutions for existing problems (they identify a problem that occurs and try to solve it).  The second method is to find a solution for a problem that does not exist yet or to make life much easier.
  9. Reflect on previous taught lessons and skills:  give time to think through what was learned, and link to the next lesson so that students can think critically.
  10. Acknowledge innovation in rubrics: have a rubric section that allows you to evaluate creative ideas and innovation separately from the rest of the grading criteria. This could be part of a final grade.

By using some of these techniques a teacher will be able to help students think creatively and find innovative solutions for existing and future problems.

10 Tips to Achieve Creativity and Innovation in Education

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