Creative learning and teaching

What’s all this about?

I’m writing a series of blog posts on different meanings of creativity, to celebrate a short essay I’ve written for a book called The Creative Critic due out this year. Catch up on the others from here.

What does ‘creative learning and teaching’ mean?

Creative learning and teaching does what it says on the tin – it takes creativity and applies it to the learning process. Creative learning doesn’t have to take place in a formal teaching set up like school, university, or work-based training. It could also refer to learning you do in everyday life. However, when someone uses the phrase ‘creative learning and teaching’ they’re probably talking about an educational environment. The focus is on the process of education rather than on the business world.

Three ways of thinking about ‘creative learning and teaching’

Without going into any depth, we can roughly divide approaches to creative learning and teaching into three categories:

  1. Using the Creative Arts to help you learn and teach. This is where a trainer or teacher or lecturer, or the learner themselves, uses Drama, Art, photography, dance, or music (etc.) to teach a particular topic.
  2. Making connections between subjects or ideas in a fun or playful way. For instance, using mural painting to teach algebra, or junk sculpture to teach team work, or creative movement to teach handwriting, or a paddling pool to teach units of measurement.
  3. Believing that being creative is fundamental to learning and teaching. I believe that all kinds of learning can be creative, and that being creative is inherent to the learning process. This one is more of a core belief or value. So it might involve using colour, movement, images, walks, visits, visualisations, or drawing to encourage participants to learn whatever you are teaching. It might also involve taking different approaches to the same subject or idea.

Want more?

(These are Amazon affiliate links.)

Check out Ken Robinson’s book Creative Schools.

And Anna Craft’s Creativity, Education and Society.

Videos

Hear Anna Craft talking about her research back in 2011 here.

Ken Robinson’s 2006 TED talk: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Ken Robinson on Changing Educational Paradigms.

Up next: Creative Practice

 


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