Academic journal article Education

Teaching Classroom Educators How to Be More Effective and Creative Teachers

Academic journal article Education

Teaching Classroom Educators How to Be More Effective and Creative Teachers

Article excerpt

What is Teacher Creativity?

Today's students live in an ever changing technologically based world where the parameters of knowledge are redefining themselves almost daily. The Internet has given even the youngest of children access to information that at one time they could only acquire within the classroom or in a library. As a result teachers now find themselves competing for student time and attention. The allure of computers and video games is often overwhelming for young minds and many educators find themselves losing an ever escalating battle for their students' interest. As a result teachers are being called upon to develop more creative approaches in order to teach this new generation of students. The old tried and true methods of instruction no longer are by themselves sufficient and effective tools for teaching. The learning process has changed and teachers have been challenged to change as well, or be left behind. This change must involve new and creative approaches to everyday classroom instruction.

Are teachers born creative? Do only certain individuals have an innate ability to, motivate and instruct in unique and exciting ways? Is creativity simply a natural outcome of specific personality types? If so, then most educators are doomed to decades of routine classroom interaction. On the other hand, if creativity can be studied and better understood, if its guiding principles can be identified and duplicated, and then taught to others, then all teachers can be given an invaluable tool that will bring their classrooms to life. This would indeed be a gift that would transform the mundane into the exciting.

It can be reasonably asserted that certain personality types and individual styles more readily lend themselves naturally to creative outlooks and approaches within the classroom. It is a fact that some teachers are just better at attracting and maintaining students' attention.

However, it can also as reasonably be argued that much of what educators do, and how they do it, leaves ample room for modification, refinement, and enhancement. As such creativity then can be seen not as just a natural ability possessed by a chosen few, but a methodological approach that can be mastered by almost all. By simply modify their perspective on what teacher creativity is, educators can open the door to a myriad of possibilities.

Contrary to appearance, creativity is hard work. Those teachers who introduce and implement exciting and innovative approaches into their daily lessons do so only after extensive planning and preparation. That is the good news. If creativity is working hard at applying our knowledge, and if it is working consistently to utilize our talents, then creativity can better be understood by looking at what we do in a different light. Teachers who wish to be more creative must first express a willingness to change their approach to teaching. The need for change can best be understood and more readily accomplished by understanding that education by and large lies in "what" educators do in the classroom. If teachers change "what" they do, they change the outcome of the learning process. The key question becomes which "whats" must be evaluated and changed?

Examining The Key Whats

There are several questions that teachers must ask themselves. This first set of questions should serve the purpose of better clarifying just what goals the teacher wishes to accomplish. As such they would include the following:

* What specific knowledge am I trying to impart to my students?

* What value will my students gain from mastering this knowledge?

* What are my expectations for them as they are learning?

* What responses am I looking for from my students?

In response to these questions teachers should begin by examining the specific subject materials they are currently teaching. Each school curriculum contains an overwhelming amount of material to be taught. …

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