Academic journal article Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin

Book Review: Transformers: Creative Teachers for the 21st Century by Mary Kim Schreck

Academic journal article Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin

Book Review: Transformers: Creative Teachers for the 21st Century by Mary Kim Schreck

Article excerpt

Book Review: Transformers: Creative Teachers for the 21st Century By Mary Kim Schreck REVIEWED BY: M. JILL FOLTZ Citation Schreck, Mary Kim. (2009). Transformers: Creative teachers for the 21st century. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. [200 p.] ISBN 978-1-4129-7112-6 (paperback) ISBN 987-1-4129-7111-9 (cloth)

Intentionally encouraging creativity in the classroom empowers educators to put life and joy into their teaching, resulting in excited learners who are engaged. Transformers (Schreck, 2009) "is a mix of concrete teaching ideas, steps to improve your own creativity, philosophical musings on what role creativity plays in your own development" (p. ix).

As most teachers know, involved students are those most likely to reach their fullest educational potential. However, in the contemporary climate of increased standardized testing, teachers may feel stymied in adding valuable creative methodologies to their instructional repertoire. Instructors who read Transformers will discover an abundance of possibilities for learners of all ages and all fields of study. Indeed, as educators consider the many options described, no doubt they will immediately begin to plan lessons incorporating creative activities.

Drawing on a variety of resources, Transformers offers ideas from Schreck's own experiences as an educator of more than 30 years in diverse environments as well as from more than 100 books and articles by experts in the fields of thinking and creativity. The author also includes much information regarding recent developments in brain research. The 'References' section is valuable and complete.

Because the human brain loves novelty, one philosophy espoused in this book is that students respond best to choices; rather than making a one-size-fits-all assignment, educators can elicit amazing products from their pupils by providing an array of possibilities. Teachers might consider cross-disciplinary fertilization, such as creating a periodic table of heads of state; a talk-show format to discuss topics currently under study; an alternative entry point, such as utilizing cooking terms when writing about history or math. These activities are among the hundreds of specific activities that will excite teachers about intentionally adding creativity in all areas of their work.

Recognizing that educators may feel hindered by their own perceived lack of creativity, Schreck encourages readers to open their minds to their own abilities to create. …

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