We must foster a thirst and talent for innovation in our pupils themselves, so that they are not pupils at all, but innovators.
There is little use changing our own mindsets as educators and becoming innovators ourselves, without creating innovators in our classrooms. The current curriculum and the systems in place tend to put stringent requirements on pupils all aiming to finally pass those end-of-school exams. Those that are not talented test-takers or those who do not thrive in an academic environment do not often get a chance to exercise their talents. In the innovative classroom, everyone should be able to use their skills and special abilities to solve problems.
It is vital that we recognize these abilities to create opportunities for pupils to show what they can do. Creating a problem is the easy and fun task of the teacher. With some guidance and a few strategies, we can see our pupils soar. They will surprise us with their creative and collaborative thinking when they are given the chance to do things on their own.
We may think that setting specific parameters and “babying” pupils so that they reach our desired outcome is responsible teaching, but stifling creativity is hardly the way to make innovative human beings.
“Innovation” is many things: intimidating, awe-inspiring, motivating, exciting, challenging, unknown and most importantly, it is vital.
I couldn't agree with this article more, after reading it I started to think about opportunities I offer pupils to innovate within my classroom. To explore their creativity, take risks, collaborate and problem solve. I work hard to allow pupils to make their own creative decisions, I do not want 30 pieces of the same artworks in my lessons. But it got me into thinking 'Do I allow enough creative freedom?' I recently read about 'choice based art education'. It is something I do already, to an extent, but why not hand over all creative decisions to my pupils? The outcomes this could lead to really excited me; and so this is what I am trying within my classroom.
So far I absolutely love it. What better reward do you get as a teacher than a buzzing classroom, creativity in lots of different areas and mediums, problem solving, independence and more importantly pupils taking responsibility for their learning because they are driving the outcome..
CHOICE-BASED ART EDUCATION regards students as artists and offers them real choices for responding to their own ideas and interests through the making of art. This concept supports multiple modes of learning and teaching for the diverse needs of students. The learning environment provides resources and opportunities to construct knowledge and meaning in the process of making art. Choice-Based Art Education utilises multiple forms of assessment to support student and teacher growth.
The aim for this project is that Students move independently through their project, utilising materials, tools and resources as needed in their art making. The classroom will be arranged to provide students with independent learning opportunities.
Pupils should be taught to develop their creativity and ideas, and increase proficiency in their execution. They should develop a critical understanding of artists, architects and designers, expressing reasoned judgements that can inform their own work.