Looking at Students' Conceptual Development in the Creativity Ideal
Throughout the Creativity Module you will have been paying attention to students' thinking and noticing how it develops. Not only have their skills been improving, their alertness to creative opportunities has increased and their general conception of creativity has become richer. Now, as the module draws to a close, it's good to consolidate students' learning by inviting them to review and reflect on their journey. Naturally, their reflections are also valuable to you, their teacher, because they help you assess student progress and give you information about how to improve and revise things next time you teach the module.
While opportunities for creativity will always be present in the classroom, you may want to conclude the Creativity Module with explicit reflection activities, such as those in the following list. The first is especially valuable, because it provides a before-after comparison.
- Students complete a concept
map of creativity as they did at the beginning. Once they
have sketched their new maps, you can hand back their earlier
maps and ask them to write or talk about how their ideas about
creativity have changed.
- Students write a letter of advice to a younger
child explaining how to be creative, and how to notice opportunities
to use their creativity.
- Students draw a picture of the creative process
and explain why they drew what they drew.
- Students tackle an opportunity for invention
or problem solving, and, in doing so, make their thinking visible
so that it shows how they are thinking creatively.
Assessing Conceptual Change
Looking at students' pre and post-concept maps can be very useful in assessing student growth and change. As you examine students' maps, you may find it helpful to look for the following:
- What new strategies for being creative do
students list? Do their new ideas reflect the key thinking moves
from the Creativity Map?
Are they using their own language for these moves? Are they elaborating
- Do students show a greater awareness of the
multiple opportunities to exercise their creativity? Do they show
a greater awareness of the importance recognizing the obvious
approach and thinking beyond it? Do they show an increased appreciation
for the importance of generating lots of ideas and exploring new
ways of looking at things
- How have students' questions about creativity
- Are students better able to uncover the
creativity behind the design of everyday things and ideas?
When it's done, it's not over!
Naturally, even though you have completed the Creativity Module, there are still plenty of occasions when you'll want students to think creatively and to see the creativity in things around them. Here are some ideas for keeping students' newly-developed skills and attitudes around creativity alive over time.
Most importantly, keep using a few creativity routines from time to time to deepen students' content learning, wherever they fit.
Keep in mind that a few routines in the Creativity Module cut across modules (e.g., Perceive/know about/care about and Creative Questions). These routines show up in more than one module because they are helpful with more than one ideal. So when you use one of these routines for any reason, whether in the context of another module or not, point out to students that the routine relates to creativity.