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Teaching Creativity

June 10, 2009

According to noted creativity expert Peter Facione, “Creative or innovative thinking is the kind of thinking that leads to new insights, novel approaches, fresh perspectives, whole new ways of understanding and conceiving of things”.

But…. how do you teach creativity?

Thankfully, we have programs where students can experience opportunities to explore their creative side.  One of the places where students are encouraged to think creatively is in visual arts classes.  Here in Saline we are blessed with talented & eager art students, excellent visual arts teachers, and wonderful facilities. I know there is a strong societal push to focus on academic content.  However, I would like to suggest that families consider the role of visual arts in the 21st Century.  In a recent book called Studio Thinking, authors Lois Hetland and Ellen Winner studied five visual arts classrooms in the Boston area.  They found that, “While students in art classes learn techniques specific to art, such as how to draw, how to mix paint, or how to center a pot, they’re also taught a remarkable array of mental habits not emphasized elsewhere in schools.”

These habits include envisioning, innovating, observing and reflecting.  For those of you have been reading this blog, you know these are the skills that can help our students excel in the workplace of the 21st Century.  For parents, as you look over your child’s schedule – don’t forget to consider opportunities to develop the whole child.

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