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Looking for Creativity

April 21, 2013

The Strategic Framework for Saline Area Schools will be presented to the Board of Education this Tuesday.  As you look at Goal #2, “All students will acquire and apply essential skills to be continuous learners and productive citizens in an ever-changing 21st Century global society.” – and the action steps to achieve this goal you will see a theme around the desire for our students exhibit their creativity.  One of the struggles around the issue of student creativity is – how do you assess it?

In the February issue of Educational Leadership,  author Susan Brookhart looks at the issue of assessing creativity.  She notes,

“Myriad opportunities for fostering creativity are right under our noses in school because learning is a generative act. However, what’s missing in many classrooms is deliberately noticing and naming opportunities for creativity when they occur, giving feedback on the creative process, and teaching students that creativity is a valued quality.”

Ms. Brookhart presents a rubric for creativity based on students’ use of these key characteristics:

  • Variety of ideas and contexts – Recognizing the importance of deep knowledge and continually working to learn new things; open to new ideas and actively seeking them out.

  • Variety of sources – Looking for material from a wide range of media, people, and events.

  • Combining ideas – Organizing and reorganizing ideas into different categories or combinations and then evaluating whether the results are interesting, new, or helpful.

  • Communicating something new – Making an original contribution.

In addition, it’s important to be flexible and adaptive, using trial and error when unsure how to proceed, and viewing failure as an opportunity to learn.

Moving forward, we need to look at the mindset and assessment structure needed that allow us highlight and embrace the creativity in our students.

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