The joy of creating, engagement and the urge to explore
It is one of the headlines in the new reform in Norway. It is part of the Core curriculum – values and principles for primary and secondary education. The paragraph goes like this:
Children and young people are curious and want to discover and create. The teaching
and training must give the students rich opportunities to become engaged and develop the urge to explore. The ability to ask questions, explore and experiment are important for indepth learning. The school must respect and nurture different ways of exploring and creating. Students must learn and develop through sensory perceptions and thinking, aesthetic forms of expressions and practical activities. Creative abilities contribute to enriching society. Collaboration inspires innovation and entrepreneurship so that new ideas can be transformed into action. Students who learnabout and through creative activities develop the ability to express themselves in different ways, and to solve problems and ask new questions.
How will teachers address this when planning their lessons? What will likely change when students start school next semester? How can we measure if students are engaged in creative activities? To me, it seems like an easier task for teachers in primary school, but that is beside the point. My point would be that in order to have truly engaged and creative students in our schools, we have to use the full potential of technology in school. You have to unleash the potential in every student by using new technologies in transformative ways. What we have found in our school is that a supportive and collaborative culture, training, and autonomy to try new things are key factors that help teachers bring more creativity to learning. In its “The Future of Jobs Report 2018,” the World Economic Forum ranks creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving among the 10 most demanded skills today and into the future, and yet this is not what you see in most classrooms today. My experience from Norway is the same as in this report I am sharing here. Although we have 1:1 in every high school, and many ipads and chrome books in the lower level, the result is limited when educators do not use it to its full potential. When students use laptops to write papers, keep track of assignments and tests they are not using the technology’s potential that is to fully engage students and promote deeper thinking. They need to experience things outside the classroom that they could not otherwise experience.
Below I am sharing some lesson plans I have that in my opinion meet the criteria from this report.
I just read this report; “Creativity in Learning” Understand the value of creativity in learning and how to enable it in the classroom by leveraging the full potential of technology. Here is what they found;
Eighty-seven percent of teachers and 77% of parents agree that teaching approaches that inspire creativity in the learning process have a bigger payoff for students. Yet, students spend most of their time on traditional lessons that do little to encourage creativity, even though the growing availability of technology promises new ways of learning.
Gallup conducted qualitative and quantitative research to assess the extent to which creativity in learning occurs in classrooms across the U.S., its perceived value, obstacles to implementing it and the role of technology in the creative environment.
Key findings from the report:
- Creativity in learning produces positive critical outcomes for students, which are further enhanced when teachers leverage the full potential of technology.
- Although technology access is widespread, its use is often limited to activities that are less creative and fail to harness its full potential.
- A supportive and collaborative culture, training and autonomy to try new things are key factors that help teachers bring more creativity to learning.
- Most students say they would like to spend more time on activities that give them input on their educational path, such as choosing what they learn in class and learning more about topics that most interest them.
Students want to spend more time on self-directed activities and those that connect their learning to the real world.
Two other activities a majority of students would like to spend more time on to help them see how what they are learning relates to real-life problems outside the classroom are
- 1) working on projects that can be used in the real world, and
- 2) publishing or sharing projects with people outside their class or school.
Links to lesson plans
- Using blogs in class
- Powerful ads, making an impact
- Debating in class
- Writing for a real audience
- Geoguessr build critical thinking with skils with this map based game
- Conversations about climate change