ERIC Number: ED360080
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
The Supportive Educational Environment for Creativity.
Shaughnessy, Michael F.
In most schools in America little attention is paid to the nurturance of students' creative potential, with emphasis too often placed instead on rote, repetitive learning. The literature contains many suggestions for enhancing creativity in the classroom setting, such as refraining from discounting odd or unusual questions from students, finding something positive in all ideas, systematically rewarding creativity, demanding creativity of students, giving credit for creativity in grading, and modeling creative behaviors. The translation of theories of creativity into practice, however, is hindered by: (1) reliance on true-false, multiple-choice, and fill-in-the-blank tests; (2) an ideology which suggests that there is one right answer; (3) the increasing specialization of teachers, which results in a focus on subject matter and a neglect of students' talents; (4) teacher reliance on only one technique, such as brainstorming, to enhance creativity; (5) teacher overload; and (6) students' tendencies to underachieve and to pursue little outside reading. Overcoming these barriers requires an open and supportive classroom environment, where creative thinking is accepted and encouraged, dissent is tolerated, and students are encouraged to trust their own judgment. Teachers can do much to nurture creativity in the classroom, but they need guidance, training in behavioral management, and institutional support as well. Creativity and inventiveness must first become important to society to be important in educational institutions. Contains 13 references. (AC)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Classroom Techniques, Creative Development, Creative Thinking, Creativity, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Enrichment, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Mentors, Self Expression, Sociocultural Patterns, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A