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ERIC Number: EJ935014
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
A "Toolbox Approach" for Developing Thoughtfully Structured, Creative Art Experiences
Hanson, Michael Hanchett; Herz, Rebecca Shulman
Art Education, v64 n1 p33-38 Jan 2011
Art and creativity are closely linked in the minds of most people. When asked to explain why art should be part of the school curriculum, respondents commonly answer that art provides an opportunity for students to be creative and express themselves. As professionals who have worked with art education for years, the authors suggest a different perspective. In this article they draw on research that shows how difficult it is to teach students to be creative, and how lessons, including art lessons, need to be thoughtfully structured in order to foster creativity. To help teachers facilitate students' creative development, the authors offer a "toolbox approach" to teaching creativity. This approach encourages teachers to mine existing research as well as personal experiences to develop strategies that can foster creativity. A teacher's Creativity Toolbox is a set of concepts and techniques that a teacher develops over time to help students think and act creatively. In collaboration with students, teachers may also develop a class toolbox, which includes relevant concepts and techniques that are part of a classroom culture. Finally, students can develop their own toolboxes, which include interests, activities, goals, and habits of mind that spark their curiosity and help them to think creatively. In this article, the authors start by examining ways of defining creativity, as it is a concept that even people immersed in creative work find difficult to describe. They make suggestions for art teachers regarding developing their own Creativity Toolboxes. Finally, they give an example of a classroom in which a teacher puts some of these ideas into practice. (Contains 5 figures and 1 endnote.)
National Art Education Association. 1916 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 703-860-8000; Fax: 703-860-2960; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York