Daily Archives: January 24, 2016

Parents versus Friends

In the Toronto Globe & Mail on January 15th I (Clive) read an interesting excerpt from a book by Leonard Sax called The Collapse of Parenting. According to Sax, young people are IMG_3128increasingly looking to friends for support rather than their parents; and the problem with that is whereas parents tend to stick by their children through thick and thin, many young people just drop their friends after a dispute or perceived minor infraction. As a result, children are becoming more vulnerable and anxious (a phenomenon others have noticed).

I think teachers should discuss this set of issues with their students as part of ongoing way of life education (and also introduce them to children’s books or young adult novels that deal with friendship, family life, etc.). Why do young people turn to friends rather than parents? Are they taking this too far? Do they realize the dangers (whatever they are)? Are friends less supportive than family? Support from friends often comes at a price (loyalty, obedience, etc.), but does family support also have a price? Should we go to friends for some things and parents for others? These are tricky questions, but I think exploring issues in a safe environment is always better than leaving young people to grapple with them on their own. And we will learn a lot through the discussions too!

 

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Promoting creativity in teacher education

I (Yiola) have been building in how to embed creativity in classroom practice in my Teacher Education course for a number of years. This year I invited Lina Pugsley, a graduate of the Creativity and Change Leadership Program and Masters of Science in Creativity student from SUNY Buffalo  State,  to share with us what creativity means and how to teach creatively and teach for creativity through weaving creativity skills into our classroom lessons.

Our class consisted of information sharing about what creativity is and its complexity. I appreciated that we took time to unpack some of the misconceptions (a major one being creativity equals the visual arts) and to solidify some of its characteristics (creativity is problem solving, its innovation, its incubation, its idea generating, its colourful, etc.)

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Lina presented us with a number of models and frameworks to think about ways of thinking about, teaching, and embedding creativity into our classroom practice.

Several great resources were shared and a number or creativity scholars introduced. From E. Paul Torrance to Ronald Beghetto, we were inspired!

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Once the theoretical and conceptual foundations were laid students in the class began to think more practically about what skills and strategies nurture creativity. This video set our curiosity in motion:

And, in creative fashion students explored, talked about and shared ways of bringing creativity skills into their teaching and lessons. We examined E. Paul Torrance’s 18 thinking skills from his book “Making the Creative Leap Beyond”

Some of the skills:
Be Original
Be Open
Visualize it Rich and Colourfully
Combine and Synthesize
Look at it Another Way
Produce and Consider Many Alternatives
Playfulness and Humour
Highlight the Essence
Make it Swing! Make it Ring!
Be Aware of Emotions
Be Flexible

 

The energy in the room was high. Students were interested and engaged.  They were encouraged to consider their personal teaching philosophy and to make creative thinking a priority in their teaching. It was an  inspiring experience. This particular teacher education course looks at methods in education. We explore planning, the learning environment, pedagogies and practices. Creativity, now in the 21st century, is a skill that students must acquire. It is not an innate skill that some are born with while others are not. Everyone has the capacity to develop their creativity skills and as teachers we need to learn how to create classrooms that foster, encourage, and celebrate creative thinking.in I believe the MA students gained a solid sense of what this is about.

For more information on Lina’s focus and work check out here website at:

http://www.keepingcreativityalive.com