By Dr. Jyoti Gupta, Dec 29, 2021 12:30
Remote learning has indeed opened doors for new ideas and expressions. Intelligence, when pursued with a creative instinct, can create ripples, while creativity helps one to let go the certainties and perceive things in different way. It is just not an enrichment or an add-on in the learning process, it is definable, measurable, a set of psychological skills- all that enhance 21st century learning.
Innovation happens when people are curious and creative. Our greatest quality is curiosity. Thinking creatively can felicitate deeper cross-curricular learning. It can make learning a more joyful and positive experience among students. Those with a creative mindset always has that craving to learn new things and this helps them gain that amazing feeling of life-long learning. Today’s learners are not just learners, in fact, they are well-informed learners who have the ability to bring out their unique strengths by following new pathways and carve a niche for themselves.
This is why it is all the more vital to instill creativity and curiosity into our students. They need a system that is flexible, affordable, and responsive to their needs. It’s time for the educational institutions to contemplate on the ways to bridge the creativity gap, which is a reality. This would only further help in bringing intellectual benefits, promoting cognitive skills including numeracy, independent thinking and problem-solving. If students are given the freedom to think creatively, they will get a chance to explore their potential, push their boundaries and experience task achievement.
Hence, nurturing creativity in classrooms is what matters the most. It is the supreme art of an educator to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. They can bring a change by creating a safe, compassionate and accepting learning environment for the students. Providing feedback encourages self- assessment and independence. Channelizing their creativity would be a motivation factor and will fuel their creative instincts. It's an old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink, although you can make it feel thirsty along the way." Likewise, by igniting the wick and encouraging students to create a hunger for learning, it produces a spark and the student starts to gleam.
Knowledge is determined by set standards and systems. It is limited to acquired skills and experience. Creativity follows intuition and transcends these systems with its flexibility and limitless imagination. Today, global success is pegged on innovation. Creative thinking paves the path to new innovations which in the process generates new knowledge. Creating space in the learning environment for students to explore, be intrigued, further question challenges and find possible solutions would be a remarkable booster to encourage self-learning. Their creative bent of mind would help them add more to the concepts they have understood as part of the pedagogical structured learning and surprise the world with something new and unique. Undoubtedly, creativity is the highest level of learning as it promotes generation of new knowledge. Learning should be a self-gratifying experience not a dreaded encounter. When students are able to make the connection between a lesson in the classroom and real-life situations, they become better learners and are more comfortable with the learning process.
It has been rightly said that ‘Learning is a life-long process.’ Fostering the freedom to think creatively gives wings to the imagination of our future forebearers. It’s time to think out of the box and encourage them to do the same. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say, “Break, O break open their limitations and allow them to create a riot of news ideas with delight and passion.” It can bring about a change in their perspective to see life in a new light and tackle hopeless situations effectively. This sense of freedom to express oneself through creative action will ultimately result in contentment, self-worth, healing, and inner joy.
Dr. Jyoti Gupta is the Director, Principal of K R Mangalam World School, Delhi. Views expressed here are personal.