You may see below, in older posts (I can’t believe I haven’t written anything in more than a year), that I enjoyed tremendously the book from Sir Ken Robinson “The Element” which then led me to his other two books. Thanks to those books, I now deeply believe that creativity takes a major role in a person’s life and that teachers must take responsibility into fostering creativity in children but it has been extremely difficult, for me, to be creative enough in order to develop a small curriculum which would promote creation in students.
So here you are, the general scope of what can be implemented inside any classroom barely designed by me. In later posts I will explain more explicitly each step and how it will be implemented. I hope you may send feedback!
Phase 1: Make Students Think
I love Tim Burton’s work, it is just amazing, and what he has created reflects how incredible his mind produces astounding images that then their host turns into real magic. If you have watched any of Tim Burton’s movies you cannot question he is truly a creative mind. Some years ago he turned Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” into a great movie and he showed us that you may have your own vision and understanding of things.
There are two great things that this movie can teach teachers and students alike, and both of them are at the beginning of the movie. One of those is that all the best people are completely mad, bunkers and off their heads. What a great lifesaver. The second one is that you can think impossible things, and if they are six before breakfast then that is even better.
Can you imagine 20-ish kids running to your class eager to share their six unique ideas?
Phase 2: Motivation
I am an English teacher and for a person to learn a new language, which is not easily accessible outside the classroom, he must be motivated. I always make emphasis wherever I am as an English teacher that English class does not mean to embrace new knowledge but to change the knowledge in your mind to see the world in a different way. Therefore, learning a new language is a cognitive process and to accept a change inside of your mind takes a lot of motivation.
Most of you would agree that students taking decisions and making choices in their learning process is the best way to increase motivation levels but how would this be without having 20-ish different syllabus for each student’s personal interest? Or without increasing the teacher’s amount of work in designing and grading?
The best solution to these problems is quite simple: challenge your students instead of giving homework.
Phase 3: Creation into Practice
I hope students are already highly motivated and may brainstorm with ease at this phase because this will require so much from them in a short time span.
Through the correct guidance and leadership students must analyze their school, their class, their everyday little school moments and find the one which may be improved, the one that needs to be more fun, the one that is going to be… gamify.
This small project based “curriculum” will be put into practice this school year under my supervision in secondary school. This means teenagers will be quite busy and the teacher a just a bit more. As I already mentioned, each step will be covered in depth in following posts and if everything turns fine (fingers crossed) I will be posting reflection as each phase finishes.
Let me know what you think, have you done something similar? How did it go? Have you thought of the same?