The word ‘creative’ has a vast meaning for me, it can easily be defined by a sheir of Galib, he said,
“iss lafze muhabbat ka adna sa fasana hai
Simte to dil-e-aashiq, bikhare to zamana hai”
Creativity, according to me, is actually the remodelling of the knowledge and the skills which we already perceive to have value outcomes. It is, of course, imaginative activity. When we talk about the creativity, creativity within the school system comprises four “Ps”, that is, people, place, procedures and policies. This is the model for a creative school. When we talk about creative school people, we talk about creative management, creative teachers, creative students, whether we are coming up with a new type of infrastructure or we are talking about the old building, even if we are having a structure, how we can make it creative and of course, the pedagogic curriculum and transaction of the curriculum, system and procedures, the appointment, the association and the admission system.
Here, we have two questions in front of us. One is, is everyone creative or creativity can be taught, and if it can he taught then how it can be taught? The second is, how suddenly this nurturing of creativity has become a big issue in the education system? The answer to this is yes, everyone is creative. Creativity can be taught. Creativity is impossible until and unless we have the knowledge of a particular subject or a particular topic and the skills. We must have the in-depth knowledge and the skills, only then we can think of something creative.
The second point is, we must practice creativity, and, of course, the moment we practice it, we master the domain of this creativity. Now, why is this a big issue in today’s time? We all (the teacher community) are progressing and are following the best practices in our schools and we aspire and inspire to take our organizations to the next level. The problem is that we are having the desired results and we have structured some of the practices which may be called as best practices or self proclaimed best practices, or people are calling these the practices. But these best practices actually are the prescribed practices, they are the structured practices, giving us the desired results, satisfying the parents, satisfying the authorities.That is why we are calling them as the best results and the media or XYZ are proclaiming that this is the best school. Somehow, the learning for creativity is missing. Being heads, doing creative jobs, are we in a position to develop that culture and that environment of creativity? Creative teaching or creative learning or learning of creativity are two different things. Another reason is that there is a disconnect between people, process and practice, and again the disconnect between child and the parent and the teacher, and we need to grow the creativity in high spirits now. Now, what is to be done? We need to go beyond the best practices in schools. It is time that we go for next practices. The teaching of creativity should be given importance over creative teaching, though there is very fine membrane between the two. A teacher is creative and she is having the creative ideas, creative teaching is taking place in the class, the results are there. But are these results going to prepare the students as creative? Are these results, besides these numerical scores or grades, preparing the students as creative learners or creative executors? Are these question-answers or assessments in which my child is performing very well, the solution to have a wonderful, peaceful life or are these high scores the assurance for having a good profession? So, these are the questions which we must think about as educators / teachers and that is the reason I feel that creativity is required.
A deep informed professional judgement is what we have to give importance over prescribed procedures.A flexible time table, classroom sitting, lateral interactions - these are a few things which we must pay attention to now.
Now, how do we identify a creative teacher? Who is a creative teacher in school? A creative teacher ensures all of the students learning creativity. She works beyond the structured time table, modules monotony by changing the practice, that is, specific classroom or the lab teaching, shifts from confirmist lesson plans. A creative teacher ensures that all the students in a class will have depth of knowledge, devides the topic into key concepts – as we have said – the chapter must be devided into various key concepts, and shares the objective. What is the learning objective, what am I going to teach in these 35 to 40 minutes, that is not teaching. Teaching is not done until and unless learning is taking place. So, that learning objective of 35 to 40 minutes should be shared with the students and creative teaching for all the students, like everybody understands. But still there some children above average or below average. You cannot assure their learning. So, what should be done for them?
Again, many of the schools are practicing projects like foster mother, that teacher is a foster mother of a child with home visits. These are some of the projects undertaken in the school which can enhance the lateral interaction of a teacher and a students.
Then identify the type of intelligence a particular child is having. May be the child has high musical intelligence and a little low on linguistic or logical intelligence. Now, encourage the child to use that particular type of intelligence with vigour.
Now, who are creative students? How to identify creative students? They are proactive, inquisitively ask lot of questions, and we usually brand such children as disturbing elements. Don’t we? They are enthusiastic, at times they are unrestful also.
After creative teacher & creative students. Let’s talk about creative management which encourages creative teachers, students and permits innovations replace the conventional processes and provides available resources freely. If the creativity goes on and on and on and there is no result, then there is something very alarming going on. I feel, everybody has an idea. I have an idea, you have an idea. If we execute that idea, that becomes creativity, and if that creativity is not fetching us the result or the achievement, if we are not attaining anything that creativity needs to be checked again. So, creativity results in innovation. I am a practitioner of course, we are answerable to the parents, we are answerable to the authorities. So, the concern here is that creativity must result in the attainment and the achievement.
Now there are various tools and techniques which various schools are practicing. I would like to share a few, here with you, like enhancing the creativity of a child in a heterogenous group. In our class we have 30 to 40 children, a heterogeneous group. Then how can creativity be enhanced in the classroom? One example is a chapter from Cindrella. Retell the story of Cindrella in ten different forms – dramatics, dialogue – writing, poster making, diagrams, diary writing, anything and everything. Information is available on the internet. Because whenever the homework is given, for example, write down the National Anthem of five countries and their significance, versus, yes creativity can be inspired by saying, write a World Anthem for Peace. So, these are a few things. Asking the child to plan an event for nutritious food, we need to keep in our mind that a child who is a first generation learner or a fourth generation learner, their perspectives will be different. The perspective of a child coming from a poor socio-economic background, will be different from a child who is coming from an affluent family. And this should always be considered while we are assessing our children.
Once we give them a task, we need to see the attainment and achievement with respect to the other factors which are prevailing. I, being a practitioner, have collected some tools or techniques which I am sharing with you. They are from the Government schools and also from a school which is being branded among the top ten schools by C-4 survey, and, of course, a school which is catering education to the second category. Here, the floor is being taken as the eight corners of the walls. Here, it seems to be a physical education class but actually it is an English class going on where children are learning the introduction. We can always use the formulae of science in understanding the movement of the bowling – cricket or football or hockey. A very interesting task was given by one of the schools to the primary class children that if Santa Claus comes in Halloween costume, then, how will you respond and how Santa will respond? Creative thinking. It is a myth that the children who are good at music are not good at mathematics. Algebraic formulae is being taught in the musical form.The 'mudras' of kathak have been combined with algebraic formulae. this is a sign of ‘+’, this is ‘-’ this is "=" and this is ‘ </> . So, we do not have to follow it or copy it but the only objective is that we must encourage our students and teachers to have that environment of creativity and spread and arouse that feeling among the children that they should be creative.
One thing I would like to say, and that we have follow:
Kuchh log thay jo waqt ka saancha badal gaye
Kuchh log thay jo waqt ka saanche main dhal gaye
AND WE HAVE TO CHANGE THE TIME.