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Unleashing Creativity in the Classroom

Updated: Feb 12

unleash creativity

How do you inspire your students to be creative when you teach?

Our schools often restrict or hamper creativity among the students, we want them to sit down, be quiet and work!

When do we allow them to learn through play and exploration?

What is your classroom like, do the students want to come into your teaching space?

How do we ‘get through the syllabus’ but still allow the child to remain an individual, able to express his or her own views!

George Land’s research study to test the creativity of 1,600 students ranging in ages from three-to-five years old who were enrolled in a Head Start program, in 1968. (Same creativity test devised for NASA to help select innovative engineers and scientists.)

The assessment worked so well he decided to try it on students. He re-tested the same students at 10 years of age, and again at 15 years of age. The results were astounding.

George Land's creativity test results

The percentage of people were described as creative according to Land’s test results,:

  • Amongst 5 year olds: 98%

  • Amongst 10 year olds: 30%

  • Amongst 15 year olds: 12%

  • Same test given to 280,000 adults: 2%

George land - non-creative behaviour is learned

George Land wrote: “We have concluded . . . that non-creative behaviour is learned.”

This view is supported by others . . . .

Picasso - all children are born artists

Picasso (the artist) said: All students are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.

Ken Robinson - rethink fundamental principles educating children

Ken Robinson, in TED 2006 talk - ‘Do schools kill creativity?’, he noted that “We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we're educating our students.”

As teachers how to be nurture and encourage creativity in our lessons?

Do we allow students to make mistakes, and say it is okay!?

Do we tell our students that they learn from their mistakes?

  • Encourage learners to think 10X (ten times bigger, better, improved)

  • Allow them to work through problems, if they don’t get it correct - encourage them to think, and try again and again until they succeed.

  • Critical thinking isn’t easy, it is hard work, so keep empower students to continue working until they succeed.

  • Encourage students to think . . .

Keep Trying, remove fear of trying again​

  • Explore

  • Engage

  • Try - is it correct, if no . . .

  • Keep thinking

  • Try again

Build knowledge & long term memory

  • Reflection

  • Adaption

  • Learning

  • Evaluation

  • Reflect

  • Try again

Remove the fear of getting work wrong!

Encourage students to think and solve the problem / find the answer

time for questions

How do you structure your activities to make the learning experience for each and every child inspiring, allowing for individuality and creativity?


  • Use group work and peer checking. Building self-confidence in students.

  • Class teach for 5 mins, then students do group or self tasks. YOu are free to work with the groups or individuals.

  • Use automarking tools for Bloom’s remember & understand level / Webb’s DoK 1 recall, teach less, use auto-marking quizzes to build this knowledge, set to ‘resubmit

  • Webb’s DoK 2 and DoK 3, lesson tasks should be set here the most

  • Developing basic skills and concepts

  • Foster strategic thinking and reasoning

  • Webb’s DoK 4, set at times - extend the knowledge of your students

Are the students in your class given the freedom to decide how work will be submitted or presented?

  • Perhaps a word document, a handwritten document, a slide presentation, a speech or an audio recording.

If yes, how do you assess them fairly? What criteria do you use?

  • Explore using different media, ideas and methods of interacting, engaging, inspiring and empowering the students in your classes, so that they are encouraged to “be themselves”, to take ownership of their learning and be empowered.

Inquiry-based learning and Problem-based learning allows for this to take place.

Exploring how you ask questions:

  • DoK 1 examples:

  • How many…?

  • Who was it that…?

  • Who spoke to…?

  • DoK2 examples:

  • What was the underlying thought / argument of…?

  • What do you see as other possible solutions?

  • Why did…changes occur?

  • DoK3

  • How would you develop your own way to…?

  • Can you create new and unusual uses for…?

  • Can you develop a proposal which would…?

  • DoK 4

  • Is there a better solution to…?

  • Judge and evaluate the value of…?

  • Defend your comments about…?

change - I can't do it to I'll find the answer

Empower learners to become thinkers!

Building their own creativity!


Sir Ken Robinson (presentation) Do schools kill creativity? TED2006 - (Youtube online)

George Land and Beth Jarman, 1993. Breaking Point and Beyond. San Francisco: HarperBusiness

Picasso quote. Brainy Quote. (Online)

Hess, Karin. (Ed,D) 2013. A Guide for Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge with Common Core State Standards Common Core Institute

Go to the Contact page or explore "Courses for you" to find out how you can engage with Karen.

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