To promote learning in the classroom, creativity in teaching should be encouraged. Educators should therefore invest in interesting ways to explore creative teaching techniques in the classroom which benefits learners. We decided to approach our experienced lecturing staff to share their creative teaching methods.
Alexandra Bryant – Writing to Read
In response to the quote by Cyril Ramaposa, “every 10 year old will be able to read for meaning” (SONA:2019) a critical technique for moving struggling FAL learners forward to ‘read for meaning’, is Writing to Read. This teaching technique requires scaffolding extended writing activities by gradually increasing the amount of writing required. These scaffolded writing activities should be carefully crafted from either Barrett’s or Bloom’s taxonomies, using graphic organisers and constructed for a personal reaction to all text types.
Geo Westraadt – The Arts and the Creation of Mind.
While teaching in the Intermediate Phase, I often used a work of art as a departure for lessons. When the observational skills of learners are sharpened, they notice so much more. For instance, with guided questioning, learners name all the warm colours they observe – vocabulary and use of adjectives and richer language the result.
Depending on the artwork selected for analysis and appreciation, often the historical and geographical information that can be derived by really looking, is valuable. Furthermore, what people ate, what they wore and how they lived at a particular time, can be deduced while looking carefully at masterpieces. Contemporary artwork often imparts social and political information and the thought processes of the maker
All of this, beside the perception of the art elements and principles in the work resulting in the stimulation of their imagination, a valuable process that spills over into all subject areas. One can understand why Eisner (2002) wrote a book called: The arts and the creation of mind.
Leigh Morris – Same Outcomes, Different Methods
Creativity is not something that all learners naturally have an ability to do, so it is important for teachers to foster this in their classrooms. ‘Being creative’ is not the same for everyone, so giving learners the space to express themselves differently becomes paramount. Instead of giving the same task to each learner, try and have the outcomes be the same but allow learners to create the content in any way that works for them, even if it is an expressive dance routine!
Retief Loubser – Imaginative Adventure
Despite what many teachers think, creativity should not be limited to the art class alone. By simply adding a stage ‘prop’ (e.g. a hat) and changing your accent slightly, you can take your learners on an imaginative adventure with your new persona, even during load shedding! There is no need to reinvent the wheel – just catch them off-guard by surprising them with a fresh, unexpected twist to an old topic, and they’ll be eating out of your hand.
Many of the following exciting, fun-filled activities could be used to enhance learning, namely:
· Using technology which has endless possibilities.
· Let learners get hands on with materials and ask them to come up with a creative solution to a problem.
· Learners to use their imaginations to do storyboarding.
· Using role-play to get the mind to work and be creative.
· Puzzles and games allow them to think creatively but also provide entertainment.
· Make lessons interactive.
· The outdoor classroom can also help learners to learn things in a new and exciting way.
· Encourage learners to make connections between subjects and to find creative links in their knowledge.
· Create opportunities for learners to solve real-world problems.
· Interactive lessons help learners to follow through on their creative ideas.
· Learning can be a multi-sensory experience when you embrace everything by allowing learners to use all their senses.
Educators should take an interest in their learners. By using creative teaching techniques, it provides learners with invaluable learning and creativity experiences. Creative teaching techniques may also differ and be specific from subject to subject.
Thirza Damons – Gamification
This is a teaching technique already being explored in primary schools. By using online games learners learn without even realizing it. Therefore learning through play is a teaching technique that can be very effective at any age as it can also keep learners motivated.
We share these strategies and creative teaching methods, trusting to inspire and encourage creativity in the classroom. We advise you to start with one and learn. Teachers are in the front-line of a child’s education and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Inspire, create, teach and innovate.