The best way to teach creativity?
I’m all about options and looking at things from different angles and perspectives. This is why when I saw this Ted talk by Raghava KK, it awakened an important realization for me in my quest to learn about ways to nurture creativity. The following statement (a screen capture) from Raghava’s talk, says it all:
Looking at situations, things and issues from different perspectives brings to light so much more information and IDEAS, thinking, and as Raghava points out biases. This next screen capture further intrigued my desire to teach perspectives:
It’s so true, isn’t it? Understanding others’ perspectives equals empathy. So how do we teach perspectives to children? Here are some of my thoughts…
How to teach perspective:
- Share stories, lots of stories about different places, different people and different experiences. Leave your bias out of the equation. Celebrate differences!
- Observe the different styles that are out there. Different types of architecture, different forms of art and dance. Different types of music. Everyone has their own preferences. Recognize this and foster the attitude that we are all unique and value different things.
- Practice looking at a situation from different angles. Again, this could be done through storytelling or through real life situations. As different people how they felt or reacted to a situation, compare notes and observe the similarities and differences.
- Look at art, the more obscure or abstract the better and talk about what you think it is about. Notice how different people will see different things based on their own observations and experiences.
- See how different people approached the same challenge using similar materials in different ways. Give a group of kids the same materials (for example recycled materials such as toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, elastics, paper, tape etc.) and give them a challenge. The challenge could be to make something that floats, moves, flies, or whatever you decide.
- Experience a different culture or community. This need not involve getting on an airplane, although it could. Maybe there’s a mennonite community nearby or a local community centre celebrating a cultural holiday that is different than your own.
- “Give children books that teach them perspectives.” Raghava KK. Select great books that are set in different places and that share different types of lifestyles than your own families. Books that show that there are many sides to a story.
- Write a book together. This book can be about one event but told from the point of view of different characters.
I’m sure there are many other great ideas, please share your ideas in the comments!