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Nurturing Creativity in the Classroom

Supporting the development of creativity in young people, therefore, involves helping them determine when it is the right time and place to be creative.  Creativity is not simply being "original" or "thinking outside the box." It is, rather, a blend of originality and adhering to the constraints of a particular task.  

Consequently, classroom creativity is often more about thinking creatively inside the box rather than thinking outside of it. In the context of an Algebra exam, for example, a student who chooses to respond by writing a love sonnet (instead of solving equations) would be demonstrating an original response, but not a creative one.

 In order to be considered creative, the student would need to solve the equations but do so in a unique or original way. Supporting this student's creativity would, therefore, involve helping him or her find a more appropriate time and place for poetry (e.g., during Language Arts class) and helping encourage original expression in the context of Algebra (e.g., "Try coming up with your own way to solve this problem").

This course, Nurturing Creativity in the Classroom, is designed to provide teachers with a way of understanding how to build on students' natural creativity while implementing standards-based instruction.