Teaching Methods & Creativity

One of the most trending topics in the media – both social and printed – in Indonesia is the change of curriculum students will undergo starting in the academic year 2013/2014. Many have criticized the change of curriculum, saying that the curriculum will make students think less critically and don’t have an in-depth understanding of the lessons taught. I am also the one criticizing the change. I think the change was unnecessary, for the syllabus of the lessons being taught isn’t that faulty. Here is my complete critic for the curriculum change.

I think that Indonesia’s education shift should be focusing more on how the teaching is conducted, not the content itself. Changing the content, no matter in what way, without changing the method of teaching will not be as significant as changing the method. I agree on methods where students are being catered personally based on their own talent and interest. I agree on methods that encourage students to think critically, not to memorize formulae. I agree on methods where students are able to express themselves, their interests through their tasks, not answering in such rigid, textbook-based manner. I agree on creative teaching methods.

Reading this article, I couldn’t help but relate the content with the buzz of curriculum changes. There’s nothing I want more than give articles like this – those supporting creative teaching methods – to the Ministry of Education to underline the importance of teaching methods.

People who oppose the idea of having a creativity enhancing method often based the argument on the left brain being the major contributor to logical thinking, hence heavily related to one’s intellect. However I would like to cite my Creativity and Innovation lecturer who once said it is the balance between left and right brain that produces the most outstanding idea. It is the ability to think outside the box yet being able to produce a sequence or standard of procedures that will bear the best innovations.

Enhancing creativity thus becomes an important thing to do in early age as this will develop their thinking for later stages of life.

The article shared above raises four points on how to enhance creativity in school children. Below are the points and my opinion regarding the points:

  1. Word Games

    The author argues that word games can help “students build on existing concepts, knowledge and ideas”. The word games proposed by the author are those of connecting one word to other related words or guessing a word in a cluster.

    I say this is a good proposal. As someone who loves word games in her early ages (and still do), I find word games interesting since I am subconsciously trained to relate one things to other in a quicker pace. This trains the brain to think quicker.

  2. Visual Thinking Games

    Visual thinking game proposed by the author in the article is to have the children guess or give their perspective on an abstract drawing. This is a great idea. What is creativity but seeing things from different perspectives and judgments?

    This is a direct, practical way to train that mindset.

  3. Drawing Games

    Creativity is often related to art – hence visual thinking games would naturally appear on the list. Perhaps by making a guessing game to a peer, a child would find a way to conceal his drawing the best way possible, thus making the opponent harder to guess. Finding a unique way to conceal drawing would then enhance creativity.

  4. Teaching Tips

    This section I love the most. As I’ve risen before in the first paragraphs, teaching method is often the crucial part of education. “Asking certain types of questions”, “pick their own topics for presentation”, “group collaboration” are good examples on how students can express themselves and will graduate as one unique, intellect human being in contrast with the fabricated, theoretical-based robots a one-direction learning would produce.

In general, I love the points raised by the author and I also agree on the point that creativity should be enhanced and catered since early ages as it will perfect their way of thinking.

I hope the Ministry of Education get excited at this the way I do.

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