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Creative Methods of Teaching

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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to consider and evaluate the traditional methods of teaching
from ancient times and the new creative ways of teaching which are to be student
oriented involving them completely in the process of learning. Basically the switch over
from traditional to creative teaching is due to the change in the surrounding of the
students and the easily accessible varied information to them. The modern generation of
the students needs participatory and innovative teaching which necessarily requires a
teacher to be highly creative. The rapid competition and technology boom have made
teacher to mould and come out of the old traditional attire. They need to adopt the notions
of new world and impart knowledge to the students in the most creative way. An attempt
is made in this paper to discuss some of the creative ideas to teach language and
literature. There is also discussion about involving multimedia in teaching to make it
more effective. Some models of creative teaching are also provided in this paper. The aim
of the paper is to open the dialogue among teacher fraternity to bring forward some of the
applicable creative ideas to be used in the classroom which ultimately enable our students
to understand the subject by taking keen interest in it.
1. Introduction
Education is a process to lead mankind in the most progressive and developed stages
of future life. It is a slow but very effective process followed from ancient times probably
in every stage of human development. As mankind had been changing with time,
education process had also undergone various changes. But the changes were very minute
as the rate of human development was also too slow. With the development of modern
science and the assimilation of technology in our life the humanity has acquired a rapid
speed of development and accordingly education systems changed. This speed further
intensified with the beginning of new millennium. It has become very necessary for the
teachers to adopt a new and creative approach to maintain the strength of teaching
process as one of the strong forces of human development.
2. Process of education from Ancient Times and its importance

The first formal patterns of Education can be traced in Vedic period of our nation.
During Vedic period education was imparted by two agencies formal and informal. In
both these ways verbal and oral procedures were followed to impart knowledge to the
students. There were three schools existing in those days namely Ashramas or
Gurukuls as primary schools, Charamas as secondary schools and finally Parishads
as schools for higher studies and research. During Vedic period the teacher was at the
center of the education system. He was called Guru or Acharya and held a reverend
position among the students. Thus teacher was considered as guide, leader and architect
of society. Patanjali compares the teacher with an umbrella who gives shelter to his
students. In Mahabharata, qualities of the teacher have been mentioned as he must be a
profound scholar, eloquent orator and must understand the difficult books. Thus in Vedic
period place of teacher was very prominent in shaping the society. In Vedic period three
major teaching methods were prevalent.
1.

Sravana - In this process students used to listen the text uttered by the teacher
by which the knowledge was preserved and transmitted.

2.

Manana - In this process the deliberation and reflection was done by the
students on the topic taught.

3.

Nididhyasana In this third stage students used to meditate and tried to attain
the realisation of truth.

The prominent feature of Vedic Education System was to achieve a kind of synthesis
between individual and social development. It aimed at all round development of the
students. It was expected by the educationist like Mahatma Gandhi when he defined the
term education as: By education I mean an all round drawing out of the best in child and
man body, mind and spirit. Thus it was a coherent process adopted in Vedic period.
After Vedic Period, we can trace major changes in Education system occurred in
Buddhist period. The prominent change seen is from individualistic approach to
institutional organization in education system. In this period also the methods of teaching
were based oral discussions, preaching, repetition and exposition. It aimed at purity of
character. Thus it was training of moral character more than psychological development
of the students. Conferences were arranged on every full moon and first day of the month
(Pournima and Pratipada) in Buddhist sanghas. In this period some prominent centers of

Education like Takshashila, Kashi, Nalanda had become established education power
heads.
During Medieval Period Muslim rulers in India had started a new system of
education which is known as Maktab-madarsah system. In this system education aimed at
making the individual capable of earning for himself. It was also religion oriented and the
teachings of The Prophet Muhammad. Along with this system the old Pathshala system
for Hindus was continued. All these systems continued till the British Period. In British
period we see radical changes in Education system especially advocated by Macaulay.
During British Rule there were few people demanding English Education in India.
The prominent leader among them was Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He wanted to actualize
social reforms out of it. Raja Ram Mohan Roy worked for development in education field
because he believed that education can liberate human being from ignorance and provides
an opportunity to improve on individual and social basis. In the later part of history we
find impact of Macaulay minute on Indian education system. In this Macaulay Minute
three main things were incorporated as:
1. The learned natives of India are to be encouraged.
2. Literature to be revived and improved.
3. Knowledge of sciences is to be promoted among Indians.
The impact of Macaulay remained for a long time in Indian education system.
After independence Govt. of India appointed a Commission in November 1948.
Dr. Radhakrishnan was the chairman of this Commission so it is also known as
Radhakrishnan Commission. This Commission report had elaborated the projected
direction of Education in India. In view of the commission, any one who wishes to live
intelligently in the modern world should have some knowledge of selected material from
three major fields. These are (1) Science and Technology, (2) Social Studies, (3)
Humanities including language and literature, fine arts, ethics, philosophy and religion.
This report has given importance to the study of language and literature. Radhakrishnan
Commission writes, The function of literature is not only to discipline our intelligence,
but also quickens their sensibility. Confirming this view it is to be understood that
teachers of language and literature must adopt creativity to impart create interest among
students which will enable them to learn basic fundamental requisites of development of

progressive civilization. Till the beginning of new millennium the traditional methods
were only followed in classrooms to teach language and literature. These methods were
prototypes where mostly one way communication was taking place. As mostly teacher
used to deliver lectures and students used to listen only made the receiver (student) a
passive object without any active participation in the whole learning process. So it was
only teaching without bothering the learning on the part of the students. It was sonly one
way flow of information. The material provided to the students was only in the form of
notes and text books. The interaction with the students in the classroom was missing. The
whole pattern of teaching was result oriented and thus the real goal of education was
missed due to orthodox and prototype methods.
But after the changing of Millennium the whole atmosphere and surrounding
changed. The technology boom has opened wide accesses for the students and so they are
now well informed and sharp receivers of new ideas. To assimilate new ideas and
innovations in teaching, the teacher need to be CREATIVE.
3. Creativity as an essential requisite
. I will argue instead that making sense of development of creative
works requires no elaborate construction, because creativity is firmly rooted in past
experience and has its source in the same thought processes that we all use every day.
- Weisberg, Robert
Considering this view, creativity is not a matter to be achieved with hard labour it can be
considered as a small change in the approach of performing activities. Being creative
means to engage in some activity that causes something new to come into existence or
into being. We express creativity every day, from the moment we wake up until the
moment we fall asleep. Some psychologists also consider that even dreams are a
reflection of creativity at work. In primitive times, creativity centered around the basic
struggle for life. Humans spent most of their time in search of food, clothing and shelter.
Pottery making, weaving cloth, and the production of weapons and tools were all done by
ordinary individuals. The technical skills required to produce something new and
important for the community were not complex. Creativity itself may or may not have
been highly valued. It was probably not seen as anything separate from daily living.

As society evolved and became more complex, people specialized. Eventually,


individuals who were skilled in one area formed groups in different professions. Thus we
have started living in era of competition. This competition has become intensified in new
millennium. The science and technological advancement made our lives fast and
innovative. So obviously this impact is seen among the students of modern schools and
colleges. To cope up with the needs of these students, a teacher must be well equipped
with technology at the same time he must be creative enough to impart knowledge to his
students to the fullest extent.
4. Teacher must shake-hand with technology
Use of multimedia has become the essential and integral part of modern teaching.
It involves combination of text, audio and video which transforms the ordinary teaching
into an interesting and participatory one. Teacher can use multimedia to modify the
contents and present them creatively so as to cast its impact on the students. For example:
The Teacher teaching the drama Oedipus Tyrannies must explain the history of Greek
theatre as well as the physical conditions of Greek drama. A good multimedia
presentation can show the students the actual pictures of the theatre conditions in Greek
times and the dramatic scenario can be elaborated so as to give the students the feel of
Greek drama. The pictures given below can create more interest among the students
about the Greek drama.

Map of Greek Theatre

Ancient Greek Theatre

Thus use of audio-visual techniques offer an edge over traditional teaching patterns.
Basically multimedia learning is an interactive process in which students get involved in
the process and can grasp the contents more acutely. In case of subjects like literature and
5

language it has started proving a boon for the teachers and those who use it can realise
the importance of its usage through the great feedback from the students. There are
various multimedia tools available for us now. For example: Power point presentations,
Flash player, Macromedia, Movie maker, Win amp, Flash Slide show software etc. are
available which give ample scope for the teachers creativity. Despite the availability of
multimedia tools, the teacher must possess creativity to utilize these tools in the
classroom and make the best presentation. The quality named Creativity is needed for
the teachers of language and literature the most as they need to deal with the lives and
feelings of the people which are varied and most unpredictable. Creativity is also useful
to simplify the matters and take them to the students in the most acceptable way.
5. Creativity as a policy of simplification:
Many of the concepts in literature and language are complicated and complex. The
students hesitate to learn them due to their complex nature. In such situation the role of a
creative teacher is to simplify the concepts by deriving some creative methods and offer a
simplified version of those concepts to the students. A simplified model regarding the
concept of supernaturalism by S.T. Coleridge can be elaborated as follows:
The British Romantic poet S.T. Coleridge while describing the concept of
supernaturalism has given a very interesting but complicated definition of the concept.
He wanted to deal with supernatural subjects in his poems so as to transfer from our
inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these
shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which
constitute poetic faith. This idea of constitution of willing suspension of disbelief
becomes difficult to understand for the students. So a creative teacher can perform an
experiment in the classroom to explain the concept effectively to the students.

In this way students understand that why they are not able to put foot on the paper
where Lord Ganeshas drawing is drawn. They start believing the other paper and pious
and they willingly suspend their disbelief. This is exactly what S.T. Coleridge meant by
willing suspension of disbelief to constitute poetic faith.
Such creative models can be prepared by the teachers to simplify the concepts in
language and literature. This experimental methods need creative mind to present similar
contents in the most appealing and attractive matters. Applying creativity has vast scope
and expanse in the field of teaching. Every day in the life of students can be made
enchanting and they can be brought under the umbrella of knowledge and development.
High-scaled imagination is needed on the part of teacher to practice creativity in the
classrooms which then turn to pleasure houses for the students.
Being Creative means combining knowledge and imagination
-Vincent Ryan Ruggiero
6. Conclusion
Thus with the change of modern world, the students get exposed with the new technology
and so they expect innovative and new methods of teaching in the classroom. It is
necessary for the teacher to handle this new expectation with the help of multimedia and
technology. It is very necessary for the teachers to be creative so as to impart knowledge
to the students to the fullest extent. The teachers of language and literature must use
creativity as a unique tool for the simplification of many concepts and create an
atmosphere of participation and interaction in the class so as to benefit the students to
develop their language and concepts of life.
References:
1. Publication Division, Govt. of India: The Report of University Education
Commission, 1950
2. Weisberg, Robert. Creativity: Beyond the Myth of Genius. New York: W.H.
Freeman and Company, 1993.
3. Arieti, Silvano. Creativity: The Magic of Synthesis. New York: Basic Books, 1976
4. Fritz, Robert. Creating. New York: Ballantine Books, 1991.
5. Gamez, George. Creativity. Mumbai: Jaico Books, 2006.

6. Altekar, A.S. Education in Ancient India, Varanasi: Nand Kishore and Bros.,
1957.
7. Mukerji, S.N. Education in India: Today and Tomorrow, Baroda: Acharya Book
Depot, 1964
8. Thomas, F.W. History and Prospects of British Education in India, George Bell
and Sons, 1891
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Paper By:
Dr. Avinash Moharil
Associate Professor & Head,
Dept. of English,
Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Amravati (M.S.)-444601
Mail: moharil_avinash@rediffmail.com
Registration Fee sent via D.D. No. 979998 of Indian Bank Dt.
26.04.2011.
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: Dr. Avinash B. Moharil


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:Comparative Literature
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