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EDIM 508 Unit 4 Summary Posting

Consumers to Creators
Ive enjoyed reading your discussions this week. I hope that the readings have better opened
your mind to fostering the creative mind in education. Id like to highlight some thoughts
from this weeks discussions.

Ann- I can see myself being overly critical in my efforts to bring out the creative mind in my
students. This is partially due to the pressure I put on myself to have my students perform well on a test. I am
beginning to realize that my students will obtain the information that I give them no matter what way it is
presented or practiced. Allowing my students to be more creative with their learning will take more time, but
the outcome will be far more meaningful.

Daniel- I sometimes feel the fear of mistakes is what limits creativity. Kids, and adults for that
matter too, are afraid of failure. But failure is a part of creativity. It is rare that something is perfect the first
time around, it takes time. I sometimes feel this generation is so use to getting everything right away, that they
don't have time for failure, to let creativity work it's course.

Deborah- The lack of creativity, which is exhibited in these projects, and evident in educational
practices I typically see, is more often due to teachers not being comfortable with a lack of control, students
wanting to be told exactly what to do and parents who are overly concerned with the Honor Roll! Creativity
requires the freedom to fail and as Gardner says, a person who is willing to pick themselves up and try and try
again.

Jessica I am a big fan of allowing students to choose the way in which they
want to get information to me. As long as they answer the essential question, I am flexible
on how they choose to answer that question. Sometimes I do require students to do one
specific assignment, but whenever possible, I engage students through digital media,
collaboration, discussions, etc. and allow students to express their learning in the way that
works for them.

John- I believe creativity can be encouraged more in the classroom by simply backing away from
the mentality of standards based testing and pacing and shifting to a more interactive learning environment. As
long as we use uncreative methods of assessment, all of our creative work will be for naught

Jonathan- The things that are valued by most schools are not always inherently creative endeavors.
As such, you might often hear educators say that we don't have time to be creative in school any more. The day
is filled with initiatives, priorities, and standards - all of which can be a death knell for creativity. We take those
5 year olds that are at the height of their creative potential and we conform them to routines, structures and an
environment that squashes all independent and creative thoughts.

Kathryn- I think that one way to encourage creativity is to stop focusing on only having one correct
answer (tough to do in a world of standardized tests). I think it's also important for students to be allowed to fail
and then to help them understand what brought them to that point. I feel that when students have an
understanding of the process they can be free to move within or beyond the conventions. It's certainly a
challenge, but I think we also can use technology to our advantage in many situations.

Kevin- I feel that creativity within a school really lives in the culture the
school creates. If there is a proactive display and acknowledgment for creativity within the
student body, then students clearly feel the motivation to be creative. Many factors may
play into this culture of creativity including curriculum, classroom activities, and even
extra-curricular activities. If creativity is valued, the students will value it as well in my
opinion.

Maria I believe that slowing down learning in earlier years of mathematics, will
allow students' minds to develop fully and stay curious about learning. Students will inherently want to learn if
they are successful. When material is introduced too quickly or before their brains are ready, they will feel
overwhelmed and shut down, hence crushing their intrigue and curiosity.

Matthew S- When I contemplate traditional creativity I immediately think of music and art class at
the elementary level. Children in our building also have opportunities for chorus, art club and various music
lessons. As they progress through middle and high school these opportunities increase. In my fifth grade
classroom I include opportunities for children to display their artistic side through illustrations that accompany
a published writing.

Matt U- Having ample time to ensure mastery really opens up the possibilities for us to foster a
more creative approach to our teaching regardless of subject. Not only does encouraging creativity build a
classroom of thinkers, but it gets our students excited about learing and sparks a hunger and thirst for more
learning.

Michelle- I feel torn most days because I value the important things I learned in my childhood,
growing up in a time where we didn't have the internet and we didn't have answers at our fingertips, those
experiences are important and I think our students need to have some similar experiences, however I know that
they are growing up in a different world and therefore they need some different things to help them be
successful. It's a struggle to find that balance. I want my students to be able to "survive" if we didn't have
technology and I also want them to become wise in the world of technology.

Stephanie- The point of the matter is, there is limited time for creativity because we have classrooms
that are fast paced and focused on standardized testing. Yes, we can train our students to take a test, but think
about how much is missed when that is our main focus. I think many forget that we teach students, not subjects.
How can we truly spend time focusing on what each student needs, if we are worried about getting content out
to our students?