Friday, July 26, 2013

Creative Professional Development

The article, “Design Creativity!” argues that teachers must develop critical and creative thinking skills in order to be able to teach their students to use the same skills.  The article’s authors propose that through the combination of technology and thinking skills, “educators can better prepare students for the world of industry and innovation” (17).  The IDEAStudio, a section of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology at Virginia Tech, first established a set of criteria for projects to be based in: projects had instructional potential, they made creative use of technology, and they included products of the arts.  They then worked with teachers to “define the direction of projects and to design and develop instructional materials to support the products” (17).  Two workshops were held to develop and evaluate the materials.  The workshops focusd on the four basic components of critical and creative thinking: idea generation, reflective judgment, self-regulation and attitudes and disposition.  By developing the creative process, teachers found that they could make “surprising uses of everyday, affordable technologies” (19).

I firmly believe that creative thinking is one of the most beneficial, yet undervalued, assets to our society and it should have a much more prevalent role in education at all levels.  By helping teachers to develop their own creative processes, the authors and those at the IDEAStudio are doing a great service to the children who will be affected by this down the line.  I come from an art background and thoroughly understand the value of imagination, ingenuity and innovation; each of these characteristics should be nurtured in children especially.  The article examines both NETS-S and NETS-T standards dealing with learning and creativity.  Though the article focuses mostly on NETS-T standards of professional growth, leadership, and the development of digital-age learning experiences, it also focuses on the NETS-S standard of critical thinking, problem solving and decision making.

Read the article here: Design Creativity!

Baum, L. & Newbill, P. (2012-2013) Design creativity! Learning &Leading with Technology, 40(4), 16-19.

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