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  • Writer's pictureDr. V.S. Gayathri

How Can Educators Make Students Think More Creatively?

In our last article, we spoke about how parents can nurture creative thinking in children at home. It is also important for them to learn and imbibe crucial life skills inside the classroom because they spend a lot of their learning time there. So, educators need to include creative thinking activities in the classroom as it is for parents to inculcate this skill at home.


Experts say that ‘creative pedagogy’ transforms passive students who are reliant on their teachers, by creating the space for engaging and responsive learning. Creative Pedagogy refers to the style of learning as one that “teaches learners how to learn creatively and become creators of themselves and creators of their future” (Aleinikov 2013).


Creative thinking is the ability to come up with new and innovative ideas. Hence, it is a valuable skill that can benefit students in all aspects of their education, from problem-solving to critical thinking to communication and self-confidence. It is a key social skill to boost social interactions and engagements as well.


Further, research has shown that creative thinking is influenced by various circumstances, including whether work is collaborative and the extent to which individuals are motivated to solve a problem (e.g., Brophy, 2006). These findings support the idea that creativity is pliable and that creative thinking can and should be taught in some way (e.g., DeHaan, 2009). Along these lines, Schacter, Thum, and Zifkin (2006) demonstrated that classrooms in which teachers fostered student creativity saw student achievement gains. (source- sciencedirect.com)


Here are some simple ways in which teachers can incorporate creative thinking in the classroom.


  • Problem-solving activities: Activities that require students to think outside the box must be a part of every lesson or assignment. For example, designing a new product to solve a problem or address a need.

  • Design challenges: Students can be given a challenge to design something, such as a new ending to a story, or suggest a new addition to the school building or a new piece of furniture. This helps to develop their creative problem-solving skills and to think about the world in new ways.


You can also make them do situation-based ideations like if you are stuck in an island with limited supplies what will you do or role plays where one person can be the leader and they have to convince others to join their team.


  • Brainstorming sessions: Creative thinking flourishes best when it comes to team or group activities. Students can be asked to work in groups on a given topic to come up with as many ideas as possible, even the craziest ones. This can help them think more creatively and to come up with new and innovative solutions.

  • Creativity exercises: Many creativity exercises can be used in the classroom. These exercises can help students to warm up their creative muscles and exercise their creative skills, both physically and mentally.


The role of a teacher is immense in controlling the classroom environment where students spend hours each day. They can create opportunities to nurture and cultivate creativity.


Some popular tools for creative thinking are Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats or The Mantle of The Expert by Dorothy Heathcote.


Two most important things must always be practiced: become a role model for students, and find ways to stimulate their creative thinking skills in whatever ways possible. Teachers play an indispensable role in maintaining and encouraging its continuous development.

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