17 minutes to read
Creativity is not a new concept, but have you noticed how it has been increasingly addressed in recent years? Whether to promote a new product, praise an artist or even request this competence for a job vacancy, we see the use of the term. However, we do not always understand what is behind this subjective concept and we do not know how to develop this competence.
Thinking about these aspects is fundamental, especially for educators. In a world in constant transformation, being a creative person can contribute positively to impart knowledge in an attractive way.
Going further, teachers can be great agents in the development of creativity in their students, helping to form innovative adults ready for the challenges of society.
In this article, we have prepared a complete content that covers everything from the origin of creativity to the ways to develop this skill and apply it in everyday life. Continue reading and check it out!
What you will find in this article:
What is creativity?
The term creativity comes from the Latin “creare”, which has as its primary meaning the ability to create new things. Over the years, many authors have studied this concept.
In a book written in 1974, Morris Isaac Stein defined creativity as “the process that results in a new product, which is accepted as useful and satisfactory by a significant number of people at some point in time”.
The author also explained how society may or may not favor the development of creativity in individuals. For him, the freedom to study, question and have diverse experiences in multiple areas directly influences a person’s creative mind.
Although anyone has the creative potential within them, this characteristic can manifest itself in countless ways. Brazilian researcher Eunice Soriano de Alencar explained this idea in an interview for the magazine Superinteressante: “I compare creativity to electricity, which can either express itself in a powerful electrical discharge during a storm or light a lamp of a few volts”.
And how to identify if someone has this quality? Alencar pointed out some characteristics that seem to be present in the personality of individuals with the most outlined creativity. According to her, they are people with independent thinking, curious, daring and unhappy.
How is creativity in our daily lives?
When we think of creativity, the work done by artists, such as painters, writers and musicians, usually comes to mind. They are known to have complex creative processes, “eureka!” Moments and even locks during a project.
However, it is essential to understand that creativity manifests itself beyond these spaces. In fact, we can find it in all areas of our society and through the centuries.
Just think of the great inventions, like the Gutenberg press, Graham Bell’s phone and Thomas Edson’s electric light bulb. Of course, we cannot forget all the innovations that have resulted in the digital transformation we are experiencing today: computers, the internet, operating systems and mobile devices have changed the entire dynamics of society.
When we remember these samples of creativity, we see the application of Stein’s theory, which we mentioned above, which says that the creative process results in something completely new and useful for society.
So we can see that creativity is in various aspects of everyday life, even on a smaller scale. In a company, for example, creative ideas can give rise to new products and services that solve problems in consumers’ daily lives.
Even at home, a family member may come up with an unusual solution, either to entertain or to solve a complicated situation. All of that is creativity.
How important is creativity throughout life?
Creativity has been seen as a soft skill, that is, a skill linked to the individual’s behavior, which becomes part of his personality and his way of acting in the most diverse situations.
In order for you to see how important it is to develop this competence, we want to show how it is possible to benefit from it throughout your life, both personally and professionally. Below are the advantages we have separated.
Helps deal with challenges
You have probably heard stories of people who came out of challenging situations in life with mastery and even unexpectedly with some “great idea”. The truth is that creative people can see problems from a different angle.
With this, they can gain resilience to face the challenging moment and reframe the situation, thus generating a resolution for her. Obstacles in personal life, in own business or in the company’s routine end up being more easily overcome because of creativity.
Favors good professional performance
The job market has become increasingly interested in people considered creative. Currently, innovation is an asset for any company, after all, we seem to be at a time when everything that could be invented already exists.
The scenario is competitive, with several brands offering similar products and services. Therefore, being able to stand out in some way is essential. It is through creative ideas that a company is able to present something to the public that it did not even know was necessary for its satisfaction.
It is not only for big and revolutionary ideas that corporations seek professionals with creative traits. This socio-emotional skill started to be requested by recruiters for all types of vacancies.
The reason is simple: there are small obstacles arising at all times in the business context. Traditional thinking often takes time to resolve these issues and we know that time is a precious commodity in the modern world. Thus, anyone who can think “outside the box” can act with more productivity and intelligence.
Improves interpersonal relationships
One of the characteristics of creative people is originality. They are individuals who manage to show themselves interesting to their neighbors and, thus, create much stronger interpersonal relationships. This is an interesting benefit of creativity, which can go unnoticed by many.
Living in contact with other people is, in fact, a constant exercise of adequacy. Whether at school, family, work or in a relationship, it is necessary to know how to position yourself while giving the necessary space so that the other can be heard and understood.
We are obliged to find ways to reconcile in the face of fights and arguments if we are to maintain healthy relationships. The famous expression “waist game” lives up to what we are talking about and it is a fact that creative people can use this ability to build more harmonious relationships.
Increases motivation in the field
One of the points highlighted by specialists in creative people is their motivation when carrying out projects in the area in which they operate. They do it with real commitment and find real satisfaction in what they do.
This type of characteristic may be a result of the ease of dealing with the inevitable challenges, combined with the well-being generated by “putting out” the various ideas that usually pop up in the mind of a creative.
Being able to create something original, be it an idea, a product or an art form, is certainly an action of enormous satisfaction and empowerment. So it is important that creative people are working in areas of interest.
Why should creativity be stimulated from childhood?
As much as many seem to be born with this “gift” of creativity, this is a competence that can be developed like others throughout life. To start working on this in childhood is to increase the chances of forming creative adults ready for life’s challenges.
Below are some reasons for parents and educators to pay attention to children’s creativity. Look at that.
Childhood is a key moment in the formation of the human being. It is a time of discoveries and learning that will shape all motor, cognitive, social and emotional training. For this reason, the broader the “baggage” of knowledge and experiences acquired during that period, the greater the child’s creative potential and, consequently, his development.
Stimulating creativity early in childhood will directly impact its development, such as, for example, the way it deals with unknown knowledge. The child has a keen curiosity and, therefore, is more interested in news during classes.
Curious people are more questioning and, thus, motivate themselves to participate in debates, ask questions and solve questions to discover new knowledge. It is a cycle that generates constant learning: the more curious to learn, the more baggage accumulates for creativity; the more creativity, the more desire to go further and discover more.
Favors the experience of life experiences
Children in general have a tendency to inventive thinking. It is common to see them inventing stories, imaginary friends and simulated situations. All of these experiences are extremely rich and stimulate creativity, as they also create the baggage we have already mentioned.
When creativity and these imaginative practices are stimulated from an early age, the child has the privilege of growing up with remarkable moments that bring joy and satisfaction. Furthermore, it is from these moments that memories are created for a lifetime.
Help in overcoming problems
Anyone who thinks that children do not face challenges is wrong. In fact, as it is a period of knowledge of the world and of itself, the child may feel that his problems are really big and challenging.
By stimulating creativity in childhood, it is also possible to see a different attitude towards these unpleasant situations that may appear. An example of literature (which also became a TV series) that illustrates this idea well is the story Anne of Green Gables, by writer L. M. Montgomery.
Anne, who is an orphaned child adopted by a sibling couple, experiences sadness, difficulties and conflicts during her childhood. However, his way of looking at life is surprising. She cultivates a great imaginative potential and uses her creativity to create her own fairy tale and turn different situations into positive ones.
What actions stimulate the development of creativity in children?
Knowing that creativity is a skill to be stimulated from early childhood, how about understanding what are the actions that can help in this process? There are simple attitudes that motivate creative thinking. Check out what they are.
Asking provocative questions
Talking to children is an essential attitude not only to develop creativity, but also to make arguments and express themselves clearly. An excellent practice in this regard is to ask provocative questions to the child.
What would that be? Nothing more than questioning things that generate a more elaborate thought and response. In general, it is children who ask these questions of adults, always looking for a more complex and broad explanation, and reversing the game is also very interesting.
At this moment, the interlocutor also shows that he values the child’s point of view, which generates even more encouragement for him to always share his ideas, however abstract they may seem.
Another good practice to stimulate creativity in children is to encourage imagination through storytelling and activities such as plays or musicals. It is important that they are able to immerse themselves in a fictional universe and even give segment to a short story.
Over time, the child can think of his own narratives. At this point, it is essential to continue stimulating and never to intervene in creative thinking in a negative way. For example, insinuating that the story is meaningless or that it is dull ends up narrowing the flow of ideas and making the child insecure about what he can or cannot talk about.
Stimulating the imagination involves encouraging the small individual to take a risk in the creation without being afraid of the feedback or the result. This is the type of impulse that remains until adulthood and helps in various situations of daily life that require courage to make decisions and improvise.
Encourage critical thinking
Although it seems similar to the first topic we mentioned, encouraging critical thinking goes beyond asking provocative questions. It is also to motivate the child to question what is said and to go after concrete information that justifies his argument.
Often, adults want children to believe in some fact just “why yes”. However, this ends up generating a negative passivity when receiving information throughout life. In adulthood, it is certain that the absence of critical thinking can cause someone to miss opportunities or even be deceived.
Therefore, it is important to let children develop a logic to conclude facts. Encourage the search for concrete data, listening to both sides of a story and reflecting on any proposed idea.
Offer cultural baggage
Another important point that will impact the development of creative thinking is the cultural baggage that is offered throughout childhood. It is the collection of images, stories and experiences that will allow the emergence of innovative and creative ideas.
Books, plays, music, museums and films are some examples of how diverse content can become part of the child’s memory. She expands her horizons and starts to see more possibilities for her own creations.
How can the school help in the development of creativity in children?
Author and educator Ken Robinson spoke at one of the TED Talks conferences about how the education system has dealt with creativity – and eventually erased it in students.
For him, creativity should be treated with the same importance as literacy and, many times, the school ends up wasting this creative potential of students. We separated, then, some actions that the school and educators can take to not stifle this competence, but to encourage its development.
One of the relevant points cited by Robinson in his speech is that, in most schools, mistakes are not accepted openly. The consequence of this is students who stop taking risks to avoid making mistakes.
The absence of the possibility of trial and error is one of the great killers of creativity, since this competence often arises from improvisation and the need for originality that only appears with unexpected situations.
Therefore, one of the ways to start transforming the classroom into a space more open to creative ideas is to allow attempts and even value mistakes, ensuring a sense of security for students.
Present new possibilities for learning
Expanding the horizons of possibilities for students is valuable for any age. Instead of traditional methods for imparting knowledge, it is possible to adopt more dynamic teaching methodologies, which show how it is possible to learn creatively.
Music, games and group dynamics are some simple ways to insert grid content in a creative context. The contextualization of the material with current themes, such as series and films, becomes extremely attractive.
By bringing creativity to the classroom and to subjects, students feel more engaged and motivated. The fixation of the content is greater and the whole process still encourages creative thinking.
Encourage children in the creative process
Another way for the school to participate in the development of creativity in children is to promote activities that foster the creative process. It is not enough to encourage them to think outside the box, it is necessary to give space for them to put these creative ideas into practice.
Theater plays, creation of parodies, art and text workshops and many other activities that deviate from the traditional become valuable to boost the imagination. The results of these creations must be celebrated and practices must be constantly encouraged.
Invest in active methodologies
Talking about active methodologies has become increasingly common among educators. This is because teachers began to notice that student participation in the process of building knowledge is essential and brings incredible results.
But another point about active methodologies is that they also contribute to creativity. This is because students move from passive listeners in the classroom and begin to have a more autonomous performance. They are motivated to question, cultivate critical thinking and exchange information with colleagues and teachers.
Betting on interdisciplinarity
An interesting characteristic of creative people is that they are not only interested in one field of action, but also venture into other areas of knowledge. This is the idea of interdisciplinarity, which can also be brought to the classroom.
One type of knowledge can end up crossing different disciplines and each one will add greater value to the subject. It is in this way that the child’s luggage becomes more “heavy” as he learns. It starts to connect knowledge and have innovative ideas based on this broader collection.
Use technological resources to facilitate interaction
Finally, we cannot fail to mention the use of technology in the development of creativity. Our current social context is immersed in technology and it can be a great ally of teachers in encouraging creative thinking.
It is possible, for example, to use online education tools to favor the search for information in the classroom during active methodologies. Each student can go after content that they are interested in and build their knowledge individually, using creativity and logic to form an argument.
Another possibility is the use of resources such as gamification and virtual reality. From these technologies, students are able to learn creatively and are still motivated to observe the technological advances that allow these novelties.
In a current context of pandemic and isolation, it is interesting to think that creativity is essential to guarantee a satisfactory adaptation of students and teachers. Creative people are more open to change and are able to face this challenge more using innovative techniques, such as distance learning through digital platforms, for example.
We hope that this text and the current moment will help you to realize how important it is for creativity to be taken seriously, encouraged and developed since childhood. Schools can certainly play a central role in this process, forming creative and innovative individuals for our society.
To complement your reading, we have separated a text that explains how an adaptive platform works and how it is essential for individualized teaching. Be sure to check it out!