Too rigorous for creativity

reading2Once, I heard a teacher speak on the frustration of getting gifted students past the hurdle of simply looking at events of a story to the devices that the author used in writing it and how that affected their views. I worked with a child who had made this leap, despite needing help in English due to dyslexia.  She did this because she was attempting to write stories herself.  I suggested to the teacher that he could have students write short fiction so they could better understand the process that an author went through. The response, “The curriculum is too rigorous and doesn’t allow time for creative writing. They can take that course if they want to.”  Is this the most sensible route to take?

Too much information without allowing students to practically implement what they know leads to a kind of knowledge that de-emphasizes thinking skills. But having students make creative products is often a messy and inaccurate exercise that teachers dread. For example, how exactly do you grade creative works? The teacher is not the only one that needs to tackle this problem.  Students are going need to know how to apply their effort towards tasks requiring imagination. I recommend that projects call for large doses of creative input be made easier by putting everyone through the process step by step.


[1]  Torrance, E. (1999). Torrance test of creative thinking:  Norms and technical manual.  Beaconville, IL: Scholastic Testing Services.

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