Overall, I was disappointed. The posters that were creative in design were poorly executed, no doubt from waiting until the last minute. The ones that were well-done visually didn't have much information or else had lots of information in large chunks. I was envious of the posters submitted by my office-mate's students. They seemed much more professional and creative than mine. What accounts for the difference?
Maybe it's just luck. After all, every group of students is different. If that's the case, I shouldn't expect his students to consistently create interesting projects--but I do. I think it's him. And I think what he does is be playful and to encourage chaos.*
I try to be a creative teacher. I make creative assignments and design creative in-class activities. But I'm not playful and I don't like chaos. When students ask me how to be more creative in their thinking, I've suggested the following things:
- Build on your own experience. Your experience is different from anyone else's.
- Try pairing two things together to see what each shows about the other. Creativity can often just be about matching.
- Be playful. It's when we play that we open the doors of thought, that we step outside our narrow boxes of the way things should be.
What are your secrets for inspiring creativity?
*It's also possible, nay likely, that I'm being too critical. The 3 posters that I chose from my 2 comp classes, when placed beside the other submissions, didn't seem too bad.**
**Not too bad indeed! One of my students won 2nd place. My office-mate's students won 1st and 3rd.