Strategies for promoting creativity in your classroom

by Elaine Sponholtz
Ph.D. student, University of Florida

Support Creativity and Idea Generation by:

  •  Asking naïve questions that question assumptions, why is that a given?
  • Being curious because curiosity drives new research questions
  • Equal status should be given for a Creativity Quotient along with IQ and
    (Emotional Intelligence) because it is essential for innovation
  • Synthetic Thinking (along with analytic and practical thinking) is crucial
  •  Risk-taking — looking stupid, making mistakes, taking a chance on success
  •  Humor is an undervalued mode of communication not taken seriously
  •  Crossing categories of personal and professional interests for new areas of focus (i.e. look at what childhood interests can lead to)
  •  Look for what isn’t there as a way to open mental door

Ken Robinson’s ideas on education reform:

Taking “Baby Steps” or incremental learning
David Kelly, of IDEO and Stanford, gave TED talk about Bandura’s use of small steps to overcome fear of creativity and increase self-confidence in creative thinking

Rethinking categories and mental partitions can show that how we think of things affects our research
Projection Design and Dance Performance “Wife” by The Grey Ones:

  • Synthetic thinking or crossing disciplines tend to promote creativity and new ideas
  •  Itagé Website designed for teaching technology, including online video editing, with West African Culture —
  • Design thinking/iterative thinking includes revisions as part of process
  • Empathy (i.e. David Kelley’s story in TED talk of revamping MRI into a pirate game)
  • Remapping or looking for new connections from subject to subject
  • Doodling can turn into something as “Activity evolves purpose,” from artist Lynda Barry idea of idea development grounded in practice/


Elaine Sponholtz is a student in Mass Communication Teaching.


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