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Elisa Kupers: how can teachers stimulate children’s creativity?

How can teachers stimulate children’s creativity?

Creativity is at the root of our culture: in science, in art and in all kinds of other areas, the ability to ‘make something from nothing’ or to find new solutions for complex problems is necessary for progress. Therefore, it is not strange that the importance of creativity in the field of education is increasingly being acknowledged by researchers. All kinds of tests are available to measure creativity, such as the so-called “paper clip test” in which children have to invent as many applications as possible for a paper clip. The more original the application and the more applications are devised, the higher the creative thinking capacity.

Elisa Kupers

However, if we want to learn how creativity can be stimulated through teaching, we have to zoom in on the moments unfolding in the here-and-now of classrooms, where creativity emerges in the interaction between the child, the teacher and their physical environment. There are two teaching skills that are important here: on the one hand, encouraging pupils to generate as many different ideas as possible (for instance, by emphasizing that there are no wrong answers, or by repeatedly asking if anyone can think of anything else). On the other hand, it is important that the teacher is also capable of narrowing a question down and can help to evaluate the results: what is the best solution for a particular problem? By examining this process of creativity-in-interaction in different school subjects, both in regular and special education, we can learn more about how creativity develops in children, and how teachers can best connect with this.

dr. W.E. (Elisa) Kupers
First name
Associate professor
Teacher-student interactions, engagement and well-being, creativity, (special) educational needs
Last modified:06 September 2019 3.28 p.m.
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