Friday, 8 August 2014

Unleashing Curiosity and Creativity in the Classroom

Presenter: Steve Mouldey
Organisation: HPSS
Twitter: @GeoMouldey

Google Doc

Having a negative attitude to creativity creates a fixed mindset.

Three books that have been influencial: 
Can computers keep secrets?
Creative confidence.
A more beautiful question.

Kids are naturally curious - how can we encourage and protect this curiousity? They look at everything and notice the strangest things. How do we keep noticing and asking questions alive?

Kids questions and experimentations can result in the best learning opportunities. 

What do you value?  Why?  Why?  Why?
Creativity enables you to create change in the world around you.
Curiosity enables students find their own learning paths.
 - we all have different paths and understandings according to our life experience and interests.
 - give opportunity for choice in pathway, recording, approach  - as long as the learning is happening.

Design ideas: (try not - do it - Yoda's advice)
Find a design project for our local community:
Find a problem - go for a walk and find the biggest problem first rather than giving them the problem or having the 'right' answer in your mind.  Give them opportunity for finding space, different ways of approach - window markers, post-it notes, devices etc. This builds confidence to take risks.
Design - build in Minecraft or build a prototype to then pitch to the class.
Next step - sell at the community markets.

The blank page is the scary bit!
Give them lots of opportunities to get started.  Use this as an 'in' into learning.

Brainstorm to begin inquiry.
Generate 'so what' questions or as many problems, questions or ideas.  If we have been working on throwing ideas down then we can get over the initial trouble of getting started. It does not matter if 20 of your questions are very ordinary, there might be 1-2 questions of value.  You need to get to 20-30 questions in to uncover the valuable ones.

e.g. Woman sitting in a dumpster as the people were going into the World Cup games.
 - Why is she there?
 - Why has Brazil been awarded the World cup when they can't look after their poor?

Questions are the key to unlocking curoisity and creativity:
Using the cross curricular lense is awesome - making links between codes of knowledge.
Learning about open and closed questions.
Assess a list of questions against open and closed.  Re-word the questions to change them to open or closed to investigate the difference.
Use the WWWHW approach.
Try grids with WWWHW and if, did to deepen the question:
e.g. With who did...

Favourite questions:
Why - purpose
What if - generating possibilities
How might we - look for alternatives
How might - it might not work but we'll experiment

How can we twist our learning intentions to cater for student passions?
Horse passion
Looking at animal rights.
Oral language focus - debates, persuasion focus.
Getting outside agencies involved.

Design thinking:
Not a set process - more of a mindset:
Human centred - impact on people, showing empathy to establish the issue for that person.
Bias towards action - we need to do somethng to help.
Radical collaboration - people working with 'whoever' can help their progress. Groups are fluid and experts are drawn in - both teachers, students and outside help.
Culture of prototying - make a version now, get started, adapt
Show don't tell - pictures tell a 1000 words, modelling and annotated diagrams are valuable - avoid paragraphs and essays.
Being mindful of the process - not following rigidly but keeping it in mind and moving accross the process.

Have a learning design model in the school.

Creativity is a team sport - for both children and teachers.  For sharing the idea you get a whole range of different perspectives. Twitter's a great option, Skype..... make those on-line connections.

Reverse mentoring: (Creates confidence)
Pair up younger people with older ones to give them a fresh perspective. Get the students set up as a critical friend but also within the staff. Purpose to support and challenge for change.

1. Form to fill out about professional goals and interests then matched.
2. Meet every 2-3 weeks to discuss challenges, chat, bring ideas regarding/issue, onsite, over coffee, question things, share articles, share apprasial document.
3. Each term do an observation and give feedback.

Is it shutting own ideas or opening up new opportunities.
No  - is banned
Yes - and  - this agrees and then extends the plan.
Focus on the positive side then looks for the next step in developing the idea.

As a teacher  - share your passions and get excited.  Show that it is OK to be you and have interests.

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