In modern age, creativity has its unique space and importance literally everywhere. Corporate houses and most industries have now accepted that creativity in their business is the way forward. Most of the employers want their staff to be creative. To be able to achieve that staff members have training, workshops, seminars on creativity. Even education system is also no exception to that (which is a very good thing).
But the question is; what is creativity? Plenty of efforts have been made to define creativity. But the most accepted definition comes from the father of ‘creativity’, Mr. Edward De Bono. As per him Creativity is all about generating alternatives. Creativity enables us to be able to acquire more options or solutions for a particular problem.
Creativity tells us that there is always an alternate course of actions. There are always more answers to a question, there are always different approaches to a problem.
Now the million dollar question is how to become creative. What could be the first step? As far as I am concerned, it is the sense of possibility which opens up the door for creativity. You must have been thinking, is it some language teachers trying to solve a math or a scientific problem? But before you make any conclusions, hear me out.
Most of us would consider scientists, mathematicians, painters; sculptures and musicians creative in their work. So do you think any of their work could have been done without them thinking it is possible? Thinking possibilities is a necessary skill to become creative. Most of the people stress on critical thinking which only teaches us what is wrong and what is right. But for being creative, critical thinking skills are not enough. To generate new ideas one needs to be thinking about the different possibilities.
In the field of math, proof is very integral part of the process. But at times proof is nothing but the lack of imagination.’ A’ causes ‘B’. We get the proof for it and once we prove it, everyone has to accept it and we are very happy. But there could be more reasons for B to happen. Unless you think there is a possibility for an alternate solution, there is no way you can come up with the alternate solutions. If Wright brothers did not think that we can travel in air we would not have air planes today. I know it was a very boring example but it is very fundamental and no one can deny that.
How can I conclude my article without talking about this topic in context of education? Being a teacher, sometimes it becomes very frustrating when our students do not understand the simplest of the things. No matter how many times we teach them the same topic it may seem impossible to teach them and we choose to believe that the student is dull and doesn’t make efforts to learn. What can we do? Well I believe we need to develop the skill of thinking possibilities. Unless we believe it is possible to make students understand, we cannot come up with alternate explanations. That is what I call being a creative teacher. So next time someone asks you how to become creative, just tell them it is “POSSIBLE”.