Creative approches to better education

Last Updated 09 April 2014, 14:34 IST

Novel There is scope for fresher thoughts, deeper insights and new perspectives, writes R Prem Kumar.

Vinay’s handmade teacher’s day greeting card was  unique of its kind. 

Bindu’s vivid description of her childhood habit of reading on the branches, as “monkey-reading” was apt. 

A little boy’s spontaneous outburst as “boiling cold” referring to the cold springs, to indicate intense chillness is amazingly brilliant. 
These expressions are very simple but special because it is original and creative.  Making the simple awesomely simple is, creativity. 

It’s a, novelty that is useful. We are not here to compete but to create. Creativity is the most important human resource, and without it there would be no human progress.
There is always scope for fresher thoughts, deeper insights, and new and multiple perspectives.  

As Jean Piaget emphasized, “The Principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done” If this is the purpose of education, then there is an urgency to nurture creativity. How to do it? 

Here are a few suggestive strategies. 
Try new ideas
The springs of creativity well up in the mind and it has its genesis there. 
Nourish your mind with original and inspiring thoughts. 

There is nothing as potent and powerful than ideas whose time has come.

Stop discussing people and start generating fresh ideas. 

Peter Drucker, the management guru says, “Ideas are the currency of the 21st century”. 
Ideas give birth to innovations which is an essential skill for the global economy. 

Along with information and domain knowledge, one needs original ideas today.  

It’s in this context that the youth of our generation require to be creative. Discuss about ideas, and dream about it. 

You will never go higher than your thoughts and ideas. 

Maintain a journal to meticulously jot down the streams of your thoughts and ideas.
Toy with imagination
Imagination is the beginning of creation and creation is the end of imagination.  

Imagine the inconceivable, and the impossible. 

Perform the simple tasks with a tinge of imagination and you are sure to turn out something original. 
Many of the greatest scientific insights, discoveries and revolutionary inventions first appeared as wild imaginations, absurdities and fantasies. 

A Vietnam vet managed to survive his days in solitary confinement by playing imaginary games of chess. 

The art of creativity is lending wings to your imagination and stretching it. 

Alan Turing published a paper in 1936 where he imagined a computing machine, and his paper is generally regarded as the first appearance of this modern idea. 
Triumph with curiosity

Curiosity is the spark behind a great idea. A creative mind is a curious mind. 

Ask questions and never take any thing for granted Research says at the age of 5, children ask 120 question a day and at the age of 6, 60 questions and at the age of 40 adults ask tragically only 4 questions a day. Today, we need to embrace the mind of a child and ask questions.  

A child like genuine curiosity about even the minute aspects of life is the secret of creative people.

The future belongs to the curious. Nothing succeeds like curiosity.
Transform work into play
Have the habit of converting work into pleasure. 

Creativity seldom happens in moments of stress and tension. 

Tension stifles creativity. 

Enjoy your work and make it as a play. It requires a creative mind to do that and it’s in such a state of mind, fresh ideas and thoughts blossom. 

Creativity requires an absorbed mind, a relaxed state of focus and undivided attention. Give yourself the time and space to be completely engrossed in such an exercise.

If work wouldn’t have become a pleasure, creativity would have had a natural death.

Think of a painter or a sculptor who needs to spend countless hours before he produces his master piece. 

Unless it’s a labour of love no creative art would thrive.  
Tread off the beaten track
Dare to be different creative people are courageous and undaunting. 

They are adventurous and habitual risk takers. Creativity is diametrically opposite to routine.  
You don’t have to necessarily conform to well laid out norms. 

Have an innate and natural propensity to pursue your own fancy. Practice “Out of box” thinking.

The mark of creativity is to be free from any kind of shackles. Nurture your disposition to be on your own.

The creative person is flexible and liberates himself from all constraints, imposed by self and society.  

Don’t allow this world to squeeze you into its mould.  

Think differently, and tread the road that is not travelled, and leave a trail.
Turn wounds into wisdom
Have a positive attitude. 

Draw lessons from suffering. 

Don’t give up. 

There is a link between pain and creativity. 

Beethoven produced the best ever known harmonies when he was deaf.  

John Bunyan’s pilgrims progress a classic of all time was penned when he was in prison. The body suffers and the mind creates.

Suffering shakes us out of our comfort zone.

Creativity bridges the gap between adversity and novelty. 

It is the panacea for pain and paves way for constructive discontent. 

Creativity unleashes the enormous energy trapped in the tragedies and vicissitudes of life. 

Confront all challenges with a creative bent of mind.  Tennyson’s “In memoriam” a creative masterpiece was born in the bosom of bereavement. 

When you are in your blues, buck up that’s the opportune time to be creative.
(Published 09 April 2014, 14:15 IST)

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