Creativity is one of the most important abilities for all people, particularly children. Creative thinking skills bring numerous benefits to develop children’s important abilities and characteristics. However, there are obstacles that hinder the abilities of children to think creatively. This essay will analyse the importance of creative thinking skills for primary school students and propose techniques to teach students to think creatively. Research shows that children have natural abilities to think creatively and numerous abilities to explore, develop, combine and arrange new ideas.
However, traditional teaching techniques hinder their ability to think creatively. First, rote learning is the most traditional technique of teaching and studying, which hinders children’s ability to think creatively. Learners use their memory to remember information without the use of basic understanding to store information (Collins, 2009). Children easily lose information when they learn by rote. “We now have several generations of Americans who have never memorized much of anything” (Beran ,2004).
Thus, rote learning makes children learn by repetition, so they can not think deeply about a topic. Second, outdated teaching methods make a passive environment at schools, which hinders the creativity of children. Research shows that children in traditional classes are much quieter and they may just listen to the teacher passively and are scared to make mistakes (Bettelheim, 2010). Also, the Eastern teacher ignores elements such as inherent interest, emotional engagement, social interaction, physical activity and the pleasure of mastery (Bettelheim, 2010).
This causes children to not want to study and they are not interested to think of everything around them. Primary schools should actively teach creative thinking skills because of its benefits for children. There are many actions related to creative thinking, such as imagination, observation and brain storming. Children’s cognitive development and problem solving are developed significantly through imagination. “Imaginative thought allows us to process problems in our minds. We can play with possible consequences, scenarios, and reactions before those things become reality” (Bussinger, 2012).
Imagination helps children find multiple solutions for problems and develop creative thought. In addition, observation may help children find the best possible solution to solve problems. Bussinger (2012) addresses that when children are faced with a problem or obstacle, they need to observe the problem clearly and elements they already have before starting to solve the problem. After observing, children know the problems clearly and the elements that they can use to solve the problem, so they may easily to create possible solutions by themselves (Businger, 2012).
Finally, brainstorming may help children develop their creative thought. Children can have creative ideas about a topic or to solve a problem through brainstorming. “When you brainstorm, you are trying to generate as many ideas as possible, no matter if they seem improbable, impossible, or downright silly” (Bussinger, 2012). After brainstorming, children can combine and develop these ideas to think deeply about the topic or can create possible solutions to solve the problem.
There are numerous techniques that people can use to teach creative thinking skills at primary schools. Teacher can use games to teach creative thinking because children are very interested in games such as word games and drawing games, so this is a motivation for them to train creative thinking skills. Word games can help children to make creative associations and relationships among different elements (Fisher, 2006). Word games help children develop their creative, logical and flexible thought through guessing the answer quickly and explaining their answer logically.
The teacher asks a student for a word and they let other students take turns to say relative words and explain the connection. For example, if the word is “computer”, the next student can say “mouse” or “keyboard” (Fisher, 2006). Furthermore, questions in this game can be described as problems in real life, and answers are solutions. Indeed, solving a problem quickly is difficult for children, but their thought will become more creative, logical and flexible when they regularly try to make their brain work to guess, think and imagine quickly solutions.
Drawing games can help children to imagine, shape and form their thought, this encourage them to think creatively (Fisher, 2006). For example, when children think about their family, they may draw their family on the paper, and continue to draw trees, clouds, lakes around their family to make the picture more beautiful. Through thinking how to make the picture more beautiful, and amazing, children are practicing their creative thought. Also, asking questions with multiple answers without planning time to let them think of new ideas quickly is also a useful technique (Fisher, 2006).
All of these techniques help children practice their creative thinking skills actively. In conclusion, primary schools should actively teach creative thinking skills because the traditional teaching techniques are hindering the ability of children to think creatively, such as rote learning and outmoded teaching methods. Also, creative thinking skills bring numerous benefits to children, such as being a problem-solver, being able to think of new ideas, combine and develop these ideas, and being able to find and create multiple decisions.
Using games and asking question without plans are useful techniques to teach children to think creatively because these techniques raise children’s interest. To make a better life for children and a better world for everyone, people have to pay attention to the development of children these days, especially their creative thinking, and make a better environment of education to educate them more effectively because children are the next people’s generation, who can make the world be better or worse.