Finding space to teach creativity
Although creativity has been identified as one of the generic skills to be developed in students, a recent study shows that teachers lack the time and training to foster creativity in the classroom.
The study was carried out by the Centre for Child Development at Baptist University. An analysis of 500 questionnaire responses, including 313 primary and 186 secondary schools and focus group meetings involving 11 principals and 43 teachers, shows that teachers do not have the luxury to teach creatively under the tight and examination-oriented curriculum.
Adjusting to the new 3-3-4 curriculum has also taken up most of their time and attention.
Professor Lau Sing, the centre's director, says creativity needs time. 'A teacher cannot rush students to answer a question if he wants them to think outside the box,' he said.
Indicators of creativity include fluency, diversity and originality in one's thinking, he says, as well as sensitivity, curiosity and the boldness to take risk. He suggests the government adopt a long-term policy on developing creativity. In Taiwan, for example, the Ministry of Education is building a 'Republic of Creativity' in their schools.