Teaching creativity and thinking

The Nordplus project – ”Creativity and thinking skills within a training process” aims at giving teachers the right tools to help students develop their creativity and thinking skills.

From October 2010 to September 2012, teachers from Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Finland have been working develop and test tools for professional development of teachers interested in bringing creativity and thinking into the classroom.

The tools should be fairly simple for teachers to start using. At the same time, the tools should also be universal so that they can be beneficial to various groups of teachers. To this end, the project group consists of teachers from different disciplines such as: visual arts, math and science.

“Despite a rather ambitious aim of developing new tools for introducing creativity and thinking into the classroom and testing them across subjects and age groups, the project succeeded not only in delivering the products, but also led to a significant change in professional activities of the project members. And most importantly the project, ensured that they are enjoying their work” said project manager Aleksandrs Sokols.

The main outcome of the project is the Thinking Task Framework, which consists of three main steps: challenge your learners, get them to build strategies for dealing with the challenge, and make them reflect.

Times of change

The project has proved that even very well qualified and experienced teachers can improve a lot when it comes to teaching thinking.

“I have learned a great deal and have managed to change much of what I do in the classroom, which I was not satisfied with before” says Susan Granlund, an English teacher from Finland.

However, changes within the education field are not fast. The project demonstrated that at least one year would be required for changing the teacher 's work methodology. Therefore it is important to ensure that theoretical workshops are followed by practice classes.

Visit www.ta-teachers.eu for numerous examples of how these steps are being made by teachers in the Baltic-Nordic region.