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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsAs a rule of thumb, I like to use open-ended activities, because those are the ones that really foster creativity. Not an activity or a question in which I have a final product in mind, but something in which I can be surprised. I always try to force them to make some predictions, make some analysing, because infometrics is a very useful subject for creative thinking. For example, when they use some application, for example, for graphics or websites, developing the website and so on. So they have to use their cognitive skills, for creating a lot of files, for example, I can say. I do think that encouraging or developing creative learning skills in subject learning is really important.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 secondsAnd teachers need to build in time for that. I'd agree. I think it's important to give them some kind of stems initially as well to learn how to talk in this kind of way. It may be that they've never, ever had the opportunity wherever to think in these sorts of ways about, say, something in history before. They may never have approached that in their lives, be it outside or inside school. So it's good then to almost open up those kind of ways of thinking in their minds and to enable them to do that, just give them those initial sentence stems.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 secondsAnd then gradually take those away and make them think more and more about how they could go further in their thinking, how great that could be. And just give them the opportunity to run with something as well, rather than shutting them off too quickly. Problem-solving is probably one of the most important skills that we can teach our learners in any subject or in any set of skills.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsIf we look at the 21st-century skills that have been given so much publicity later, if we look at what the workforce requires of schools, what we see is that we need to be creative to solve problems that we already have, to solve problems we will have, and to solve problems that we can't even imagine. So the only way to solve them will be to develop creative thinking skills.

Questions to develop creativity

Claudia, Eric, Kay and Paul talk about how they help their learners to develop creative thinking skills such as: asking questions; making connections; imagining what could have been; exploring different options and reflecting critically.

For example, How would you persuade the government to stop the decline of biodiversity?

Watch the video and make a note of who says the following sentences:

1. ‘I do think that encouraging or developing creative thinking skills in subject learning is really important.’

2. ‘I like to use open-ended activities.’

3. ‘Problem-solving is probably one of the most important skills we can teach our learners in any subject.’

4. ‘I give them sentence stems and then gradually take them away and make them think about how creative they could be.’

5. ‘It’s a very useful subject for creative thinking, for example, when they use some applications, for example graphics or developing a website.’

6. ‘Not an activity or a question in which I have a final product in mind but something in which I can be surprised.’

You can compare your answers with those in the document below.

Task
How important do you think it is to develop learners’ creative thinking skills in your lessons? Tell us how important you think it is in the comments section.

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Your Subject in English

Cambridge Assessment English

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