Make ‘mistakes’ part of the creative process
“Mistakes are a valuable tool, rather than something to be avoided," Gura says. "They should be celebrated and folded into the learning process.”
In the bigger picture, this different way of thinking about mistakes will also help teachers bolster a culture of creativity in classrooms.
One way to do that is to turn a string of assignments into one cohesive project, with a beginning and an end. That appeals to students more than “an endless parade of activities,” Gura says.
Here’s what a poetry project might look like:
Reflecting. Ask students to journal about their poem and write a formal assessment where they identify areas of improvement. For instance, they might explain that they are not happy with the overall direction or a certain portion of the poem.
Rewriting. After journaling and reflecting, students can return to their poem and rewrite it based on feedback from classmates and their reflections in their journals.
Gura suggests students create several versions of the poem, saving all versions so that “the creative options are visible, able to spark further ideas and able to be manipulated.”
Presenting. Students present their finished poems to an audience. “The wonderful thing is that this can be an ongoing circle of readers, writers, creators and collaborators,” Gura says. “Creativity is a process-oriented phenomenon. We’re not just dropping seeds and sprinkling them. We can scaffold this for students, showing them a process-oriented approach.”...
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