Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Inspiring the Next Generation of Thinkers

The following post from Edudemic serves as a great starting place to inspire us to think in new ways. Fostering creativity in students is a building block for helping them to develop their minds "outside of the box." Maybe designing a creative and flexible learning environment is the first step to helping students think creatively.

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Teaching kids goes beyond textbooks and classroom lessons. It has to include teaching them to open their minds to new things and how to think for themselves. This is how we will encourage them to reach their full potential.

One of the most important things we can teach kids is to believe in themselves. As adults we have an obligation to younger generations to help them gain confidence. We should also help them explore their ability to be creative.

About Self-Confidence
When kids have self confidence, they are more likely to be determined to succeed. This also means having self-esteem. These are building block of a ‘can do’ attitude. Kids that have self-confidence feel capable and empowered.

Parents can promote this by giving support and encouragement as often as is possible. Rather than focusing on imperfections or areas the child may be lacking in it is important to give praise for positives. At the same time parents and other adults should offer support and encouragement for any areas of difficulty.

Developing Creativity
Kids that are creative will become the great thinkers and problem solvers of tomorrow. Creativity is the basis for finding solutions. With that in mind, children should have the freedom to be creative. Rather than forcing children to always ‘follow instructions’ it can be more helpful to allow some freedom in expressing themselves.

The sad fact is, few schools offer this freedom. In a classroom setting there are usually strict guidelines – even in areas like art and music. With that in mind parents should encourage ways of self-expression. Hobbies can be great tools for developing creativity.

Musical activities, art and crafts projects, and even reading can be ideal ways to assist a child in becoming more creative. You can visit for information about in-home or in-studio music lessons. Developing the skill to play an instrument is a great way to help a child feel more confident. A well-stocked craft box can be enough to inspire a child to create art and craft projects.

Everybody has the ability to be creative. The idea is to tap into the seed of creativity that is hidden within the child.

Children need to be challenged. This helps them work for solutions and at the same time they develop their creativity. This ‘growth’ will boost the child’s self-esteem. When we motivate them and show our enthusiasm children also become enthused. This inspires even greater success.

Giving specific feedback on a child’s work can be more inspiring than general comments. For example, when a child writes a story we should give feedback about what was most interesting in the story. You might mention that you like the descriptions the child used. You can explain that detailed descriptions make stories ‘come to life’ for you.

In this way you are supporting what has been done well, and you are leaving the door open for the child to be creative. This inspires the child to further develop the positive things he or she is already doing" (

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