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Assessing Creative Writing Is Hard, So Here Are Three Ways To Avoid It

Ed Surge – Aneesa Davenport

“Everyone knows that outside of the school building, creative writing workshops aren’t graded. Whether it’s a group of retirees who cluster in the back of your corner coffee shop or the so-called Ponzi schemes of MFA programs like the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop, assessment comes in the form of peer feedback—marginalia and discussion. But if you’re teaching creative writing in a K–12 classroom or a community college, at the end of the day you’re most likely required to stamp a letter grade—or at least a percentage score—on your students’ work.”(more)

3 ways to strategically incorporate creativity in schools

E-School News – John Ceschini

“How do you weave creativity into the fabric of school curriculum? School leaders are tasked with this expectation in order to prepare our students for the demands of 21st century workforce skills. But how can this be accomplished? As the arts integration officer of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, it is the duty of my office to implement arts-integration strategies throughout this very large school system. Our philosophy allows creativity to be the basis for teaching, learning and problem-solving.”(more)

Education starts with teachers modelling equitable and inclusive values

The Star – Rania Mirza

In reflecting on the past year, many of us ask ourselves: Did we do enough to support our students? Did we create spaces where they felt they could bring their true selves into our schools, make friends, lead discussions, try new ideas, solve problems, voice their concerns and offer suggestions? As educators, we know students given a supportive environment will explore and learn.”(more)

Should Education Focus Less On The Creative Arts, More On The Art Of Creativity?

Forbes – Will Burns

“We have a problem in our country right now. Like the energy crisis of the 1970s, we now have a creativity crisis brewing in our schools. And in as little as ten years it will directly affect all businesses, particularly in marketing. However, I have a possible solution. Let’s reframe how we look at creativity in public schools from a series of downstream talents (e.g. music, theater and the visual arts) to a more upstream lifeskill that can be applied to all aspects of a student’s life (including, but not limited to the arts). And it starts by looking at what “creativity” is today in schools.”(more)

Preparing kids to change the rules

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

U.S. children are less creative than they were 30 years ago. Many people attribute this decline in inventiveness to over-scheduling of organized activities and emphasis on high-stakes testing and rote learning. These factors may be part of the reason children are unimaginative, but minimal exposure to “failure” and limited life experiences also keep U.S. kids from reaching their full creative potential.

To create, a person must be comfortable “failing” because “trial and error” is part of the innovative process. Many U.S. children are uncomfortable with “failure” because they have little exposure to it. In many cases, well-intentioned parents shield their kids from life’s tough lessons, because it is easier to solve problems for their children than to spend the time and energy necessary to help their children learn how to solve problems on their own.

Among other things, parents negotiate with coaches to get their children places on the best teams rather than encouraging their kids to work hard and talk with the coaches themselves. Parents talk with principals to negotiate grades rather than forcing their children to take responsibility for their performance. Too frequently, parents complain about “bullying” when another kid says something unkind on the playground rather than teaching their children how to overcome negativity.

As a result, the first thing parents need to do is set expectations and let their children learn by doing. This requires letting go and being available to coach as their children work to recover from life’s setbacks. Through this process children learn that there are consequences to actions, “failure” is a part of life, and success requires perseverance. Specifically, when things don’t work perfectly the first time, one can make adjustments until “failure” becomes “success”.

Another problem is parents are so worried about safety, that kids are isolated. This means children often lack the exposure required to come up with innovative solutions to a problem. Parents can easily address this issue by encouraging their children to take on activities outside of their peer group. Simple undertakings like participating in discussions with adults, welcoming a foreign exchange student, attending a history lecture, teaching a class, volunteering at the hospital, or working on a special project for a politician, all help broaden exposure.

Once children know how to recover from “failure” and have a broad understanding of how the world works, they should have the skills and the self-confidence to innovate.

Call to boost children’s writing for pleasure

BBC – Katherine Sellgren

“Children who write for pleasure achieve significantly better results in the subject in the classroom, National Literacy Trust research suggests. Those who like writing outside class are seven times more likely to write above the expected level for their age. While the proportion of children writing for fun has risen, the trust warns many are still not keen on it. It says more attention must be focused on writing for fun, as has already been done on reading for pleasure. The study, published to mark the first National Writing Day organised by the charity First Story, questioned 39,411 eight to 18-year-olds across the UK.”(more)