The provocative title of Dr. Ankur Madan's talk, set the stage for a fascinating presentation on the role of creativity in the Indian classroom. Dr. Madan, assistant professor at Christ University, touched upon the learning environment, the role of the learners, and teachers all leading up to the conclusion that “an informed approach can enable children in Indian classrooms to think and express themselves creatively.”
Dr. Madan explained that “creativity is possible for any student, in almost any discipline in almost all curricular practices.” Turning to concrete strategies and methods, he emphasized the importance of not compartmentalizing knowledge, but rather how the interdisciplinary approach to learning contributes to and enhances creativity.
Ultimately creativity is important because it helps individuals, or groups, find solutions to complex problems. Terms like analyse, evaluate, recognize, distinguish, explore and share help students think in a way that fosters creativity. Thinking can be broken down into three veins: synthetic (creating new ideas and solutions), analytic (asking questions, analysing situations) and practical.
The value of thoughtful, creative students is self-evident and given that students can be taught to think, the lingering question is “how”? What can the classroom teacher do to instil these habits and practices?