Creativity is currently a hot topic in education worldwide, situated as it is at the core of models of 21st Century learning and skills. Creativity is no less at the forefront of English language teaching, with a flurry of recent publications and a recent conference in Malta devoted to the topic. It’s no exaggeration to suggest that only when we provide opportunities for creativity will learners and learning flourish.
But while educational research has revealed the crucial role that creativity plays in learning, it has also highlighted fundamental ways in which education systems, schools and classrooms too often squeeze creativity from learning. Structural pressure to conform, and regimented assessment systems are just two of the key factors contributing to this tension between conformity and creativity.
In this workshop we will explore contemporary conceptions of creativity in education, focusing on practical classroom applications to be found in the intersection between creativity and the many small acts that constitute teaching, including planning lessons, designing and running learning activities, correcting errors, talking with learners, integrating the language arts, fostering translanguaging, and assessing learning. My hope is that as teachers deepen their understanding of creativity, they are better equipped to notice and embrace the hidden-but-always-present opportunities for creativity in the minute-by-minute processes of teaching and learning.