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Must We Assess Imagination And Creativity?

By Author: Arsenalo
Total Articles: 116

It is beautiful to dream of imagination taking wing, unfettered by the constraints of grades or rubrics. Classroom learning should always include time for students to brainstorm, envision, dream, and think impossible thoughts. Teachers make this happen as they challenge students' imaginations. The White Queen took the teacher's role when she shared with Alice, "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast" (Carroll, Chap. 5). Real learning moments occur when we soar and become excited about the possibilities found in the world and in ourselves. But true teaching and learning happen when we imagine how to make at least one of the impossible ideas possible before lunch. Emily Dickinson believed this connection:

When imagination and creativity become components of the classroom experience where students are routinely encouraged to generate new and novel ideas, we can freely include imagination as part of classroom assignments. Our mission, as teachers, is to develop students' creativity, their intellectual insight, and Tag Heuer Replica their ability to see beyond limitations. We are also charged with teaching students to apply creative processes to real-world application in the arts, sciences, and social issues. Joseph Joubert, the 18th-century French essayist who filled notebooks with his thoughts and imaginings, believed that "Imagination is the eye of the soul", but he also wrote that imagination without learning has wings but no feet. Imagination and creativity can be unproductive daydreams unless students are taught how to use their creative abilities. Assessment feedback that rewards creativity and imagination in the process of completing classroom assignments can aid students in developing creativity.

To be creative and use imagination is a conscious decision made by the student according to Robert J. Sternberg in "The Nature of Creativity". In addition, creativity can be developed and assessed, but students are usually hesitant to employ creativity for fear of rejection. Simply telling students to be creative may result in their being more creative if they know they will be rewarded and not punished through a lower grade (O'Hara and Sternberg 198). By providing students with clear criteria for creativity in their writing or other performance tasks, teachers can guide and improve students' ability to imagine and create. Instead of limiting creativity, positive assessment in an accepting environment can develop student creativity.

I want my students to develop deep understanding and think at high critical levels; therefore, I need to clarify the part imagination and creativity play in those processes and what I can do in my teaching to foster imaginative and creative thinking. In developing rubrics and criteria, teachers must believe Tag Heuer Replica Watches in the premise that we are not assessing the creativity of the student or the product, but student use of imagination and creative thinking in solving problems, creating an artistic product, or producing an imaginative performance. Teachers must also base the criteria they use to measure imagination and the creative process on sound theory and not items arbitrarily listed on ready-made rubrics.

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