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Developing Criteria And Creating Rubrics For Creativity

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By Author: Tracy carter
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In developing criteria to measure creativity or imagination in student work, we must not rate the creative level of the student or the product, but the evidence of students' use of creative thinking and skills. Clear criteria for creative thinking in the process can teach students how to be creative and can develop creativity by "increasing the rewards and decreasing the costs" (Sternberg, "Nature" 97). The first step in developing the criteria is to select the elements that best fit learning outcomes for the specific assignment.

A culminating project created by a fellow teacher for her thematic unit, Literature as Power, illustrates use of an effective rubric with criteria that reflect growth in creative thinking. During the unit, students read a variety of Tag Heuer Replica literature that has influenced individuals, leaders, oppressed groups, and nations over time. For the final assignment, students were to synthesize and evaluate what they had learned in the unit by examining the effect of specific works on the historical time period of their choice and sharing their conclusions. Students communicated their findings not only in writing but also in an oral presentation using media and/or graphics presented to an outside audience.

The teacher told students to be creative and use their imaginations. In addition, I worked with her and designed a "Rubric for Creative Thinking" (see fig. 1) to be used by the teacher and students as part of the overall assessment. The rubric was used to document and assess student growth in creative thinking, not to assign a grade for creativity. Using the six resources outlined by Sternberg, the teacher developed criteria to serve as a guide for students in developing their ability to think creatively. The boxes under each level were blank so that the teacher and each student could enter anecdotal evidence of development during the process. Six copies of the rubric were used, three for the teacher and three for the student to be completed at Tag Heuer Replica Watches the beginning, middle, and end of the unit. To credit students' growth in creative thinking, points were added to the overall grade of the project based on evidence of growth in and use of creative thinking. The point system was explained to the students at the beginning of the project.

The criteria in the rubric are recognized as items teachers have often used in the classroom to guide student learning and for scoring rubrics, but we usually do not associate these with students' creativity. Viewing these attributes as the building blocks for creative thinking and realizing that students must choose to use them encourages students to take control of their learning and creativity. Focus on student control of their internal resources for creative choice frees the imaginative student and encourages and guides the more practical-minded or "safe-thinking" individual to develop their creativity.

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