Creative thinking and creative ideas are encouraged from an early age and continues to be a valuable asset in later life in many domains. Yet in education, Maley (2017) argues, creativity is often marginalized and ignored since “institutions are dependent on a control paradigm, and thus resistant to anything which threatens that control” (p. 85). In foreign language education, he acknowledges the progressive shift from situational and structural approaches to communicative language learning but creativity remains ostracized. For example, within the institutionalization of teaching where maintaining assessments, objectives, prescriptive curricula and administrative responsibilities are rigid. Despite these restrictions, a teacher’s concept of what creativity is and whether or not it can be applied in to the classroom are personal impediments in viewing themselves as creative practitioners. Lin (2011) categorizes the implications of creativity into three aspects. Firstly, creative teaching concerns the provision of innovative content, approaches, materials and activities stimulating multiple intelligences amongst students. The second concerns the environment which encourages motivation and enthusiasm.
The third focuses on the teacher’s ethos or credibility where he or she remains open minded towards ideas and behaviors as opposed to being rigid and inflexible. In essence, creativity in education consists of teachers teaching creatively. Teaching for creativity involves encouraging students to express their innovation by providing opportunities for such habits to shine in the classroom and as the focus of this research, within their academic essays. In essence, creativity in education consists of teachers teaching creatively and teaching for creativity. The above three categories briefly explain the former, teaching for creativity on the other hand, involves encouraging student creative tendencies, as well as providing opportunities for the development of such habits to become present in the classroom and as the focus of this research, within their academic essays.
About the Presenter:
Leigh Bennett is a lecturer in the English for Academic Purposes department at Akita International University, Japan. He has previously taught English in South Korea, Japan and the U.K. His research interests include the academic writing struggles of home and international students during their tertiary studies and corpus linguistics in language education.