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domingo, 20 de novembro de 2011

CREATIVITY - the best problem-solving tool in the classroom

I have attended a number of classes throughout my teaching career performing different roles: as a peer-teacher, as a coordinator and as a student. I have noticed that regardless of the role I am performing, I can distinguish between two types of teacher: the ones that when faced with a problem in the classroom they tend to be on crutches, that is to say, they play the victim and take no action, and the ones that when faced with a similar situation create wings, broadening their imagination and creativity to find out solutions. The first type refer to those teachers that just think of the problem and rely on it to justify their lack of reaction. And it is well-known that thinking of a problem will not bring the solution to it! Many of them can use the brainstorming technique, advocated by Alex Osborn, with their students but they can not use it themselves to think of other possibilities, see things from different angles.Bear in mind that while excellent teachers make a difference, excellent educators personalize the difference, serving as role models for their students. Don't be afraid to reveal your students that things didn't go as expected, breathe and set your creativity free to find out the best solution. Creativity requires the courage to abandon the certainties and beliefs but it goes without saying that all creative ideas merging from this brainstorming must be in accordance with your school methodology and philosophy. To illustrate how creativity can affect problem-solving situations I got a fable. You can read it below or follow the link http://www.slideshare.net/taureauxica/the-dog-panther-and-monkey. Have great lessons and give wings to your creativity!

A man goes hunting to Africa and he takes his tiny dog with him.
One day, while hunting, the dog gets lost and starts wandering on his own through the jungle. Suddenly he sees an enormous panther running towards him. When he´s sure that the panther is going to eat him, he thinks pretty fast in a way out, then he notices a heap of bones and he starts biting at them ferociously. When the panther is about to attack him, the tiny dog says: "Ah, what a delicious panther I have just eaten!" The panther hears him and stops immediately and flees in terror thinking: "Who knows what sort of pather that would´ve have been. I cannot risk being eaten too". A monkey who was hanging from a nearby tree, heard and saw what had happened. Without ado he runs in search of the panther and tells it how it had been cheated by the tiny dog: "You scary panther! Those bones you saw were already there! Besides, haven´t you seen that that is just a tiny indefensive dog!"

The pather enraged runs like fire in search of the tiny dog with the monkey on its back. The tiny dog sees from a distance that the panther is coming again along with the monkey and soon realizes that the monkey has turned him in.

"And now what am I supposed to do?" the tiny dog Thinks to himself . Then, instead, of running scared, he remains seated with its back to the approaching panther and monkey, pretending he haven´t seen none of them, and once they were both with earshot, the tiny dog exclaims:

"Where the hell would that damn monkey be? It´s being like half an hour now since I asked him to bring me a new panther and he hasn´t shown up yet!"

The panther comes to a sudden halt and screaming flees again scared to hell and to relieve itself from its wrath devours the monkey.

TEACHING: IN TIMES OF CRISIS IMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE.

1. Try to be as imaginative as the little dog
2. Avoid being a coward like the panther
3. and never, never be a shameful rat like the monkey

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