KEEPING TEACHING CURRENT.
Creative Thinking in the Classroom.
Written by Vanessa Kudeken (BROWNS English Language School teacher).
One of my favourite things about teaching at BROWNS is the commitment to ongoing teacher training. This year I had the privilege of going to the QLD PD Fest held at The University of Queensland in Brisbane1.
I was particularly excited to attend this as the main presenter was British teacher and director, David Persey2. David’s session was on incorporating critical thinking into the ESL classroom and I found the information to be most valuable and something I thought needed to be shared with my fellow BROWNS teachers.
Why is it so important to integrate creative thinking into our teaching pedagogy? This is because “Language use is a creative act: we transform thoughts into language that can be heard or seen. We are capable of producing sentences and even long texts that we have never heard or seen before. By giving learners creative exercises, we get them to practise an important sub-skill of using a language: thinking creatively.” 3
Back at BROWNS, the teachers and I went through strategies during a mini-PD session that we can use in our classroom to help students with creativity. Things such as the use of photographs to promote discussion and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, the strategies for expanding on the textbook and how to encourage reluctant learners. As you can imagine, the ideas were flowing thick and fast and everyone had their own examples on what they were already doing with their classes. At the end of this mini-PD, we all had a larger bank of ideas and resources that we will be able to draw upon in the future to make our classes more dynamic and to help our students navigate English in the “real world”.
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