On the Relationships between Creative Learning, Creative Teaching, and Roles of Creative Teachers

On the Relationships between Creative Learning, Creative Teaching, and Roles of Creative Teachers

Chuanhua Gu (Central China Normal University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0643-0.ch022


This chapter aimed to discuss the relationships between creative teaching, creative learning and the role played by creative teachers in the contexts of students' creativity development. Firstly, this chapter analyzed the characteristics of creative teaching and creative learning. The history of the research on creative teaching and learning since the first half of 20th century was briefly introduced. Secondly, the authors discussed the nature of creative teaching, the features of creative teachers compared to non-creative teachers, the environment for the development of creative teachers and the measures that should be taken to promote the growth of creative teachers. Accordingly, this chapter contributes to development of creativity in higher education both theoretically and practically in the future.
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Undoubtedly, creativity has been the key theme of 21st century. According to International Society of Technology Education’s National Educational Technology Standards for Students, the first educational technology standard for students is “creativity and innovation”. Similarly, the standards set by American Association of School Librarian (AASL) for 21st century learners emphasized that learners create new knowledge, express their innovative opinions, and create new and useful products in realistic life (Johnson & Lamb, 2010). Accordingly, in the era with creativity highly emphasized, creative teaching has been developed rapidly and constituted the core of creative education, which represents the current trend of education in diverse countries around the world.

Due to the influences of progressivism that was prevalent in the first half of 20th century, as a headmaster of Wisconsin Middle School, H. L. Miller in Department of Education, University of Wisconsin in the U.S.A, published the book Creative Learning and Teaching, based on his educational practice, in 1927. In this book, Miller claimed that every student had enormous potentials for creativity development, and teachers should not set the upmost limit for the students. According to Miller (1927), learning should be the process in which students actualized themselves and found their potentials, and in the process students developed themselves, regulated themselves, improved themselves, changed themselves, tested themselves, and created themselves, and they are not “custom-made” by teachers. Accordingly, teaching was not the process in which schools provided some kind of “articles of order” or “parts” for society, and teachers solely provided some sort of knowledge or conclusion, but the process in which they should liberate students, inspire creativity, and guide students to find the novel solutions. Therefore, Miller (1927) suggested creative learning should be regarded as a result of creative teaching from a perspective of how to teach. Obviously, Miller’s ideas reflected the theory of progressivism that emphasized to develop children’s ability as the core of teaching process. Actually, at that time, the school education in the U.S.A was deeply affected by the progressivism that improved greatly contemporary classroom atmosphere and democratized the relationship between teachers and students that still can be found today.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Innovative Learning: A sort of learning with a similar meaning with creative learning, by which the learners elicit the change, renewal, reorganization, and a series of new questions.

Creative Techniques: The procedures that elicit the creative thinking of individuals or groups. Some creative techniques can be applied to creative teaching to train students’ creative thinking.

Creative Teaching: A condition of developing creative learning. In the process of creative teaching, the teacher inspires learners’ interests in learning material, and then leads students to find the problem by themselves creatively, or present specific problems and ask learners to apply all sorts of available resources to find the best satisfying solution creatively.

Discovery Learning: A sort of learning by which the learner draws on his or her own experience and prior knowledge and interacts with the learning environment by exploring and manipulating objects, or performing experiments to discover the truth behind the phenomenon to some extent.

Creative Teachers: Those teachers who teach in a new, original, and appropriate way. They encourage students’ free exploration, provide the open atmosphere for students, inspire students’ passion for creative learning process, and finally help to bring about creative learning.

Brainstorming: A group creativity technique by which a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members is gathered to find the best solution to a specific problem.

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