Creativity Tip 4. Teach and Assess Creativity

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I know you understand the importance of creativity as a 21st century skill for all graduates. In the past three Creativity Tips, I’ve shared ways we can develop it using the divergent/convergent thinking stages of Creative Problem Solving.  Now, how do we assess it?

Perhaps, like me, you’ve added “creative” as a criterion on your scoring tool for a content-based performance assessment. But how do we evaluate the creativity demonstrated in the product, and more importantly, how do our students understand the target?

This is a need I identified in my own teaching, and I want to share with you my solution. I call it, talent-targeted teaching and learning. We all know that assessment begins with the end in mind, so I’m including all five steps of the teaching process here. You’ll find the tools referenced by page/chapter in Teach to Develop Talent: How to Motivate and Engage Tomorrow's Innovators Today (TTDT)

Five Steps to Teach and Assess Creativity (and the other aptitudes of innovators)

1. EXPLORE. Begin to talk about “talent.” I like to use the What is Talent? quiz to uncover misconceptions and reseed attitudes (TTDT p. 34). Next, use the Talent Aptitude Survey to have students self-assess their strengths in the aptitudes of innovators (TTDT pp.38).

2. EXPLAIN. Define the talent aptitudes, for both educators (us) and the students.  This is the crucial first step and it has already been done for you! (TTDT, p. 54, p. 57).

3. EMBED & 4. ENGAGE. Include “talent-targeted” goals in your regular teaching. See an example in the talent goal frame, below. Note the creativity student-directed goal defines for them the target. Both the content objective and the creativity aptitude are applied in a meaningful task (TTDT Chapters 4, 5, 6).

5. EVALUATE. Assess the talent aptitude, aka “creativity,” using the teacher and student versions of the talent aptitude learning progressions to create rubrics. See the example below (TTDT, Chapter 7).

Now, with talent-targeted teaching and learning, we can be confident about teaching and assessing the all-important 21st century aptitudes of innovators such as creativity!


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