Effective teaching calls for understanding the best teaching methods for specific learning situations. Because age groups differs in such areas as interest, mental ability, and attention span (John, 1995), the teacher must choose teaching methods that are appropriate for his group. Children, for example have learning characteristics that differ considerably from those of adults, and teaching method which may be very effective with adults will not necessarily achive communication with children.
Choice of teaching method is indeed a crucial part of the teaching process. While creativity in teaching is a currently term among educators, the concept of newness and freshness which it conveys has always been basic to good teaching. Creativity should be the living experience of the teacher. In this case he try to change the student experience by the teacher study together with his student. (Ira Shor & Paulo Freire, 2001). The effect of creativity should be seen in lesson preparation and presentation if the life throb today is to permeate our thingking.
Response to challenge.
There are few challenge in any realm of life which are as great as that classroom teaching. This challenge is further magnified in the teaching learning process. A creative response to the challenge may include new planning procedures, fresh ways to elicit the interest of every students, better organization of the subject matter, or greater variety in teaching methods. (DePorter ,2002). While Richard (1998:15) states that,
……method is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no part of which contradict, and all of which is based on upon, the selected approach.
Categories of method
The variety of teaching methods is almost limitless. It may be helpful, therefore, to think of categories of methods and place specific methods within the following general categories.
Teacher to pupil communication
This an emphasis on the teacher as the performer in the educational process. Such methodology as lecture, story telling, and demonstration would be placed here.
Pupil to teacher communication
In this category the pupil is the major performer, with the teacher basically in a listening roll. Such methods as recitation, reports, and testing would be included.
Teacher with pupil communication
This, in the opinion of a large portion of professional educators, is the best approach for the teaching-learning process. It is an approach which involves teacher and pupil in mutual quest for truth. Two familiar examples of this type of method are class discussion, and question and answer.
There is a wide range of group activity that can be utilized as teaching method, and this approach is finding increasing development and use in education. Activities as panels, debates, discussion groups, and all forms of drama could be categorized under this general heading.
This category of teaching method is usually used with pupils from cradle to junior age. Examples in this classification include educational games and toys, sand table, puppets, fingers plays, puzzles, and contest, simple role playing, and action songs.
In a serious educational program the teacher is concerned that the student prepare himself for a class by studying in advance. Guided preparation carefully related to susewquent class sessions can contribute much spiritual growth. This category actually extends itself beyond preparation and includes such thing as field trips, research, and projects.
Constant development of ideas
Creativity might be defined as a quality which causes the teacher to develop original and imaginative ideas in teaching. Actually, ideas verbalized or visualized in classroom work can be just as dynamic and significant as ideas which find form in the work of artist and mucisians. The teacher who brings fresh insight and approach to the teaching situation is truly a creative artist.
The use of imagination
Imagination is usually associated with storytelling in creative teaching. However, dedicated imagination has a place in all areas of teaching. The teacher, for example, who is able to visualize the classroom as Daniel’s lions’ den for junior or Roman from his high school discussion adds a creative dimension to his teaching. Picturing the A postle Paul writing the book Philippians in a Roman jail brings new prospective to a study of that book.
There may be some who feel that the use of imagination is beyond their ability. However, there is considerable encouragement on the possibility of developing creative imagination.
Where creative can be taught. It can be taught because the process of being creative is the process of developing one’s self as a personality. It is the process of unfettering the chains of habit, routine, and repression. It is the process of shaping one’s surrounding, or relating one’s self productivity to others; it is the process of identifying one’s self and defining one’s own existence. This is the central problem of creativity; it is also the central problem of education.
The application of Creativity
Creative remains an abstract concept until it is applied to classroom procedures. These are suggestion on principles of application.
1. Creative method
Creativity in method has many application but most of all it means variety. The creative teacher will not allow himself to become stereotyped in his teaching methodology (Syaiful:1997). His methods will vary. He will combine methods he will introduce ways of communicating which have never been demonstrated to his class before, and he will seek by reading, conference, and experiment to keep his class presentation fresh and invigorating.
2. Creativity in room facilities
The physical features of the classroom offer definite opportunity for creativity. For example, the use of circle, semi circle, small groups, or perhaps the getting rid of desk and chairs entirely in some children’s departments, may brings a fresh sense of creativity to the whole classroom setting. It could conceivably revolutionize the attitude of students in that room toward the teaching hour. Similarly, the use of pictures, bulletin boards, and fres paint offers potential creartive opportunity.
3. Creativity in assignments
Few would argue against the benefit of having the student prepare for a class through some type of outside study. There is considerable problem, however, on how such outside study can be motivated the student to study. Here is a challenge for the creative teacher. He is not satisfied with a causal “read the chapter”, but will attempt to establish inner motivation and desire.
4. Qualities of a creative teacher
Creativity is not present to the same degree in every individuals, although nearly everyone has capacity for it. While there may be a close correlation between high creativity and above average intelligence, intelligence is not necessarily the primary ingredient of creativity. Creativity has several comon qualities.
Enthusiasm is not to be equated with noise or mere physical activity.
6. Open Mindedness
The highly creative person has an open-mindedness to experience. He does not interpret each statement and act of his students by preconceived conclusions. He seeks new solutions to old problems. He relates old principles to new problems in new ways and with new emphasis. He applies the wisdom of the past to the challenge of the nature by a willingness to listen to others and help them find for themselves the answer they seek.
The creative person, whether artist, musician, or teacher, is sensitive to his surroundings. He is observant of sounds, colors, people, and the daily events of life that surround us. Again, this is an abilioty that can be cultivated by the teacher who desire to improve his creative power.
8. Personal Growth
There is never a time when he knows all there is to know about his students. The dedicated teacher is constantly growing in his abilities, and his creative potential grows with him, (Pidarta ,1997)
Practices which encourage creativity ougth to engage the mind of the teacher regularly. Let us consider some of these exercises;
Develop a good reading program
One can increase creativity through vocabulary and thought patterns developed by effective reading. Good reading involves both methods and content. Underlining, taking notes, and other methods of conserving raeding results multiply the effectiveness of the reading. For reading content, choose stimulating books on teaching, as well as keeping up with helpful material in period of teaching.
Apply problem-solving techniques
The creative person seeks to develop ways to approach and handle problems. A good problem-solving approach usually involves isolating the problem, suggesting solutions, evaluating solutions, selecting the best solution, and putting it into practice on experimental basis.
Use “brainstorming” approach
Quantity often provides a base for quality. As a teacher by himself or with others list all the ideas that come spontaneously and immediately on a particular subject, he exercises his mental abilities. Then, as he is able to dip into a resource of numerous ides on a given question, he has a widedr field to work with than just casual study might produce.
Practice deferred judgement
Waiting to judge an idea until t has been given a hearing creates a healty climate for idea production. The teacher who would be creative is one who listens to ideas regardless of his own bias or initial reaction. He never shuts off his own thinking on the basis that his ideas aren’t worthwhile or wont’t work. Ultimately, of course, the value of ideas must be determined, but they must first permitted expression.
Encouraging Creativity in Students
The teacher who is aware of creative possibilities usually seeks to develop creativity on the part of his students. He wants to encourage imaginative and original ideas, and have his students ultimately be able to solve their own problems. Several qualities should characterize the teaching situation if such creativity is going to be developed in students.
Emphaty on the part of the teacher
Attempt to see things from a students’s viewpoint. An old Indian proverb suggests that no Indian brave should comment on his brother’s behavior until he has lived in his moccasins for at least a week. The teacher who would help the student grow must know some of the home problems and difficulties of his student, as well as having some understanding of the characteristics of the age group with which he is working. As a teacher, they have to know the student learning
Variety in the teaching situation
As already indicated, variety is one of the observable characteristic of creative teaching. The teacher who would stir his students cannot just transmit the same notes or use the same approach week after week. There must be change, there must be freshness in the classroom situation.
Tolerance in classroom work
Growth in student creativity is encouraged by a classroom atmosphere that allows for mistakes. The wise teacher seeks to guide the student toward corrected thinking rather than abruptly cutting off any discussion that is not fully correct. Such a cooperative learning process, where the teacher neither dominates nor discourages classroom activity, develops students interest and initiative.
Evaluation by the student
Students must be taught how to test ideas and establish true values. This involves such areas correct perspective on peer group pressures and understanding the application of Scriptures to life situation. Eventually, the student must establish his own pattern of living and make independent decision. The teacher points toward this by creative teaching that introduces real life situations and guides the student toward his feeling. In this process the by availability and conference serves as a resources person. He also encourages the use of all partinet materials.
The effective teacher will always be looking for information and materials which will enhance his teaching ministry. Remember that the effective teacher plans for almost all the learning experiences that will take place during the class period. He tries to think ahead and considser what question the students might ask him about difficult or controversial passages in the lesson. He also previews the entire class period as much as possible in his own mind. He visualizes himself beginning the lesson, and carrying it on through. He may even practice stating certain questions which will be keys to discussion. It is said that one enjoys doing whatever one does well and that one learns to do well whatever one enjoys. This certainly can and should be applied to teaching.
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