Teaching students to think critically is one of the most important lessons to impart on young minds. Here’s 5 fun ways to inspire creative thinking in students.

The current teaching methods of modern schools have often been criticized for killing student creativity.

Standardized testing and strict curricula don’t leave much room for students to learn in their own ways and express creative thinking.

That’s a problem. We need future generations to not only know the answer to a test but to possess creative thinking skills.

Below are 5 ways to inspire creative thinking in students, whether you’re an educator or a parent.

What is Creative Thinking?

It’s looking at things with a different perspective.

Creative thinkers often have unorthodox and fresh solutions to problems, which is extremely beneficial for individuals used to looking at things from a certain point of view.

We’ve all been stuck, and learning this skill is extremely helpful to help us look at things in a new light and solve real-world problems.

Here are 5 ways to inspire creative thinking in students.

1. Integrate Hands-on Learning

It’s easy to read things from a textbook or hear from a teacher.

But when it comes to real-world application, we often falter.

Research has shown that students retain only 5% of what they hear in lectures and 75% when they actually practice what they learn.

For example, rather than teaching students the fundamentals of web design, have them practice generating a poster template or website.

2. Reflect

At the end of teaching sessions or the end of the day, leave a few minutes for students to reflect on a question you give them.

For example, “how would you teach this topic differently to other students?”

Or, “Share a moment where your mindset was changed or brought into question this week.”

These moments are important to get out of the grind and structure of academia, and instead learn and share together.

You’re also guaranteed to learn new ways to approach topics for future classes.

3. Use Unique Teaching Materials

Step away from the board. Don’t rely on yourself to completely teach your students.

Bring in experts on certain topics, or stream TED talks related to what you’re teaching.

It’ll expose the students to more knowledge than one instructor can possibly provide, and allow for a flexibility in learning styles.

4. Provide Challenges

Using what students have learned in the classroom, you can also provide challenges that require them to utilize their knowledge.

For example, have students in an architecture or engineering course construct a building they believe could withstand earthquake conditions.

Students would have fun with the project while also learning which materials are more suitable for certain natural disasters. You’ll be a superstar science teacher with that project.

5. Work with Individual Students

If you notice certain students are falling slightly behind, try pairing them up with other students to provide an amicable learning environment.

This process will help the struggling learner by having the information explained in more familiar ways, while the stronger learner further solidifies their knowledge by teaching it to others.

Further, you can provide fast learners with extension projects or other creative ways for them to continue to learn.

Final Thoughts

Students are diverse, and standard teaching methods are not.

To inspire creative thinking, teachers and parents need to be flexible and provide new learning opportunities.

The students will thank you.

To learn more ways to inspire in all aspects of life, visit our blog.