In "Differentiating Curriculum
for High Ability Learners," at the Summer Institute,
College of William and Mary (2009), Joyce VanTassel-Baska
listed creativity as one of the five features of a differentiated
curriculum for high ability learners. She included acceleration,
complexity, depth and challenge as the other features.
Not all students identified
as gifted are inherently creative. Gifted education teachers
see a wide range in levels of creativity among their students.
Some students can generate a number of ideas (fluency) while
others need assistance and examples. Some students notice
what is unusual and surprising or interesting in everyday
objects (flexibility) while others need assistance in considering
alternative possibilities. As students progress up through
the grades, they may appear to lose their creativity as
they are exposed more often to closed-ended, content-focused
questioning in the general classroom.
In "A Whole New Mind"
(2005), Daniel Pink relates a story that Gordon MacKenzie,
a longtime creative force at Hallmark's Cards, told of visiting
classrooms and asking students, "How many artists are
there in the room?" In kindergarten and first-grade
classrooms, every student raised their hands. In second-grade,
about three-fourths of the students raised their hands.
By third grade, only a few students held up their hands;
and by sixth grade, not a single hand went up. Mr. Pink
comments that this is a "cautionary tale for our times."
In an information age, creativity has been under-valued,
but it is actually an essential element for success as it
differentiates the product or service in today's market
There are many instructional
strategies available to teach the elements of creativity.
Some proven techniques are brainstorming, SCAMPER
Six Thinking Hats
One of the session tracks
at this year's annual NAGC Convention was focused on creativity.
If you are interested in viewing, listening, printing or
downloading presentations and handouts from the NAGC 57th
Annual Convention (and previous conventions) just email
Vickie Mohnacky at
for the information. The sessions
will be available until May 2011. The Live Learning Center
gives 24/7 access at your convenience.
Also, you may access the free
download of the article Creative
Problem Solving Embedded into Curriculum
, from the pages
of the Fall 2010 issue of Teaching for High Potential.