April 2018 West Campus Center for Teaching/Learning Best Practices

Each month, the West Campus Center for Teaching/Learning Innovation (CTLI) team highlights topics of interest to our learning community in the West Campus Concentrate. We hope that you will find the information engaging and beneficial to your work in teaching and learning.

This month, our focus centers on creative and divergent thinking.

Ted Talk Video: Changing Education Paradigms — Ken Robinson
Education is forever changing and some of these changes consist of our students, society, instruction and technology. In the Ted Talk “Changing Education Paradigms,” Ken Robinson, a creativity expert, discussed the forever changing paradigms within education and that we, as educators, should be reflective on how to teach our students as a result of these shifts in education.

One approach to addressing these paradigms is to encourage our students to be divergent thinkers. According to Ken, divergent thinking enables an individual to be a creative thinker. Because the CTLI values best practices as it relates to the paradigm shifts in education, our article focuses on cultivating creativity with divergent thinking through the use of technology-enhanced active learning instruction.

The TEAL Classroom

Inspired by our newly renovated center, we wanted to share how we cultivate creativity through the use of our Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) classroom. We offered an opportunity to one of our part-time faculty members to teach one of her classes in the TEAL classroom. Adjunct Professor of New Student Experience Marilyn Greaves, who frequents the CTLI, took advantage of this opportunity and brought her New Student Experience students to explore what this space had to offer.

Her lesson focused on her students being creative and divergent thinkers. She instructed her students to begin the planning process for their My Final Story project and, in order to do so, students explored and scaled up their ideas using the Walltalkers dry-erase boards. As a result of using the TEAL room, her students were successful in accomplishing her learning objective.

Featured Faculty: Marilyn Greaves, Adjunct Professor, New Student Experience

Our Featured Faculty video, available below, demonstrates how Marilyn prepares her students for their final projects through divergent thinking to enhance their creativity.

For Marilyn’s icebreaker activity, click here.

Upcoming Events and Professional Development

Listed below are faculty development courses that can assist you in cultivating creativity in divergent thinking:

Featured Active Learning Activity

Creative Hunt

A routine for looking at parts, purposes and audiences.

Electronic Resources/Tools:

1. Fuel Creativity in the Classroom With Divergent Thinking

2. Strategies and Tools for Divergent Thinking

Professional Development Library Resources (Available in the Center for Teaching/Learning Innovation):

Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. L. (2009). Inquiry as stance: Practitioner research for the next generation. New York: Teachers College Press.

Social Media:

For more great tools to use in your classroom, follow TeachValencia on Facebook or Twitter.

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