Cooperative learning for creative collaborations

Albert Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” That may be true for Einstein, but how about for the rest of us? Lynda Baloche investigates how to establish cooperative-learning practices that foster creativity

For more than 50 years, researchers have systematically investigated children’s curiosity, imagination, and creativity. Their work has showed that, in general, creativity tends to decrease as children “grow up.” Is this trend natural or should we be concerned? In one recent study, a group of children who were given a creativity test when they were young were revisited as adults. The creative thinking abilities they exhibited as children were much stronger predictors of their adult accomplishments than their IQ scores. For these adults, creativity seems to have been very important indeed.

What we know
● As children mature, their creativity often declines.
● Creativity and collaboration have been identified as important 21st Century Skills.
● Researchers have identified ways to develop and sustain the “natural” creativity of children. One finding is that cooperative contexts are important for creativity.
● Educators can utilize both creativity and cooperative-learning research to help them establish cooperative learning practices that foster creativity.

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December 2015