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Inclusion Column

Inclusion and Creativity


By Victoria Eugenia Torres Núñez 
Inclusion Assistant
 

Sure we know that being a teacher involves being creative with teaching and supporting students. However, moving towards a more inclusive approach implies an even broader creative thinking in order to take into account every student's strengths and needs, the curriculum and the available (or not available) resources.

Creativity is the connection of different thoughts with the use of cognitive processes to come up with a new idea. Something it's considered creative when there is originality, utility and a product. Cochrane states that  ̈Creativity is an essential human attribute which should lie at the heart of learning ̈  (2006). 

Creativity ́s general term and action covers for all the different creative mental processes and cognitive abilities. It's a constant state of mind that is ready to show up at any time, during any spontaneous event and that has to work out with the accessible resources.

As teachers, we create inclusive environments within schools. It's our responsibility to do it with an intentional approach in order to make it natural for students. We do these when we  ̈ trust in the fact that we are capable of teaching all children, as well as continually developing creative new ways of teaching ̈ (Florian 2014). Prediction, anticipation, modifications, accommodations, flexibility, considering learning styles, are some examples. 

Yes, we as teachers can be looking and applying new ways of creativity in our teaching, but when we think about these activities, do we apply them just for them to learn the content? We should always be aware of creating opportunities to reach all students, ones in which they can open up and show who they are, being accepted and loved. 

We should let our students ́ creative processes of learning and expression soar freely,  “an inclusive classroom is well-rounded, and that means it’s a classroom that is balanced by kids with strengths and challenges in all different areas. It’s our job to provide activities with multiple entry points”  (Curtis, 2017). 

Inclusive environments will make your creativity flow, even though you don't consider yourself as creative, the brain's plasticity permits for new ideas and strengthens within time, especially when you put yourself in someone else's ́s lenses. 
Having a diverse classroom will definitely have you in the outlook of those  ̈I can do this with what I have ̈  or  ¨I should do these in order to approach all ̈  moments.


References 

Cochrane, P. (2006) Are we really serious about creativity? https://weareive.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Creativity-Matters-Are-We-Serious-About-Creativity.pdf

Curtis, J. (2017). Why I love Inclusion. Retrieved from: http://www.elementarymathconsultant.com/why-i-love-inclusion/

Florian, L.2008. “Special or Inclusive Education: Future Trends.” British Journal of Special Education35 (4): 202–208. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8578.2008.00402.x