Developing students’ creativite competency through the innovation in teaching methodology

Abstract. The paper introduces measures for the development of students’ creativity through the innovation in teaching methodology. Then, it presents the procedures for instructing students to approach their creativity and apply it to the reality. Teaching toward the development of students’ creativity capacity is based on the theory of activities which points out that students need to experience practical activities in order to get corresponding competences. The creative experiences enable students to form and develop creative thinking.

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JOURNAL OF SCIENCE OF HNUE DOI: 10.18173/2354-1075.2016-0215 Educational Sci., 2016, Vol. 61, No. 11, pp. 46-56 This paper is available online at DEVELOPING STUDENTS’ CREATIVITE COMPETENCY THROUGH THE INNOVATION IN TEACHING METHODOLOGY Tran Van Hung School of Engineering Education, Hanoi University of Science and Technology Abstract. The paper introduces measures for the development of students’ creativity through the innovation in teaching methodology. Then, it presents the procedures for instructing students to approach their creativity and apply it to the reality. Teaching toward the development of students’ creativity capacity is based on the theory of activities which points out that students need to experience practical activities in order to get corresponding competences. The creative experiences enable students to form and develop creative thinking. Keywords: Capacity, creativity capacity, teaching, innovative methods, teaching toward the development of creative thinking. 1. Introduction Nowadays, together with the support of information and communications technology (ICT), education has been transforming toward capactities and capacity development. Of the capactities, innovative capacity and invention are the key ones. The current educational innovation requires teaching staff to better themselves and explore effective teaching methods, ICT tools including teaching software, online learning on their own so that they can be creative and help students to develop their creativity. Creativitycapactiy is one of the core competences belonging to the ninegeneral competencies of intellectual labor in the modern social economy. Investment into the development of creativity capacity will help improve educational quality, contributing to economic prosperity of a nation, create more jobs and become a factor for enhancing life standard. The United Nations (2008), basing on the reasearch by Levy and Murnane (2004) believed that, in the second decade of the 21st century, there will be changes in the structure of profession and labor skills and organization of human resources. The structural changes and job requirement surge laborers to equip themselves with new skills and qualifications: personal responsibility, innovative and problem solving capacities, trust and value, independent working and adaptation to environments. In the knowledge- based economy, the need and awareness of the importance of innovation and invention are significant. According to the survey by Brady and Edelman (2012) [2], of 5000 people surveyed in America, Japan, Britain, France and Japan, 8 out of 10 people said that the discovery of innovative potential played an important role in the economic growth and nearly 2/3 of them believed that innovation was essential for social development. Developing innovative capactiy shall be based on the general foundation on the development of multi-dimentional Received date: 13/10/2016. Published date: 15/12/2016. Contact: Tran Van Hung, e-mail: tranhungspt@gmail.com 46 Developing students’ creativite competency through the innovation... thinking, imagination, collabration, concentration, problem identifying and solving skills and observation.In 2012, The World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO under the United Nations published the national innovation indicators. Vietnam was ranked 76th among 141 countries, 5th in the region following Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand. In the previous years, the ranks of Vietnam were: in 2008 65/153 , in 2009: 64/130, in 2010: 71/132 andin 2011: 51/125.[19] Thus, the economy in the society of the 21st century requires a new and innovative labor class, which demands innovation in education system including innovation in contents, objectives, training curricula, teaching methods and techniques, means, testing - assessment of creativity, innovative teaching forms in line with the trend of the time. In order for students to be creative, teachers have to be creative and innovate teaching methodsto enable students to develop their creativity capacity, which is the so called innovative education. Based on the perceived level Benjamin S. Bloom (1956), Author Anderson and Kratwohl put creativity at level 6 in the hierarchical model of 6 levels (Figure 1). Acquiring the highest cognitive level, learners will be able to create new things and identify their information basing on the existing things. Figure 1: Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning domains Thus, the differences on the synthesis, assessment and creativity between Bloom’s Taxonomy in 1956 and Bloom’s Taxonomy revised by Dr. Lorin Anderson and his fellows in 1999 are expressed as follows: Bloom’s Taxonomy in 1956 Synthesis: Getting all the ideas together to create a new issue, new content. (reorganizing, generalizing, regeneralizing...) Assessment: assessing the quality (reviewing, criticizing, arguing, proving, defensing...) Bloom’s Taxonomy revised by Dr. Lorin Anderson and his fellows in 1999 Assessment (testing, criticizing): - Reviewing a project and finding out the process of implementing and then revising problems in the project. - Selecting the best solutions to the complicated problems - Assessing criteria in the project. 47 Tran Van Hung - Working in a group and giving opinions on logical problems in the project Creativity (creating, planning, producing, constructing...) - Coming up with alternative hypotheses based on the criteria of the project - Proposing scientifically logical solutions - Proposing scientific assumptions - Constructing proper models - Making a map for implementing the project 2. Content 2.1. Rationale of teaching toward the development of students’ creativity capacity * Creativity Creativity is a process of intellectual activities, not purely a product. Creativityis always based on the knowledge and skills that aperson acquires in scientific fields. Creative learning requires teaching to be a process of innovating and developing creativity and practicing creative methods to encourage students develop their creativity [15]. According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sc. Phan Dung [10], creativityis a thinking process leading a person who does not know how to realize a goal to know how to do it optimally in available ways. According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ton Than [16], creativity is a form of independent thinking, which creates new and original ideas helping deal with problems highly effectively. New ideas are expressed in the capacity for creating new things, discovering new problems, finding out new ways and producing new outcomes. According to Deway and Vygotsky [4], creativity is a result of experiencing games in the childhood, imaging and thinking (especially critical thinking). According to Psychologist J. P. Guilford [2, 134-135], there are three basic characteristics of creative thinking, which are: - Flexibility: the capacity for shifting from a thinking activity to another easily. - Maturity: expressed through the capacity for acquiring knowledge, thinking, solving problems in a varied and optimal way. - Originality: capacity for selecting and solving problems, not using the available paths of thinking (Original thinking is the most important). * Creativity capacity Creativity capacity is a thing hidden inside each individual. Creativityis the realization of creativity capacity through creative products. Once creativity capacity is acquired, can a creative product be made? In some cases, that an individual has creativity capacity is not enough, it needs to have conditions and environments to be strenghthened. Therefore, to become creative, students need the following elements: individual capacity and qualifications, socio-psychological processes, creative environments, creative methods, procedures for creativity, application of creative ideas to reality to create innovation. For example, Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said he learned the experiences from other countries and solved problems facing his country, and he insisted that he did not apply them mechanically, but he adjusted creatively to the background of Singapore at that time. According to Author Tran Thi Bich Lieu (2013) [15], creativity capacityis considered a 48 Developing students’ creativite competency through the innovation... person’s ability to think up new ideas, look at an issue in a different way and discover new things in an old structure of a phenomenon to create new products. The products of creativity are innovative ideas, new materials, structures or new service or a new business market. Thus, “Creativity capacity is based on a combination of the unique qualities of the individual”. What is the combination? Thatis psycho-physiological characteristics (physical strength, intellect. . . ) of subjects. It does not include all psycho-physiological elements, but just those which considerablty contribute to the formation of creative prodcuts [17]. * Teaching toward the development of creativity capacity In the research by Davies (2010) on teaching toward the development of creativity capacity, he pointed out that students’ qualities need to be developed, especially at kindergarten and primary school levels to make their creativity capacity be enhanced, and he stressed that in order to teach toward the development of creativity capacity, teaching staff need to master the nature of creatity and qualifications necessary for creativity, the importance of science for learners’creativity. In the research by Sahlberg (2009) [12] on creative teaching, he said that creative teaching is using imaginative approach to make the learning process enjoyable and effective. Teaching to develop creativity is to make learning forms be aimed at development of students’ thinking and innovative behavior. He introduced 3 specific features for teaching toward creativity development: - Enabling learnersto understand their creativity capacity - Enabling learners to believe that they have creativity capacity - Enabling learners to develop their inside potential, stimulating their curiostiy, learning desires so that they can create new things on their own. The research by Cropley (1997) on creativity and teaching toward the creativity development introduced the characteristics of teaching staff in the process of teaching toward the creativity development in class: encouraging students to assess themselves, creating chances for students to give comments on questions and answers seriously, strongly encouraging them not to be afraid of wrong answers, helping them have the ability to master and evaluate innovative ideas, using information technology (IT) tools to clarify matters to enable students to develop their creative thinking. The research by Prof. Dr. Tran Ba Hoanh on “Development of students’ creativity and teachers’ roles” pointed out that in the process of teaching toward the development of creativity capacity, teaching staff shall train students to look at events from different perspectives, make assumptions about phenomena with why- questions, propose measures to deal with situations, help students not to think mechanically basing on the theoretical rules learned previously... - Education Law 2009 (as amended) defined the goal of higher education, through which higher education training program was stipulated: Higher education training equips students with professional knowledge, proficient skills at practice, abilities to work independently, innovate and solve problems relating trained fields. Thus, the goal requires that in the teaching process the goal of forming and developing students’ capacitites including creativity capacity should be considered important. From the view of pedagogical psychology, learners’ capacity is developed the best in the subjects’ process of awareness and reality. Therefore, developing students’ creativity capactity in the teaching process means that teachers shall enable students to look at a problem from different aspects to find out solutions, stimulate their imagination and creativity, help them to brainstorm themselves and experience creativity, create innovative groups... In order to do that directly, it is teaching staff who have to innovate their teaching methods from objectives, contents, curricula, teaching forms to assessment in a manner that students can achieve creativity and promote their positiveness. 49 Tran Van Hung 2.2. Innovation in methodologies of teaching toward the development of students’ creativity capacity Teaching methodology is a category of educational scicence. Innovating teaching methodology is substantially not replacing traditional teaching methods with new teaching methods completely. The innovation in teaching methodology shall be based on scientific bases and educational practices. In the teaching process, methods depend a lot on elements: Goal(G); Content (C); Forms of learning organization (F); Means of teaching (M); Teachers (T); Assessment (A). The correlation and domination of the elements should be paid attention to in order to establish an optimal teaching method. Accordingly, selected methods in the teaching process need to be suitablefor learners’ characteristics. Figure 2: The correlation between methods and elements in the teaching process In the book [5] by Dang Xuan Hai, the main orientations in innovating higher education teaching methodology are introduced to enhance students’ positiveness and creativity strongly in the process of acquiring knowledge in the teaching process. Besides, it also presents innovation toward the development of self study, strenghthening collaboration for the creativity in learning; at the same time, it focuses on the creative and clever combination which should be concerned considerably. In order to innovate higher education teaching methodology toward the development of creativity capacity, there need to be following innovations: * Innovation in constructing detailed module syllabi To innovate teaching methodology toward competence-based approach, it is essential to reform the construction of detailed module syllabi, including: reforming the identification of module objectives (identifying outcome capacity), contents, making teaching plans, selecting forms of learning organization, designing and identifying tasks for students. + As for objectives: to identify the core competencies of courses, orienting students to creativity capacity and specialized capacity. + As for contents: using one of 2 ways: designing contents by chapter or by specific week (usually at universities and colleges, 15weeks/1 semester) + As for tasks: teachers give students tasks relating each chapter (week) clearly from the beginning of semesters. These tasks are aimed at creativity capacity needing to be achieved in the module objective. + As for teaching plans: making plans by chapter or by specific week needs identifying time, environment, means, objects in the teaching process. Particularly, teaching plans shall equip 50 Developing students’ creativite competency through the innovation... students with high - order thinking capacities (creativity, self-study. . . ). Teachers have to describe requirements for the capacities needing to be gained after chapter by chapter or week by week. Example: The detailed syllabus for the module on testing-assessment in education for IT students 1. Module :TESTING - ASSESSMENT IN EDUCATION 2. Objectives: No Objectivecodes Objective name 1. O1 Equipping students withthe rationales of testing-assessment in education, the ways of setting up necessary capacities for the assessment and types of assessment. 2. O2 Training students skills at using tools for testing-assessment, designing procedures and techniques for testing-assessment 3. O3 Bettering skills at exploiting and applying ways of assessment flexibly tothe teaching process to develop creativity capacity, especially in testing-assessment, training students skills at processing data with common software and feedback ontesting-assessment results. 3. Outcome standards of the module: No Outcome standards codes Names of Outcome standards Bloom’s Taxonomy 1. OS1 Identifying the roles of testing-assessment in education. understanding 2. OS2 Distinguishing types of testing-assessment in education. analyzing 3. OS3 Applying procedures and techniques for testing-assessment to designing multiple choice and open questions applying 4. OS4 Applying tools for processing data to the assessment of students’ testing results. applying 5. OS5 Comparing procedures for testing-assessment by multiple choice testing, open question testing and the combination of multiple choice and open question testing analyzing 6. OS6 Flexibly applying methods of testing-assessment of students’ capacity applying 7. OS7 Constructing measurements for assessment of students by different capacities. Creating 8. OS8 Innovating procedures for designing testing questions toward the new assessment model using blended learning. Creating 51 Tran Van Hung Example 2: Teaching plans by week or by chapter Figure3: Course on “Theore ctical Calculations” by week Figure4: Course on “Computer graphics” by chapter *Innovation in forms of learning organization toward the development of students’ creativity capacity To be aimed at the capacities students have to achieve, it depends on characteristics of each course (module), to select methods and forms of learning organization and use elements G, C, F, M, T, A flexibly. Along with the advancement of ICT which has had a significant effect on the development of students’ creativity capacity, the best learning form currently in the world generally and Vietnam particularly is blended learning, which is the combination of advantages of face – to – face classroom methods and online learning expressed in Figure 5 and Figure 6. In the research by Bonk, C. J. & Graham (2004) [2], it was predicted that B-learning model will be dominant in the future. Furthermore, the studies by authors [6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13,18] proved that this learning form helps develop students’ creativity capacity in the learning process. Figure 5: Combination of face-to-face classroom method and online learning Figure 6: Combination of face-to-face classroom method and online learning through sample projects 52 Developing students’ creativite competency through the innovation... * Innovation in methodology and technique for teaching toward the development of students’ creativity capacity Teaching staff at university play an important role in developing students’ creativity capacity. The lecturers need to be creative to find out how to apply and combine learning methods and techniques to enhance creativity. According to Tran Khanh Duc [14], if teachers do not have the abilities to search for, select information, discover and solve problems as well as innovate, it is difficult for them to encourage students to be creative and develop their creativity capacity. Some methods and techniques which can help students to develop their creativity capacity are: - Project - based method, group method, brain storming method, interactive method, role playing method, method of discovering and solving problems, method of using mind map. . . The techniques are listed as follows: - Creative thinking techniquesby SCAMPER: SCAMPER stands for 8 Creative thinking techniques to find out solutions to problems originally. - Starbursting is using a six pointed star with an idea in the middle including 5W + 1H (Who, What, Why, Where, When and How). - Six thinking hat technique is a technique of 6 different colored hats representing different thinking functions with different issues. All the methods and techniques are aimed at ena