Angelica Sápulo

Expert teacher of creativity

"Children must learn to think in a critical, ethical and creative way"

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Creativity is a recent field in terms of theoretical research. It is also an interdisciplinary field. The word "creativity" itself is polysemic. For me, creating is generating new, more and better ideas. In other words, ideas with value. And then these ideas can be applied in various fields through different languages. For me, it is very important to understand creativity as a skill. All human beings have it in their power. And we can develop it. There is no such thing as a creative person and a non-creative person. There are levels of development of this skill.

The educational system does not promote the development of creative skills. And in the way in which learning and teaching processes are structured, what I see is stunting of that skill.

If at some point we think someone is not creative and that we have to teach them how to be so, that is a big mistake. Creative capacity is not taught. What we can do is create the conditions for it to develop. Encourage it to come out. For example, create an environment that encourages these new responses. If at school our questions only seek an answer, and the answer it the single right one, and we teach children that things are like that, we are not helping them to develop their creative thinking skills.

We need to change our questions, and the way we ask them. Search for questions that favor and open the search for answers. Without fear of making mistakes. Who never makes mistakes in life? Human beings are wrong in themselves; just being human in the world we make mistakes. The first issue is to break with that fear. It is also important to bear in mind that processes must also be creative. They are gradual, and everyone can try out different ones — they don't have to stick with just one.

"Every daily situation is an opportunity for children to learn to think creatively"

You have to have an environment that encourages creativity. If the environment is always repetition of the same roles, paths, times, the ways of doing things... if we just repeat, how can we expect to develop creative capacity? It's the same in the classroom. If, for example, all the children sit in the classroom, looking at someone — the teacher. And they just look, listen to what they are saying, and then repeat it at exam time. How can we expect to develop creative capacity? These children must be looking everywhere: at the other children, at what is in front of them, and within themselves. The classroom needs to be a polyphonic environment.

If we treat the classroom as a research community, we will all look for answers, ask new questions, investigate, question the truths we hold as dogmas, question stereotypes, and not settle with banal and quick answers. For that to happen, it is important that the teacher understands that it is not just about applying a technique. Creative capacity must be encouraged for life.

A teacher who wants to make their classroom a more creative environment must bear this in mind: change your environment, don't always leave it the same. Otherwise, there is no way to encourage anything. Change things and see what those small changes trigger. And include challenges in the environment itself, on walls or as objects. And do not feed the answers. Creative thinking means opening up. It is looking for all the possible perspectives, but at some point also converging to reach an answer. And once you have arrived there, open up again to enable more possibilities, let those possibilities emerge, and then go back to the details. This is true in mathematics, science, art, music, philosophy...

She has written more than 200 works on pedagogy and creativity. Angélica Sátira is also a doctor of education cum laude from the University of Barcelona, with a postgraduate degree in philosophical education from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). Sh has created various projects focusing on innovative ways to educate, both in South America and Europe. Her ongoing goal is to encourage creativity and critical thinking in children.