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From classroom real to classroom virtual: time to educate in creativity.


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Diario del AltoAragón, El Diario Montañés and Diario de Navarra

Gerardo Castillo

Professor School of Education and Psychology

Following the successive incorporation of technological tools linked to the Internet, teaching has undergone a great transformation. In the past , when we spoke of teaching, we thought only of an activity carried out in a physical and closed classroom ; lately, we usually refer, in addition, to a process of teaching-learning that takes place outside the classroom, in a virtual "classroom".

The terms telework and teledocency are now common parlance. The process of incorporating virtual technology into teaching is not an easy one. In my opinion there are two main obstacles: the resistance to change typical of educational systems and the restrictions originated by covid-19.

The new status requires creative teachers. This explains why so much importance is now given to an intelligence subject that used to go almost unnoticed at school: creative intelligence. The interesting thing is no longer to find the right answer quickly, but to resort to the imagination, again and again, to find new solutions to the same problems.

Ken Robinson, an expert in quality of teaching and creativity worldwide, argues that "creativity is an inherent part of all people, but the archaic system educational still prevails, instead of motivating it, represses it. Error is still considered a stigma and should be avoided".

The so-called "transmission pedagogy" is still seen in some environments as something untouchable; it considers the student as a mere receiver of information, as a blank page that only the teacher can and should fill. In this didactic approach, the development of creativity is discarded, since it requires a process of feedback.

On the other hand, didactic activities such as work in teams; creating processes led by students in conflict resolution; teaching with participatory methodology: debates, case discussions, symposiums, brainstorming, etc., are creative.

It would be a serious mistake to consider that the virtual teaching replaces the face-to-face one. Both are necessary and complementary; it only replaces classroom closed and isolated from the world. The aim is to update methods, not to dispense with values related to the attention staff between educator and learner.

On the occasion of the covid-19 pandemic, teachers have had to face an additional challenge : the teaching is now being carried out on a screen in a matter of days. Teachers have been forced to improvise teleducation, as they did not receive in time enough specific training and the necessary technological means.

The digital transformation was, before the pandemic, a half-baked goal deadline that was being implemented at different speeds; but, after the pandemic, for most teachers it was an ipso facto acceptance.

Contrary to the widespread idea in non-scientific circles, creative ability is not innate . One is not born an artist or inventor. In some cases, certain predispositions can be transmitted, but creativity is a skill that can and should be aroused and developed through educational action.

To educate in creativity is to educate for change and to form people rich in originality, flexibility, vision, and initiative, so that they are capable of facing the daily problems that arise.

Teachers should exercise the creative capacity of students, from an early age, using strategies to address not only the analytical and abstract operations of convergent thinking, but also the spatial and analogical functions that are specific to divergent thinking: a mental process that generates creative ideas through the exploration of many possible solutions.

To develop creativity, one must initially "unlearn" the fear of expressing oneself artistically and the fear of asking questions when one has not understood. The teacher must stimulate the open mind of his students, creating a reflective environment.

It is fundamental to educate in learning to learn. Teaching is not merely instructing. It includes guiding students in their process staff of assimilating knowledge. This requires that the leading role in this process belongs to student and not to the teacher. The role of the latter is to formulate questions that make people think. Socrates' maieutics is still the model to follow.