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Creative Teachers for the 21st Century

Edited by:

June 2009 | 216 pages | Corwin

"This book combats the stagnation of creativity in an era of increased accountability through standardized testing. It is an exceptionally well written, comprehensive book that will appeal to a variety of readers."
—Beth Madison, Principal
George Middle School, Portland, OR

Discover how thinking and acting creatively can influence both teaching and learning!

Creativity is a vital part of living for everyone—and for teachers and students, it's a requirement for success in the 21st century. Built on that core belief, this inspiring book provides teachers with a step-by-step plan for accessing their own creative resources and cultivating a more creative teaching practice.

Offering a breakdown of the creative process as it applies to both lesson building and delivery, the author provides a range of applications, examples, and strategies across multiple content areas and grade levels. This practical resource helps teachers and administrators:

  • Gain confidence in their own ability to teach from their strengths and to elicit students' strengths and creativity
  • Access their ability to think and act more creatively in the classroom
  • Enhance learning by engaging, motivating, and inspiring students with an array of research-based, creative teaching strategies
  • Learn how to identify creativity that furthers educational goals
  • Discover how the power of technology can help facilitate creative thinking

Use creativity to transform your teaching practices and prepare your students for the challenges of today and tomorrow!

About the Author
Prologue #1: An Elementary Teacher Speaks Out About Creativity
1. What Teachers and Students Have to Say About Creativity: An Introduction
41 Creative Ideas

Teachers Voice Their Creative Blocks

Jump Starting Student Creativity: Making Mind Maps

This Is Not the "Crayola Curriculum"

Student Blocks to Creativity

A Past Student's E-mail on Creativity

Prologue #2: Before We Begin . . . Get Out Your Notebook!
2. What Is, What Isn't Creativity?
An Overview of Preconceptions

Worshipping at the Altar of Right Answers

Making Mistakes

Specific Methods of Creative Behavior

Prologue #3: 20 Keys to a More Creative Classroom
3. Memoir of a Creative Career (Abridged)
My First Creative Teacher

A First-Year Teacher

My Home Teaching Days

Back to the Traditional Classroom

Early Years at Francis Howell School District

Teaching Skills as Well as Content

My Repeaters on Grammar Patrol

Prologue #4: The Creative Teacher's Bill of Rights
4. What's Going On?
Side Effects of the Mandated Testing Phenomenon

The Whole Child, The Whole Teacher

Teaching the Whole Brain

The Necessity of Teacher Empowerment

Needs of the 21st Century, Glaringly Visible

Dropouts and High Achievers

Prologue #5: Affirmations: One Way to Rewire You for the Creativity You'll Need for the 21st Century
5. Links Between Creativity and Research-Based Instruction
Brain Research: A Gold Mine for Creative Strategies


Meaning and Choice

Challenge Without Threat


Emotions and Bodies

Prologue #6: Letter From Arthur Costa
6. Transformational Journey: From the Inside Out
The Saturday/Sunday Kings and Queens

You, the Saturday/Sunday King or Queen

Transformational Stages

Our Hero's Journey: Moving Toward Ownership

Your Questions: The Main Tool of Transformers

Creative Thinking Versus Critical Thinking

Thinking in Metaphor

More Powerful Metaphors

Frames, Narratives, Scripts: How We Think

Prologue #7: The Administrator's Creativity Checklist
7. The Administrator's Role in Providing a Creative Environment
Metaphor and School Transformation, by Linda Henke

An Informal Ethnographic Study

School Culture

School as Factory

The Search for New Metaphors

Reframing Beliefs at MRH

Prologue #8: Leslie Wilson's Thinking Patterns That Help Create New Ideas
8. What Can We Do to Strengthen Our Creative Muscles?
For Ourselves?the Gift of Surprise

Mindfulness, Awareness, and All That Good Stuff

Begin With Fostering Creative Courage

Let's Look at Fear for a Moment

Respecting the Need to Make Time for Yourself

How to Help Your Fellow Teachers

Prologue #9: Our Tiny Digital Natives
9. Technology and the Creative Classroom
Swimming in a Technological Environment, by John Ross

Connecting Technology and Creativity: National Trends

Promoting Student Creativity With Technology

Becoming a More Creative Teacher With Technology

Prologue #10: Rules for Lady Teachers in 1915
10. Transforming Teaching Through Creativity for the 21st Century
The Last Time

A Look at Possible Future Transformation

The Past as of 1970

What Does the Public Think We Should Be Doing?

Welcome to Our Brave New Right-Brained World

Every Teacher a Creative Teacher


"This book combats the stagnation of creativity in an era of increased accountability through standardized testing. It is an exceptionally well written, comprehensive book that will appeal to a variety of readers."

Beth Madison, Principal
George Middle School, Portland, OR

"This valuable, readable book offers strategies that can wake up your creative juices and help students become more creative thinkers in their future lives."

From the Prologue to Chapter 6 by Arthur Costa

"Encourages instructors to ask students to think out of the box and challenge students."

Lisa B. Lucius, Principal
North Pontotoc Elementary School, Ecru, MS
Key features
  • Provides concrete steps on how all teachers—regardless of grade level and subject area—can access their ability to think and act more creatively in the classroom
  • Includes an array of research-based, creative teaching strategies designed to enhance learning by engaging, motivating, and inspiring students
  • Includes detailed guidlines on how to identify creativity that furthers educational goals
  • Contains a wealth activities for individual and group work concerning problem solving, reflection, and recognizing the link between best teaching practices and one's own creative efforts

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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