Teaching English Creatively (2nd edition)

Cremin, Teresa ed. (2015). Teaching English Creatively (2nd edition). Learning to Teach in the Primary School Series. Abingdon: Routledge.

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/97811387870...

Abstract

Teaching and learning English is, at its richest, an energising, purposeful and imaginatively vital experience for all involved, developing youngsters’ competence, confidence and creativity as well as building positive attitudes to learning. At its poorest, English teaching and learning can be a dry, didactic experience, focused on the instruction of assessable skills, and paying little attention to children’s affective or creative development as language learners and language users.

Following apparently safe routes to raise literacy standards, interspersed with occasional more creatively oriented activities, does not represent balanced literacy instruction. Such practice pays lip service to creative approaches and fails to acknowledge the potential of building on young children’s curiosity, desire for agency and capacity to generate and innovate. Such practice ignores research that indicates the multiple benefits of teaching and learning creatively (e.g.Vass, 2004; Cremin et al., 2009; Craft et al., 2012; Galton, 2010; Thomson et al., 2012). It also ignores policy recommendations that in many, though not all countries, encourage teachers to exercise their professional judgement and teach more creatively.

Teaching literacy creatively does not mean short-changing the teaching of the essential knowledge, skills and understanding of the subject; rather it involves teaching literacy skills and developing knowledge about language in creative contexts that explicitly invite learners to engage imaginatively, nurture their commitment and stretch them cognitively and affectively. Creative teachers work to extend children’s abilities as readers, writers, speakers and listeners and help them to express themselves effectively, to create as well as critically evaluate their own work.

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