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Community Canvas Highlights: Unleash Your Creative Potential

Each one of us is creative. With that firm belief, in our hearts, we at TREE along with Dakshina Chitra Heritage Museum organised our July Community Canvas event: ‘Unleash your Creative Potential’. We had 60 educators from across Chennai attend, and who explored, discussed, argued, analysed and reimagined what creativity means to them.

The first segment got the teachers thinking about what the term creativity; they defined/described creativity in various ways. The discussion ended with accepting that creativity is a response; it is a habit and it is a conscious choice that we make.

Maya discussed the importance of creativity in the teaching profession and made the teachers reflect on the fact that in the 21st century, to remain relevant teaching has to be creative. “Teaching is Art.”

In the next segment, Maya took the teachers in a fascinating journey to the world of metaphors as a powerful tool for creative thinking. Collaboratively the teachers examined the use of metaphors in language and in visual art and concluded that human beings are naturally metaphorical in their expressions. A detailed study on similes and implicit and explicit metaphors was done and classroom exercises to fuel the students’ imagination was shared.

Group Activity

Teachers were allocated to different groups and went off to different houses in Dakshinchitra to engage in a lively See-Think- Wonder- Imagine activity. By the end of it, the teachers realized the value of keen observation and how it influences and enhances creative thinking in a person. As their imagination soared, the teachers came up with amazing ideas! It was truly an exciting activity which made the teachers reflect on how to use spaces to fuel creativity among students.

This led to the Q.A. session with our first guest speaker Kiran Rao, who is the creator of some wonderfully imaginative spaces such as Amethyst, Chamiers, and Coromandel Cafe.

She believes that building creative spaces happen organically; everything cannot be planned at one go. She also helped challenge the idea that creativity is all about originality, preferring to create things that are genuine and purposeful.

Post lunch the teachers assembled to meet our second speaker for the day, Dr. Sumitra Ranganathan, who engaged the teachers on a lively discussion and activity on creative visualisation for creating imaginative classrooms and thinking without constraints.

The day ended with teachers working in groups to visualise and create their dream classrooms on charts and share their ideas with each other. And ultimately with a promise to themselves, to choose to be creative in every aspect of their teaching!

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