Creativity in Seventeen Syllables - Haiku for Learning
Keywords:student engagement, creativity, student writing
BRIEF SESSION DESCRIPTION:
This session will offer the use of haiku poetry as a method for promoting creativity in the classroom as part of a mindfulness exercise.
FULL ABSTRACT: In this session, I will demonstrate the use of haiku to promote creativity in thinking and discuss the role of creativity in learning theory. This process can be used as a mindfulness exercise to transform the learning environment from a structured focus to a rich more open-ended engaged thought process. In distance learning and the traditional classroom setting, students can compose a haiku in a few minutes with no prior experience, given a few guidelines. In my graduate-level capstone course at Mason, I use haiku writing as a way for students to think about their practice, characterizing their work as a vision-based calling instead of a series of tasks. Such creative mindfulness exercises take a constructivist approach useful in any discipline, including the social and physical sciences to help students step back from a linear daily world and into a more creative learning environment. We will spend most of the session crafting and sharing our haiku creations to demonstrate the simplicity of the activity, the creativity locked inside all of us, and the value of transformative critical thinking. In this session, I will provide learning-focused images and objects to prompt participants in haiku crafting and they will write about a specific moment in classroom learning. I will also provide a reference guide citing informing principles and specific resources. Teachers in virtually any discipline could use this as an opening exercise to transform minds from a digital world into deeper thinking about the topic of the day. In my experience in teaching a range of subjects from astronomy to conflict analysis and resolution, this technique would be of value, in my view.