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Teaching Outside the Lines

Teaching Outside the Lines
Developing Creativity in Every Learner

May 2015 | 144 pages | Corwin

Make Creativity The Core Of The Curriculum!

Ignoring creativity is  a crisis-in-waiting. But in today’s economy, the ability to think independently and innovatively is no longer a “nice extra”—it’s a survival skill.

This book addresses the difficulties of integrating real creativity into the curriculum, and delivers surefire strategies for equipping learners across all grades and subjects with the motivation and critical thinking skills to thrive in a high-tech future.

Content includes:

  • Why “one right answer” instruction paradigms discourage critical thinking and risk-taking
  • Why using the latest technology does not equate to  teaching creatively
  • Projects and Prompts that ask “So what does this mean in the classroom today?”

Don’t wait another day to begin teaching your students this valuable skill. With this book, you’ll turn your classroom into a hotbed of creativity populated by tomorrow’s innovators.  

Introduction: How Did Vasco da Gama Spark My Interest in Creativity?
Chapter 1. The Rise of the Creative Class(room): Why Is Creativity No Longer a “Nice Extra” in Education?
Chapter 2. I Can’t Define It, But I Know It When I See It: What Is Creativity Anyway?
Chapter 3. The One-Right-Answer Testing Mentality: Why Are Schools Failing to Produce Creative Graduates?
Chapter 4. The Chupacabra Ate My Homework: What Is the Theory of Multiple Creative Abilities?
Chapter 5. A Job Not Worth Doing Is Not Worth Doing Well: What Are the Attributes of Projects That Help Instill Creativity?
Chapter 6. List Three Right Answers: What Are Some Simple Ways Teachers Can Promote Creative Thinking Every Day?
Chapter 7. Just Because It’s Pretty Doesn’t Mean It’s Original: Does Technology Enhance or Diminish Creativity?
Chapter 8. Not Everything That Counts Can Be Measured: Can—or Should—Teachers Assess Creativity?
Chapter 9. I Stole the Idea From the Internet: How Can Educators Become More Professionally Creative?
Chapter 10. Change Is Good . . . You Go First: Why Do We Love Creativity but Fear Creative People?

"Creativity is the job of the future. Failure to recognize this importance will render schools irrelevant. We must encourage creativity in schools. This book does an excellent job of demonstrating the need and providing examples and thinking points to help educators get there."

Alice Keeler, Education Consultant

This book is a well-designed resource for busy teachers and administrators. Classroom creativity is essential for lifelong success, and the author develops a compelling argument to teaching students how to do more than respond to standardized test questions. Appropriate for team discussions at every school level and even for parent groups, the clear discussions and practical tips can be used to increase student performance and give students the skills they will use all their lives.

Christopher Wells, Educational and Instructional Technology Consultant
BrightScribe, Inc.

In Teaching Outside the Lines, Doug Johnson offers a succinct, incisive look at fostering creativity in the classroom. He nimbly weaves the value of inspiring creativity with the necessity of teaching craftsmanship (content knowledge, skills, and practice). With well-researched reasoning, practical examples, and insightful questions, Johnson engages readers in thoughtful reflection about educational purpose and methodology.  I have long been a fan of Doug Johnson’s funny, down-to-earth, sensible writing, but I think this may be his best book yet.

Debbie Silver, Author of Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers, Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8, and Deliberate Optimism: Reclaiming the Joy in Education.

Doug Johnson’s book is a masterpiece of ingenuity. He insightfully makes a strong case of the need for a focus on creativity in our schools. His solidly presented approach is a critically important antidote for children who are currently taught that what is most important in life is bubble sheets. Children are natural explorers and are innately creative. It is time to bring back a focus on creativity in our schools. Doug’s book provides solid guideposts for how to accomplish this.

Nancy Willard, Director
Embrace Civility in the Digital Age

Doug Johnson writes passionately and articulately about the need for creativity in learning, life, and our approach to education. In a world of standardized testing, he reminds that what the world needs from employees and citizens in very practical terms is the ability to think and respond to situations with as much creativity as the job demands, particularly when it comes to using technology to amplify creative thought.

Jason Ohler, Professor Emeritus, Educational Technology

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483370163

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