Eha Vain: “What boosts creativity? Dancing maths!”

Tuesday, 04 September 2012
Ninnie Andersson from Sweden introduces her innovative dance math method. Photo: Eha Jakobson Ninnie Andersson from Sweden introduces her innovative dance math method. Photo: Eha Jakobson

The issue of the best possible way of preparing young people in Estonia for their future lives through the educational institutions they attend has come to the fore again with the start of another academic year. Nobody questions anymore that the key word in children's education is 'creativity' – it makes learning more exciting, more playful, and puts a smile on every face in the classroom. From the point of view of the state and the economy, it's important that children and teenagers are more open, more curious and more innovative. And creative teaching fosters talent.

What boosts creativity? Well, one example is dancing maths! We saw this for ourselves and recognised its potential at the first creative forum of the Nordic countries and Baltic States on 28 & 29 August 2012 on the island of Naissaar, which was attended by around a hundred educational staff and researchers from Estonia, the other Baltic States, the Nordic countries and even the USA. Pictures, presentations and videos from the event can be found here.

We asked those attending the forum to approach the concept of multi-faceted creativity with an open mind. Creativity isn't only expressed in interesting physical activity, like good singing and dancing skills: it means coming up with exciting ideas and methods and solutions, and implementing them, often in an unorthodox way – like the aforementioned dancing maths. Bringing together disciplines which at first appear so disconnected generates powerful synergy – by making shapes with your body, or using it to measure distances, you're much more likely to remember what you learn.

Creative teaching is also invaluable in fostering self-esteem and belief in yourself. It's a form of self-expression, a test of your skills and abilities, which if successfully implemented can boost both confidence and assurance. The understanding that took root at the forum was that creativity in all of its forms provides you with impetus to act and moulds your personality.

As the organisers of the forum we're sure that the teachers who attended are more than ready to test the new methods in their work and to thereby weave together a number of different subjects. Together we've taken a small but important step in support of shaping creative individuals.

Eha Vain
Cultural adviser at the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia

The creativity forum of the Nordic countries and Baltic States was held on 28 & 29 August 2012 on the island of Naissaar. It was organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia and Tallinn University in association with a range of partners.

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