Boosting Innovation and Creativity through Visual & Performing Arts

Maher Bahloul

American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE

Latest research on innovation and creativity within educational systems focuses on such tools as Problem-Based Learning (PBL), critical and strategic thinking, investigative learning, talent development, latest technological advancements, (Yamin, 2017; Renzulli, 2017; Neber & Neuhaus, 2017; Maker & Zimmerman, 2008; amongst others). Incorporating visual and performing arts such as music, theatre, storyboarding, mime, photography, shadow puppets, and filmmaking in promoting learners’ creative skills are yet to be fully exploited. In English Language Teaching (ELT), for instance, incorporating arts has proved to be a valuable creative tool in improving learners’ Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Theodosakis (2009), for instance, shows that the art of filmmaking promotes most if not all 21st century skills, as per the guidelines of The Partnership for 21st Century Skills Organization. In relation to music, Mc Intire (2007) argues that the use of music not only enhances learning through emotional involvement, but also improves learners’ decoding, listening, thinking, expressive and memorization skills. The current workshop will make use of storyboarding, a filmmaking-based strategy, music production, and the digital camera to promote individual and group creative thinking development along the lines of Yamin, et al. (2017), Bahloul & Graham (2012), Bahloul (2014), Caldwell & Vaughan (2012), Fels & Belliveau (2008).