Sharing the thoughts of others on inspiring innovation, ingenuity, divergent thinking, and creative self-expression in the schools is my lifelong mission. I place this perspective at the top of the critical “big four list” for satisfying “the real purpose of education” – personal discovery, self-improvement, and developing the building blocks for success and happiness in life:
- Global understanding
Even though I am now retired, my “mind energizing” routine every morning is to take several moments to “surf the net,” looking for interesting articles on the subject of cultivating creativity in education. A typical online journey might include “waking up” with the following progression (but, this is NOT a fixed script, since this is all about becoming more self-aware and practicing the skills of inventiveness, personal initiative, and flexibility – openness to new and diverse perspectives).
- Visit https://curiosity.com/ and “sit a spell.” Read several mind-expanding articles.
- Connect with other professionals with Edutopia.com. Today I “found” several interesting sections to satisfy my thirst for discussions on infusing the arts in education:
- If you have not explored the National Creativity Network website, go to http://nationalcreativitynetwork.org/blog/.
- Randomly check out what’s happening in the arts’ scene on the World Wide Web:
- Arts Education Collaborative (new website coming) http://artsedcollaborative.org/
- Arts Education Partnership and their digital Arts Ed Digest http://www.aep-arts.org/resources-2/artsed-digest/
- Arts Journal http://www.artsjournal.com/
- The Kennedy Center ArtsEdge http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/standards.aspx
- NAfME Music in a Minuet (such as http://www.nafme.org/3-reasons-music-and-arts-education-is-a-shining-light/)
- National Art Education Association https://www.arteducators.org/
- National Endowment for the Arts https://www.arts.gov/artistic-fields/arts-education
- Troll for new ideas and sites with a general (and ever-changing Google search). Several results of “lessons in creativity” are shared below.
As a non-casual observer of most traditional instruction in the schools, I note that teachers are generally very well trained at facilitating in their classes the “left-brain” attributes of speech, language, writing, linear and sequential thinking, understanding of symbols, and logical progression. They focus more on the final product – not the process, laws and rules – not ambiguity, convergent (one-answer-only) thinking – not open-ended questioning, and summative – not formative assessments. Of course, mastery of reading comprehension, writing skills, vocabulary, and understanding of mathematical expressions are essential for a “good education,” but to make the learning authentic and personalized, the habits of creative self-expression, adaptability, self-direction, and intrinsic motivation are equal in importance. And, to the main point of my thesis, this “equality” should not be relegated to the high school students’ enrollment in an “optional” arts elective or two!
Throughout my research in nurturing one’s creative inner self and nourishing more of the “right brain” attributes (divergent and holistic thinking, spontaneity, intuition, artistic expression, etc.) into every day life, these five terms/concepts keep coming up:
- Daydreams or fantasies
To glean a new perspective for prioritizing “originality” in school and in life, let’s peruse a few online expert’s “lessons in creativity.” (The following just lists the lessons; you need take the time to read the authors’ entire articles to gain full understanding.)
9 Illuminating Lessons on Creativity
by Margarita Tarakovsky (World of Psychology) http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/04/14/9-illuminating-lessons-on-creativity/
- Creativity is about showing up.
- Creativity is about getting curious.
- Creativity is limitless.
- Focus on the process, not the product.
- Being creative does not mean being skilled.
- Forget perfection, and find the “magic threshold.”
- Creativity is full of surprises.
- Creativity is full of ups and downs.
- Everyone is creative.
18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently
- They daydream.
- They observe everything.
- They work the hours that work for them.
- They take time for solitude.
- They turn life’s obstacles around.
- They seek out new experiences.
- They “fail up.”
- They ask the big questions.
- They people-watch.
- They take risks.
- They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression.
- They follow their true passions.
- They get out of their own heads.
- They lose track of time.
- They surround themselves with beauty.
- They connect the dots.
- They constantly shake things up.
- They make time for mindfulness.
5 Lessons on Creativity from Former Disney Imagineer
by Jonha Revesencio (The Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonha-revesencio/creativity_b_5350605.html
- In order to be great, you need to get started.
- Focus on what you do best.
- Add value. Don’t just criticize.
- See things differently.
- Stay curious.
As soon as I posted these wonderful resources, several new ones popped up. Also, please look up the following:
- 16 Lessons on Creativity and Life from Dr. Seuss by Harish http://launchyourgenius.com/2013/07/08/16-lessons-on-creativity-and-life-from-dr-seuss-part-1/ and http://launchyourgenius.com/2013/07/11/16-lessons-on-creativity-and-life-from-dr-seuss-part-2/
- 4 Lessons in Creativity from John Cleese http://www.fastcocreate.com/1680999/4-lessons-in-creativity-from-john-cleese
- 4 Lessons in Creativity TEDTALK by Julie Burstein https://www.ted.com/talks/julie_burstein_4_lessons_in_creativity?language=en
These is just a gourmet sampling of what’s out there. You should venture out on your own expedition… there is a lot of material to review, at least on the rationale of creativity in education, if not the “how to” of bringing it into the classroom. That’s the next step… fodder for future articles. Happy hunting!
© 2016 Paul K. Fox
Other Blogs on Creativity in Education at This Site
- Creativity in education – Are we ready for a new paradigm shift?
- Creative teaching and teaching creativity – PART I – How creative are you?
- Creative teaching and teaching creativity – PART II – Definitions and rationale
- Creative teaching and teaching creativity – PART III – Creative techniques
- Arts advocacy
- 52 creative tips to “supercharge” the school musical
- Creativity in schools revisited
- More creativity resources
- If I were a school superintendent