Thursday, July 30, 2009

Apropos Creativity

I was reading a transcript of Sir Ken Robinson's presentation about Creativity in schools. This has really got me thinking about creativity. The article is well-worth a read (hence the provision of the link) and there are a few points I'd like to mull over in this posting.

Point 1: Creativity is "schooled" out, not in
The idea of Creativity being constrained and under-valued in the educational system is not new. Perhaps this is a product of the Industrial Age - streamline, keep things the same, avoid risks. There is a sobering truth in that for a vast majority, the amount of creative spirit is diminished throughout the schooling years. I was one. The irony is that creativity is valued post-school. The onus is on the individual to pick up the pieces and make up for lost time. I've been working on this and trying to give myself more opportunities to exercise creativity at work and at home.

Point 2: Creativity means taking risks
When most of your professional life is geared around risk management (prevention and mitigation), it becomes clear how creativity is stifled. It is sad that after creativity is constrained in school, it is further constrained in the workplace. I am glad some do take risks to give us many innovations (conceptual and real) that we enjoy now.

Point 3: Creativity as a process of having original ideas that have value
I remember a previous colleague who said very few things are really original. The idea of 'value' is also arguably personal. Nevertheless, it is a handy definition because if you have created something which is valuable - even if only you think so - then it is not a waste. I particularly like the notion of 'process', harking back from my Process Management days. Processes lead to products. Processes can be honed and improved. Processes can be repeated. Processes can be shared and taught. Need I say more?

1 comment:

  1. I think Sir Ken is right. I think we need to value all the areas of human ability equally. We need to be careful not to fall for the "HSC/NAPLAN/WHATEVER.. is the be all and end all" type of attitude (think MySchool). There is a place for assessment in a variety of ways depending on what you want to measure. As a Maths teacher how do we get kids to have a good understanding of the concept so they can use their imagination to find solutions to related problems? And can technology help us do that? Maybe, if, we can get the kids engaged in the content and working together. I'm still in the process of getting it together in my own head!