Creativity in the News
Creativity – “the production of something original and useful.”
Need more justification for the gut feeling that schools don’t nurture creativity? And that creativity is central to children’s future success, let alone society and oh, I don’t know, the future of the troubled world? Well, here’s the article to back us up, based on large, longitudinal studies:
And here’s one with specific techniques to improve creativity. Surprising that brainstorming, that old standard we use extensively in the TAP curriculum is NOT effective. We’ll have to think about how to re-structure. Perhaps more reliance on the ‘Think, Pair, Share’ to allow kids to come up with their own ideas first…
Pushing my district at several levels to at least discuss increasing creativity across the curriculum, not just in the arts. The district level curriculum committee, my department, talking with colleagues, parents, school board members. Staying pretty much ‘on message’. Just creativity. The rest will take care of itself.
Inquiry is subsumed under creativity, as is curiosity, wonder, delight and fun. Projects, flow and satisfying careers. And so are boring old exam results and factual recall. You can’t create in a vacuum and you remember what you need to know and what you care about. See the story in “The Creativity Crisis” above about The National Inventors Hall of Fame School, a new public middle school in Akron, Ohio. In it, kids were challenged to reduce the level of noise in the library – a useful project and one that would lead students into meeting state standards around sound, per-unit-cost calculations and persuasive writing. Huge improvement in test scores.
Reducing energy needs is a very popular PBL topic too. Each school will have different problems. Surveying those is half the fun. And because the problems have to be addressed in real life, the problems students solve have to change every year or two, requiring flexibility and extra work for the teacher. But flexibility is part of creativity, it will force us to be more creative, and what we model, kids will get too.