What Does Creativity Require? #BCSLearns

In last week’s blog, I mentioned research suggesting that procrastination can be a “virtue for creativity.”  Procrastination, based on its very definition, has everything to do about how we use our time.  The 2-minute video below answers the question: What does creativity require? “Creativity Requires TIME.”  Additionally, Sir Ken Robinson suggests that there are 3 imperatives to teaching creativity in school:  economic, cultural and personal.  Check out his 3-minute video about why creativity is important along with his 7-minute video contending that, indeed, creativity can be taught.  According to Robinson, creativity, “the process of having original ideas that have value,” can be taught.  Creativity is a process (normally of trial and error), is about original thinking (not necessarily new thinking), and has value (perhaps like the Design Thinking Process – see image below) as Robinson suggests.  Creativity can be taught (see the Design Thinking Process below) and can be measured or assessed (check out Grant Wiggins’s Creativity Rubric).  Teaching creativity at BCS!  Let’s keep on giving it the time it deserves, as well as the time students deserve learning within the creative process.



12 thoughts on “What Does Creativity Require? #BCSLearns

    1. mm31bps Post author

      Johnson’s notion of the ah-ha moment taking lots of time fits with Weiner’s contention that genius grows slowly. Thanks for sharing the engaging animations!

    2. Amanda Husband

      I think BCS is a beacon for creativity. The ideas the students come up with are so amazing and the best part is it isn’t just an idea….it’s a belief that they can create. They know the process and they believe in it….and if and when they fail they are not afraid to go back, evaluate and try to make it even better.

  1. Cupcakeasaurus

    I really enjoyed this blog post. I like how the creativity diagram begins with empathy. This origin highlights the selflessness of creativity. The original things we make and create as humans are our gifts to the world. For these reasons, creativity and original thinking are the most important things we teach in school.

    Creativity can seem mysterious and magical but, as the diagram suggests, it can certainly be taught. First, consider your audience. Then, decide what they may want, need or enjoy. Spend some time coming up with as many ideas as you can. Evaluate these ideas. After that, develop an end product based on your best idea. Finally, test it out and make adjustments as needed. In my mind, the creativity diagram’s one flaw is that there are no arrows directing the creator back to previous steps in the process. Creativity is indeed recursive, so we need to be willing to start all over again at any point if this is what our objective calls for. If you are patient and willing to start over many times, then following this diagram will work—whether you are trying write a hit song or bake the perfect crème brûlée!

    I agree that creativity requires time, but I hesitate to support the view that procrastination can be a virtue for creativity. While the absence of a time limit can help ideas develop, strict deadlines can also foster creativity through the unique pressure they create. Too often time spent procrastinating in the pursuit of creativity is wasted on waiting for the perfect idea to strike, like a divine lightning bolt. If the time spent “procrastinating” is actually spent recursively following the steps in creativity diagram above, the results will be much better. As Jack London suggests in Getting Into Print, “Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.”

  2. iengageatbcs

    “There can be an intense egoism in following everybody else. People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular… and too lazy to think of anything better. Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. They want quick success and they are in such a haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves. And when madness is upon them they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity.”

    -Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

    This is a topic that I have long been attracted to demystifying. I do like to mix Kirby Ferguson’s, Sir Ken Robinson, Todd Henry cocktail of thought’s into this as well, where Kirby claimed that creativity is “applying ordinary tools of thought to modern materials” in Part 3 of his “Everything’s a Remix” series. It’s an interesting claim that struck a chord with me, being that I was once introduced to something referred to as “inspired borrowing” from a fellow guitar player. He would take passages from other peoples music and “remix” them, maybe by playing the notes out of order, backward, or a mix of all the above. Then he added his “spin”, and he had his inspiration for a new song…Todd Henry insisted that “Cover Bands Don’t Change the World” and that “Comfort is frequently the enemy of greatness.” This resonates well with the current state of education (dare I suggest, real education by educators and not this standardized mess being shoved into the system that is slowly stifling any creative efforts from occurring) as well as the need for all stakeholders to be avid learners, risk-takers (calculated of course), and purveyors of creativity.

    All of this falls under “play” for me, as also mentioned in an above video. I thought of Andrew Millers Edutopia article on this topic where he outlines the elements of play:
    Play = Anticipation + Surprise + Pleasure + Understanding + Strength + Poise

    He also offers a way to teach and assess creativity.

    As for my personal thoughts…I was once accused of self medicating with procrastination by my high school art teacher, as she concluded it allowed my mind to flourish under the stress of solving a problem in a diminished time capacity.

    Maybe that’s why this post is late.

  3. Pingback: “The Power of Introverts” #BCSLearns | Learn-Lead-Love

  4. Pingback: Who Are Original Thinkers? #BCSLearns | Learn-Lead-Love

  5. Pingback: Getting at Innovative Learning #BCSLearns | Learn-Lead-Love

  6. Pingback: Guess What Drives Creativity? #BCSLearns | Learn-Lead-Love

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s