Workshop on Creativity 28th August 2008. Contents Part One Conceptions of Creativity & Activity One (45 mins) Part Two Learning to be Creative & Activity Two (1.5 hours ) Conclusion & Further Research Topics. Part One Conceptions of Creativity.
Workshop on Creativity28th August 2008
ContentsPart OneConceptions of Creativity & Activity One (45 mins)Part TwoLearning to be Creative & Activity Two (1.5 hours )Conclusion & Further Research Topics
Part OneConceptions of Creativity
The field of ‘Creativity Research’ began in the late 19th century and gained considerable momentum in 1950s initiated by psychologist Dr. J.P. Guilford.Researchers, however, are still unable to completely agree on the definition of ‘creativity’.
Rationalism vs Romanticism“Rationalism (approx. 300 BC to 1700s) is the belief that creativity is generated by the conscious, deliberating, intelligent, rational mind;Romanticism (approx. 1700s to 1900s and post 1950s) is the belief that creativity bubbles up from an irrational unconscious, and that rational deliberation interferes with the creative process.”from Explaining Creativity, R. Keith Sawyer (2006).
“Romanticism was the birth of contemporary notions of creativity - the idea that the poet or artist has a privileged status as the epitome of the human spirit.”Engell (1981) extracted from Explaining Creativity, R. Keith Sawyer.
“The idea that an artist works alone is less than 200 years old…The idea that artists have a unique message to communicate …and create novel and original works that break with convention is only a few hundred years old.”from Explaining Creativity, R. Keith Sawyer.
Activity OneThe Characteristics and Traits of the Creative Person.
What to do:Write about eight to ten one-word or one-sentence responses to the following questions/statements:Creativity is…Who are creative?Where is creativity?The creative person is…
Creativity is… any act, idea or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one.from Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1996)
The Systems Model of Creativity Creativity can be observed only in the interrelations of the following systems:from Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1996)
Domain (eg design)
Field (eg graphic design)
Individual Person (eg graphic designer)
The Creative Person The creative person is someone whose thoughts or actions change a domain, or establish a new domain.He / She: Has enormous amount of knowledge in that field,Combines Ideas andHas good judgement of ideas.from Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1996)
Creativity Myths (from Explaining Creativity)Researchers have found that many of our beliefs about creativity are inaccurate or misleading.These myths are resilient and individuals sometimes live their lives in ways so as to fit into these myths.
Myth 1:Creativity comes from the unconscious.Fact:In both the sciences and the arts, the most creative innovators also tend to be the most productive.
Myth 2:Children are more creative than adults.Fact:This is a 19th-century-Romantic era belief that children are more ‘pure’ and closer to nature. Schools and society don’t squash creativity…they make it possible.
Myth 3:Creativity represents the ‘inner spirit’ of the individual.Fact:Explaining creativity as expression of individual is insufficient. We need to know a lot about culture, society and history in order to understand creative expressions.
Myth 4:Creativity is a form of therapeutic self-discovery and gaining self-knowledge.Fact:This is a new-age notion of creativity that creativity is the result of divine inspiration. Most creative activity is conscious, skillful, guided hard work, and is incredibly enjoyable for the creator.
Myth 5:Creativity is spontaneous inspiration.Fact:Research has shown us that formal training and conscious deliberation are essential to creativity.
Myth 6:Everyone is Creative.Fact:This is based on an ideology of democracy that everyone is equal. Creative works are critiqued and selected by experts and ‘gatekeepers’ in the fields…these processes are not oppressed to creativity, but rather are central part of all creative activities.
Myth 7:Creativity is the same thing as Originality.Fact:Novelty is not a shared value universally in all cultures. For many centuries and in many societies, in ability to imitate acknowledged masters was highly valued. “To explain creativity, we have to examine the balance of imitation and innovation, and the key role played by convention and tradition.”
Myth 8:Fine Art is more creative than Craft.Fact:Many of the contemporary fine art forms began as craft. The transformation of craft into fine art is a complex social process, not a result of individual talent alone.
The most important predictor of creative output is hard work, dedication, and intrinsic motivation.-p54. Explaning Creativity
Part TwoLearning to be Creative
A Traditional View of the Creative Process of the Individual
Contemporary views on Creativity1.Creativity emerges from complex social and organizational systems. Insight plays only a small part in creative works.2.Most culturally significant creativity is domain-specific. Creativity requires a person to become an extremely knowledgeable expert in his or her domain of activity.3.High levels of creative performance require a high level of commitment and dedication. The individual must find the task intrinsically motivating.4.Creativity research shows that creativity is hard work; creativity often emerges from a team, not a solitary individual.
Activity TwoVISUAL JAMMING - an exploration in collaborative creativity based on Jazz performances.
What to do:To create 18” x 18” improvised visual compositions in groups of 3 or 4. Assign a ‘leader’ in each team.The leaders shall determine the theme and begin and conclude the composition session. Team members are free to use any desired medium and should bear in mind the EPAD in their composition.There must be NO VERBAL OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION.Duration of the session: approx. 1 hour.
ConclusionWhat have we learnt and how should we encourage creativity in students?
Collaborate - establish network / group work.Work hard - be disciplined.Multitask - look for opportunities to be creative.Take time off - allow periods of incubation.Be intrinsically motivated - choose a domain and field that fit the individual’s personality and work style.
Thank you for your participation!