Allow Creativity to Come into Your World. Defining Creativity. We may not be able to measure creativity, but we sort of know it when we see it, and it ought to be increased. INBALANCE IN EDUCATION.
We may not be able to measure creativity, but we sort of know it when we see it, and it ought to be increased.
Despite the current lip service paid to integrating the curriculum, truly interdisciplinary courses are rare, and transdisciplinary curricula that span the breadth of human knowledge are almost unknown.
By half-understanding the nature of thinking, teachers only half-understand how to teach and students only half-understand how to learn.
If society cannot find ways to make integrated understanding accessible to large numbers of people,.
Imagination is the heart of learning.
Brain physiology, chemistry and anatomy are far more plastic than previously assumed.
The ability to transcend context is the essence of mindfulness, and central to creativity in any field.
Productive thought occurs when internal imagination and external experience coincide.
Breakthrough thinking or the “aha phenomenon” is characterized by interhemispheric synchronicity—the electrical activities on both sides of the brain show similar wave patterns.
TheFour Main Characteristics of Divergent Thinking by P.J.Guilford:
Fluency –producing a large number of solutions
Flexibility– considering a variety of approaches simultaneously
Originality – producing ideas that others have not thought of
Elaboration – thinking through details and execution
Dee Coulter: “It is a mental chemistry that takes place in the child, producing a chemical transformation. These impressions not only penetrate the mind of the child, but they form it.”
Gottfried Schlaug determined through MRI scans that intense exposure to music actually expands brain mass. Musicians he studied who had perfect pitch also had an unusually large planum temporale in the left hemisphere of the brain. He also found that the musicians also had a larger mass of nerve fibers connecting the brain’s two hemispheres. A person’s creativity and analytical skills depend greatly on the ability to think with both hemispheres of the brain, yet many of us lack this agility.
Our educational system is the embodiment of our cognitive and creative understanding of ourselves. If we fail to understand creative thinking, we cannot hope to have an educational system that will produce creative individuals.
Feeling as thinking must therefore become
part of the educational curriculum
Creativity needs to be expanded and taught even more consciously.
Thomas Blakeslee (The Right Brain 1980): “Man’s highest achievements are a result of using the full power of both sides of his brain.
“Through the development of creativity, a person comes to be a flexible, intentional inventor of his or her personal future and a potential contributor to his or her cultural endowment.” (Moran and John-Steiner 2000 )
It never occurred to us (as grad students) …to formulate a math or physics problem as a set of images and feelings stewed in our minds to plot a book or a poem as a series of images and emotions, brewed in our bellies. No one ever mentioned that the stage of inventing and idea or solving a problem might be distinct from the stage of translating it into a disciplinary language.
Some scholars believe that not only creative potential but other personality traits are key to creative productivity . (Edison)
My hypothesis that stated the children at Athens Montessori School as an aggregate would score higher than a mean of 50 (approximately equal to a score of 100) as a function of their interdisciplinary training was born out both in the average of the individual categories and particularly in the average of the composite scores, creative indices, and the national percentiles.
My hypothesis that the scores on creativity would not decline in the older group of students was also born out by the data showing a rise in standard scores, creative indices and national percentiles among the older group. Although another explanation might be the socioeconomic or family educational levels accounted for this difference, it should be noted that in the composite scores and percentiles the students exceeded the mean by very significant degrees.
Like play does for children, creativity creates a lifelong zone of proximal development for adults to continually learn from and contribute to their culture. (Vygotsky)
Mel Levine (One Mind at a Time 2002):” I think in planning any child’s education we should seek one or more suggested routes toward creative fulfillment and recognition. Once launched on a creative pathway, students need to build rigorous technical skills within chosen media or domain so that they can keep growing as disciplined creators.”
The creative process should be taught to and accessible to all students.
Creativity education is the key to the reform of industrial model education and to adaptation to the fast paced, information age.
The question should not be “How smart are our students?” but rather ; “How are our students smart (taking into account the multiple intelligences and the creative realms)?”.
The affective domain; “To think creatively is first to feel. The desire to understand must be whipped together with sensual and emotional feelings and blended with intellect to yield imaginative insight.”
As a school Director, I was gratified to see that in the standard total score measures and the national percentiles for the Final Creative Index Scores for the entire sample, so many students displayed overall creative strength. Although this is a socio-economically select group,, I believe the interdisciplinary Montessori education is responsible for some portion of the very high and consistently strong scores.
Our sample showed particular strengths in elaboration and in creative strengths. I believe an enriched, interdisciplinary curriculum nurtures these strengths. (see graphs)
Henri Poincare (the great mathematician) ;”It is by logic that we prove, but by intuition that we discover.”
Max Planck (great scientist); “The scientist needs an artistically creative imagination”.
Einstein said: “Only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding, can lead to insight. The daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.”
For at the level of the creative process, scientists, artists and mathematicians, composers, writers, and sculptors, use a common set of what we call “tools for thinking” including emotional feelings, visual images, bodily sensations, reproducible patterns, and analogies.
The common set of thinking tools at the heart of creative understanding include: observing, imaging, abstracting, recognizing patterns, forming patterns, analogizing, body thinking, empathizing, dimensional thinking, modeling, playing, transforming and synthesizing.
Taxonomy of Innovation
Problem Solution – solve a particular problem
Evolutionary Idea – improve on an existing idea
Symbiotic Idea – combine two or more existing ideas
Revolutionary Idea – create a new perspective
Serendipitous Discovery – unintended result
Targeted Innovation – research and development for economic gain
Artistic Innovation – express an impulse
Philosophic Idea – create a new framework for ideas
By: June Pacheco
Montessori graduate student