Quantum Creativity: Think Quantum, Be Creative
"I feel the main cause for concern is that students, more and more, are not being taught in stimulating environments. I feel both educational and domestic environments are paramount in stimulating creativity, and are the cause for lack of creative expression in students."We asked Barrett whether he thinks technology is also a cause for concern.
Quantum Creativity: Think Quantum, Be Creative
Creativity is paramount to anything the current education systems in the United States and England, among others, have developed. The focus in these places is on results. If a certain percentage of students do not achieve a set grade, the learning institution is failing. How can such a shallow focus and measure prepare students for anything but taking tests? How often in a job does a boss ask his employees, tell me all you know about the League of Nations? I am reminded of a cartoon I recently found. In the picture there is a job interview for a business job with a recent college graduate. The interviewer asks, "What life skills do you have that will help with this job?" The student responds, "Tests...I can pass tests." I think this epitomizes the current climate and culture that over emphasizes the importance of said tests. I understand the need to have assessments but it is essential for the future of societies that people are able to be creative in ways that appropriately prepare them for life, being taught and assessed on creative skills then we would see a different kind of world. With regards to the barriers I have encountered with creative teaching there are two key issues. First and foremost students are simply spoon fed in other classes so when they arrive in my class and have to think for themselves they find it a struggle and resist and withdraw. I takes a few weeks before they get used to it and deal with the frustration they feel about how I answer questions with questions. I try to help them appreciate the uneasiness they feel and embrace it. I know I am not the only teacher who finds creativity essential, but the majority of teachers in my school usually refer to the second key barrier to creative education: exams.
"I think creativity has been undervalued with regards to a majority of professions and jobs. People sometimes are creative and have no awareness of how or why they are creative. All academia is focused on is about grades and statistics that tell everyone you are smart."
"If I were a K-12 teacher I would speak about teaching to the test and how students grow up, say, wanting to be a doctor and thinking creativity has no place in that. You study to pass the MCAT, and when you are put on the spot and asked to be creative, you don't like it. It's only once we are in the real world that we see creativity as something to be valued. It's not so much that creativity has been undervalued in the past but that it is undervalued in our past."We then asked Croxall what sorts of strategies he uses to promote creative thinking in his own classroom.
One thing that gets left behind, once the measuring begins, is creativity. "I do not think creativity is measurable," Wible says. "Being creative is not something that should be forced out of students. While I have told students in the past to be creative, what I mean is they should strive to go a different direction than what they would normally do. For example, if I asked students to draw a bear in the woods, while a bear and woods would be correct, it isn't creative. Students adding clothes, a cabin in the background, or a U.F.O are being creative."
Should Andrea get an 'A' because she added Goldilocks, while John gets a 'B' for only drawing what I asked? Also, what I think is creative another teacher may criticize. I think Goldilocks was a great addition, but Mrs. Smith might be annoyed because she only asked for a bear in the woods." Students in high stress personal situations need extra help to promote their creativity when learning, Wible says. "A teacher needs to realize that although Susie is the same age as her peers, she is not developmentally at the same level as her peers, and I will need to adjust the activity adjust for her. Susie is going to need to learn social and emotional cues, if she hasn't had them at home, and will need to be taught to use her imagination. The teacher should be cognizant of
"Many learning institutions require a specific text series and will not allow teachers to stray from it at all," says Charity. "In my opinion, this definitely limits how creative students can be. But, as always, the best teachers find ways and time to sneak in creativity in everything they do. I think it can be done, but must be intentionally embedded within the lesson plans daily."
"Organization and creativity can live in one space. How creative can you be when you are organizing? Many teachers employ this very tactic when they are attempting to maximize student leaning space when the space they have to work in is very tiny or oddly shaped. Even very creative thinkers usually have some sort of organized system for getting those creative thoughts from their mind onto a tangible workspace. Creative problem solving is a skill we should hone. In order to function the best in society, thinking outside of the box, while also knowing the organized logistics and history of the problem at hand, will make for the best solution finders".There is a not-new but re-emerging theory that lecture and study time should be more responsive to moments when students may get a creative urge, but Charity believes there needs to be limits on this, for example, class time should be flexible, but only if the time allows for it.
While I am definitely known for taking advantage of "teachable moments" and encouraging learning about specific student interests that have been expressed in and throughout a lesson, there will also be certain times when creative thinking is not appropriate to have a full blown-out discussion over. Of course, encouraging students to write down those thoughts to have a discussion about at a later time is always a great idea, and one that should always be encouraged".
Charity believes it's just like any other skill. "Creativity can be encouraged and practiced. Having teachers and caregivers who cultivate creativity in a supportive way will help to strengthen it in students. Playing creative games, using lateral thinking, etcetera, is a perfect way to get learners thinking creatively, and discussing possible solutions for those types of games, word plays, and so on, is the key to getting students to begin to think creatively on their own."
"Creative thinkers are the key to finding new solutions to old problems. They will be the students who go on to cure cancer, figure out a way out of national debts, and hopefully ease the violence that seems to be so prevalent these days. By nurturing those creative problem-solving skills, we are encouraging our students to make the world a better place for us and for future generations. Hopefully we can start making the transition towards that emphasis in learning institutions as well."
Cheri has chosen to share her thoughts on education and creativity. It has been said that creative thoughts can arrive at less predictable times than logical thoughts. Does this teacher think that class time should be more responsive to moments when students may get a creative urge? Does this apply to adult learners too?
"Ha!" she says, "creativity would have meant getting students out of rows and into cooperative groups. The truth is, it's still a small part in looking at what can facilitate a creative classroom." In today's world, what does Cheri think the current definition of a 'creative' activity or class might be? Cheri says, 'technology' is a tool that keeps coming into focus for her students, whether they are adults or younger.
"I think it may be more natural for a child of creative parents to thrive and feel good about his or her pursuit of creativity but I have seen plenty of 'outliers', children who are creative without creative parents and if parents seek to understand, it can be wonderful. However, if parents do not understand, it can provide plenty of stress for the student. This is true as with a high-performing school or district can be a major stumbling block for those who don't fit in because their intellect is in the arts (for example) rather than in traditional studies of math and science."
Cheri believes that these innovators all had one thing in common. "The common denominator is that all these individuals (and even those not named) were creative thinkers who often thought outside the box."
Does this teacher consider herself to be a creative person? "Absolutely," says Cheri. What does she think the key to her creativity is? "Get to know your students. That's the bottom line," is Cheri's direct response.
I think of culture as sustainability, and I believe that it could very well be that we are the generation that will face the greatest challenges ever since our species came to life. How exciting it is to be one of us during this extraordinary time, and how difficult. But the creative exuberance which marks this collective transformation, combined with the unprecedented challenges of our time, has been shaping our culture in infinite ways for decades. Our generation is called to expand the consciousness, to make transcendent commitments to life, and to seek radically innovative solutions to face our challenges. And, above all, we are called to become us, in relation to our species and our life system. Us the Earth. 041b061a72