Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are You Growing Creativity?

I was pleasantly surprised to open the May issue of Learning and Leading and find an article about creativity, which is one of my favorite things to read about! I eventually found this article online, but in my magazine copy of the article, I underlined, circled, and drew stars by so many ideas. I even folded down corners of pages and took notes in the margin of the article! (Steven W. Anderson and I discuss my copy of the article compared to his in episode 17 of our weekly podcast.)

"Grow Creativity!" focuses on ways creativity can be developed and encouraged through fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. This article written by Candace Hackett Shively had me hooked from the beginning:
The world needs creative thinkers, scientists, engineers, leaders, and contributing workers. yet research repeatedly shows creativity is schooled out of us. A shared vocabulary and lens for creativity helps teachers and students know what it means to "be creative" and where to start.

This article goes on to share ways creativity can be incorporated across curriculum areas and grade levels. Specific suggestions are offered for ways teachers can build fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration in math, science, social studies, reading, language arts, and visual arts/music. Certain technology tools and websites are suggested for each area as well.

This article makes several points which I did not realize but make perfect sense:
  • "Brainstorming builds fluency"
  • "Flexibility is the ability to look at a question or topic from a different angle."
  • "Originality requires the greatest risk taking and is the crux of innovation"
  • "Originality is often disruptive in a school setting, but disruptive ideas often generate beneficial changes in the wider world."
  • "Without elaboration, others would not see the full potential of a creative inspiration."
I just found lots of great information in this article to think about. Even beyond the ideas to think about, specific ideas and technology tools that can be used for each of these area are mentioned in the article. There is a table toward the end of the article that lists websites and then categorizes them based on use for developing fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. I have heard of some of these sites before, but I look forward to exploring the ones I did not know about and finding new ways to use the other ones.

I see this article as one that both encourages thinking and is motivating for action!

image by Timothy K. Hamilton and found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/22017189@N00/56294560/

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