Friday, March 28, 2014

What makes you creative?

A friend of mine and super educator, Tracy Clark, recently shared this image with me:

And, I decided to share it with the staff I work with because creativity is the foundation of innovation. Without creativity, we don't have innovation and we don't have change. Our students need to be able to be creative in order to produce those changes we so desperately need. However, we are "educated out of creativity" from an early age. An art teacher friend of mine once told me that every one of us is an artist, but we are educated out of it. We are told our products aren't true art or that they are wrong or not "good." But, what is "good"? Isn't art and creativity a reflection of us and our thoughts? If so, is it wrong?

Interesting enough, when I had the staff pinpoint those creative moments, they were all either:
  • outside
  • being alone
  • in a clean, organized environment
  • at a time when there were not time pressures 
  • exercising
But, I thought about what my old classroom looked like and what the classrooms look like that I enter now - and very few meet all of these needs or, for that matter, any of those needs. Most ask students to think when they are confined and sitting in rows, surrounded by other students, with time pressures. Isn't that the purpose of modern technology - to free students and teachers from the confines of a classroom?

When we search for innovation in our students and in education, we must first foster the environments that produce creativity. What can we do to create these environments so students and teachers not only feel creative, but know their creativity is valued?

Thanks to Tracy Clark for the image and quote to spur this blog post.

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