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Chris Campbell

Teaching Creativity?

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OffCenter    82

 

I am currently working on a table top version of cold fusion. I still have a few bugs to work out.

 

 

 

Great minds think alike. I've almost figured out how to enrich plutonium but my wife is going to kill me for ruining the Cuisinart.

 

Jim

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spring    8

Hmmmmm. This reminds me of an expressive drawing class i had in school. One of the students was the Aerospace Engineering teacher at the university and a personal friend to the drawing intsructor. Over the course of the semester i saw him really struggle with the various assignments we had. Now, let me tell you that this class was by far one of the best art classes I had ever taken. My teacher, who is the head of the pictorial department, is a wealth of knowledge, technique, and experience and I am greatful for what I learned in this class. Unfortunately, all the interesting, challenging assignments in the world couldnt get him to think outside the box. He just couldnt let go and let the creativity take over and it showed. Long story short. Nope, you can't teach creativity. I used to think you could but after that class, I really saw how it is something you either have or you don't. Some people are really good at numbers, or learning languages and others are creative.

 

 

There is a certain amount of change that can be done in brain dominance though. I remember when I first started teaching I took a brain dominance test that showed my brain worked in the left of center. This meant that I was slightly left brain dominant and an analytical thinker. Several years later I took a similar test, and it showed me off the scale to the right. I don't know how much credence to put in these tests being and educator, but interesting fun anyway.

 

 

 

I'm not suggesting that the brain/mind is static, not by any means but there are somethings, like creativity, that we are naturally born with. For those that aren't, I think it takes time and effort to cultivate. Is it possible to be learned, yeah sure, anythings possible. But i should have mentioned I was reffereing to artistic creativity.

 

Creativity is also a relative term. I got this off dictionary.com

 

Creativity: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination

 

I think along with the question "Can creativity be taught?" there is also the question "What is creativity".

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Pres    896

Hmmmmm. This reminds me of an expressive drawing class i had in school. One of the students was the Aerospace Engineering teacher at the university and a personal friend to the drawing intsructor. Over the course of the semester i saw him really struggle with the various assignments we had. Now, let me tell you that this class was by far one of the best art classes I had ever taken. My teacher, who is the head of the pictorial department, is a wealth of knowledge, technique, and experience and I am greatful for what I learned in this class. Unfortunately, all the interesting, challenging assignments in the world couldnt get him to think outside the box. He just couldnt let go and let the creativity take over and it showed. Long story short. Nope, you can't teach creativity. I used to think you could but after that class, I really saw how it is something you either have or you don't. Some people are really good at numbers, or learning languages and others are creative.

 

 

There is a certain amount of change that can be done in brain dominance though. I remember when I first started teaching I took a brain dominance test that showed my brain worked in the left of center. This meant that I was slightly left brain dominant and an analytical thinker. Several years later I took a similar test, and it showed me off the scale to the right. I don't know how much credence to put in these tests being and educator, but interesting fun anyway.

 

 

 

I'm not suggesting that the brain/mind is static, not by any means but there are somethings, like creativity, that we are naturally born with. For those that aren't, I think it takes time and effort to cultivate. Is it possible to be learned, yeah sure, anythings possible. But i should have mentioned I was reffereing to artistic creativity.

 

Creativity is also a relative term. I got this off dictionary.com

 

Creativity: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination

 

I think along with the question "Can creativity be taught?" there is also the question "What is creativity".

 

 

I agree that there is that uncertainty as to what we talk about when we say "He/She is really creative". Truth for me is that I know I am not creative, but through happy accidents, serendipity, lots of mistakes, and a few successes I end up with something I can like.

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OffCenter    82

 

I think along with the question "Can creativity be taught?" there is also the question "What is creativity".

 

Yes. That is the reason this thread leans a little too much toward the nonsensical.

 

Jim

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Claypple    29

Many of you are talking of creativity in arts. Spring even said: "Some people are really good at numbers, or learning languages and others are creative."

I'd rather agree with Offcenter that the creativity is intelligence.

Everybody is creative in something, but more or less creative in art. We HAVE to be creative when we memories something is school, otherwise how do you keep all the information in your memory? We HAVE to be creative when we have a sad moment in live, otherwise how can we forget about it?

Creativity in art is a different issue. I agree, either you have it, or you don't. BUT! It can be hidden, too! The teachers should try to discover it in everybody.

I, e.g. never even suspected that I'd be so creative as I am now with the ceramics. (and I started doing it just 5-6 months ago). I remember my very first class at the art museum when I touched the clay for the very first time in my life. I had so many ideas in my mind right away, it was overwhelming.

And there was a young woman, who came to the class to improve her skills. All she was doing, was asking people around her: What do you think I should make? What color do you think I should use for the glaze? That really sounded strange for me. I think she was taking the class for the therapeutical purposes, not because she was full of ideas. Could anybody teach her creativity? Probably not. Could anybody discover a creativity in her? Who knows. Maybe under the right circumstances, at the right time... On the other hand, giving her several option about the shapes and colors could plant a seed in her mind for further creativity!

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TJR    359

The reason that sometimes the blog goes sideways is that I am trying to bring a bit of humour to the discussion. I feel that I have something to contribute and I also feel that I am a creative person. There are people that are difficult to teach creativity to, as they look at the world through beige lenses. Creativity is defined as making connections, or jumps, where before this was not thought of. Sometimes it takes years and years to create and follow through on an idea. Like the man who invented the television using a hat box and a strobe light-go figure.

I really enjoy this blog and the contributors to it.

TJRohmy.gif

I am also trying to use all the emoticons I can.

T.

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trina    20

""Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things." Ray Bradbury"

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futurebird    1

Thanks, Jim, but I gotta tell you - I copied that from Pres- the mugs on his blog are posted above my wheel.....

 

And I don't really underestimate my abilities. But I don't come up with 'new' ideas, which is how I define creativity. Maybe my definition is faulty!

 

Alice

 

 

Copying is what creative people do. Nothing is really original. It's knowing what is worth copying and what is worth ignoring that matters!

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OffCenter    82

 

 

Copying is what creative people do. Nothing is really original. It's knowing what is worth copying and what is worth ignoring that matters!

 

 

Oversimplified. Artist are inspired by other artists' work and sometime copy but only to change it and make it their own. We may all stand on the shoulders of those who came before but every piece differs in degree of originally with some being very original. You don't have to want to copy something to appreciate it.

 

Jim

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Chris Campbell    1,088

""Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy.

 

 

I know of a researcher who was rushing to locate isolated potters in remote countries to learn from un-self-conscious makers before they discovered the world ... but that quest in itself rushed the process since someone from outside was now watching them. Once this happens, can you put the genie back in the bottle? Can the potter go back to not thinking about what he/she is doing?

 

>You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things." Ray Bradbury"

 

Now this part I agree with 100%.

As Yoda says "No,try not. Do or do not. There is no try."

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trina    20

""Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy.

 

 

I know of a researcher who was rushing to locate isolated potters in remote countries to learn from un-self-conscious makers before they discovered the world ... but that quest in itself rushed the process since someone from outside was now watching them. Once this happens, can you put the genie back in the bottle? Can the potter go back to not thinking about what he/she is doing?

 

>You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things." Ray Bradbury"

 

Now this part I agree with 100%.

As Yoda says "No,try not. Do or do not. There is no try."

 

 

Maybe the not thinking refers to what I experienced today in the studio. I am sculpting an octopus and I was getting really hung up on the tentacles. I think I was overthinking them. Finally in flustration I just grabbed some clay and started whacking it on and just "working" I can't explain it any other way but everything just came together. Or maybe my muse just finished her coffee break :) T

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Pres    896

""Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy.

 

 

I know of a researcher who was rushing to locate isolated potters in remote countries to learn from un-self-conscious makers before they discovered the world ... but that quest in itself rushed the process since someone from outside was now watching them. Once this happens, can you put the genie back in the bottle? Can the potter go back to not thinking about what he/she is doing?

 

>You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things." Ray Bradbury"

 

Now this part I agree with 100%.

As Yoda says "No,try not. Do or do not. There is no try."

 

 

Maybe the not thinking refers to what I experienced today in the studio. I am sculpting an octopus and I was getting really hung up on the tentacles. I think I was overthinking them. Finally in flustration I just grabbed some clay and started whacking it on and just "working" I can't explain it any other way but everything just came together. Or maybe my muse just finished her coffee break smile.gif T

 

 

Some people call it the zone that place where time, and other things don't matter, where the work becomes play and the child take over. Good place to be.

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chinujhon    0

I too believe that creativity cannot be taught. It's a combination of confidence, curiosity, and vision ... all three of those things cannot be taught.

 

I have learned not to to label students too fast. Sometimes the most creative minds are the ones you least expected. And vice versa.

 

When teaching pottery, there is so much technical ground to cover. Whether a student has their own creative ideas or not, there's still plenty for everyone to chew on.

 

Mea

 

I agree with you.. Creativity is a god gift. We can't teach it...

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OffCenter    82

I agree with you.. Creativity is a god gift. We can't teach it...

 

 

 

Oh god! Please don't introduce that superstitious nonsense into this thread.

 

Jim

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trina    20

I agree with you.. Creativity is a god gift. We can't teach it...

 

 

 

Oh god! Please don't introduce that superstitious nonsense into this thread.

 

Jim

 

 

I was all screwed up on drugs and now I'm all screwed up on the lord.... or was it the other way around... har har... T

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oldlady    1,323

having just read all of these posts, i notice little mention of imagination.

 

isn't imagination necessary to creativity? imaginations can be developed from early childhood. teaching to explore imagination can be done.

is today's child allowed time to develop an imagination? will that affect creativity tomorrow?

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TJR    359

oldlady;

One of the difficulties in school with the term "imagination" is that inexperienced teachers, or teachers untrained in the teaching of art, say, "Oh.just use your imagination."

Yes, children and adults have imagination, but there has to be a structure in place for them to use it. If you were to say to an elementary student-Draw an elephant, You would have to provide them with visual resources of elephants. If they had never seen one, you wouldn't get anything that looked like and elephant. I did some great pig portraits with kindergarten students. I showed them pictures of pigs. I painted a pig first. I had pots of pig coloured paint, and perriwinkle blue for the background. The paper was 24 by 36 inches. The brushes were one inch wide. All the pigs were different. The skill level was varied. I framed them all and put them up in the hall. The students now know what a pig looks like.

I very rarely say;"Use your imagination."

TJR.

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OffCenter    82

oldlady;

One of the difficulties in school with the term "imagination" is that inexperienced teachers, or teachers untrained in the teaching of art, say, "Oh.just use your imagination."

Yes, children and adults have imagination, but there has to be a structure in place for them to use it. If you were to say to an elementary student-Draw an elephant, You would have to provide them with visual resources of elephants. If they had never seen one, you wouldn't get anything that looked like and elephant. I did some great pig portraits with kindergarten students. I showed them pictures of pigs. I painted a pig first. I had pots of pig coloured paint, and perriwinkle blue for the background. The paper was 24 by 36 inches. The brushes were one inch wide. All the pigs were different. The skill level was varied. I framed them all and put them up in the hall. The students now know what a pig looks like.

I very rarely say;"Use your imagination."

TJR.

 

 

I wonder what they would have done had you not showed them a pig. I remember telling one of my nephews that the sky came down to the horizon and wasn't just a blue stripe across the top of the crayon drawing he had done. I took him outside and showed him how the blue comes down to meet the green treeline. He did another drawing and I realized I was wrong and he was right and I told him so.

 

Jim

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oldlady    1,323

thank you, TJR, for showing how someone can help a child DEVELOP imagination. what i was trying to say is that imaginations must be trained as well as any other trait.

 

it is true that if you hand one pound of clay to each of ten people and say "Make a bird", you will get 9 different things that are supposed to be birds and one horse. because the tenth person did not WANT to make a bird.

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Benzine    610

oldlady;

One of the difficulties in school with the term "imagination" is that inexperienced teachers, or teachers untrained in the teaching of art, say, "Oh.just use your imagination."

Yes, children and adults have imagination, but there has to be a structure in place for them to use it. If you were to say to an elementary student-Draw an elephant, You would have to provide them with visual resources of elephants. If they had never seen one, you wouldn't get anything that looked like and elephant. I did some great pig portraits with kindergarten students. I showed them pictures of pigs. I painted a pig first. I had pots of pig coloured paint, and perriwinkle blue for the background. The paper was 24 by 36 inches. The brushes were one inch wide. All the pigs were different. The skill level was varied. I framed them all and put them up in the hall. The students now know what a pig looks like.

I very rarely say;"Use your imagination."

TJR.

 

 

I wonder what they would have done had you not showed them a pig. I remember telling one of my nephews that the sky came down to the horizon and wasn't just a blue stripe across the top of the crayon drawing he had done. I took him outside and showed him how the blue comes down to meet the green treeline. He did another drawing and I realized I was wrong and he was right and I told him so.

 

Jim

 

 

Children have a unique perspective on things. Many time, when I've seen children create landscape drawings, they'll leave a blank strip between the sky and ground. They do this, because they know the sky and ground, never really touch. At the same time, I always have my high school students, use source PHOTOGRAPHS, for most projects. They always think they "Know" what something looks like, until they go to draw/ paint/ sculpt it.

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morah    3

As a teacher of elementary age children for more than 20 years, I can unequivocally state that I have never met a young child who couldn't express creativity in some fashion given the proper environment and tools. Some children express themselves through various art mediums, some through music, or dance, or creative writing or story telling. Others are creative thinkers, players, or problem solvers. If the children are given the proper tools, taught the basic skills required, and given a lot of time and space and encouragement, they will exhibit wonderful creativity. On the other hand, if they are told in a very rigid fashion what they need to do and/ or shown one specific sample of what the end product must look like, or if they feel that they will be judged (graded) in a narrow fashion,  or if they are rushed, many children will simply shut down that part of their brain and try to comply to adult expectations. Other then the few children who are so extreme that their creativity can't be quashed, many of these children will turn into the adults we all know who claim that they can't be creative.And that is a real shame.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Thinking more on this, I think teaching creativity is getting the student to not be afraid; to open up and experiment; take a leap; failure is ok. 

In clay, mistakes are cheap, not a life and death situation. Maybe that's what makes clay so much fun.

 

Marcia

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PresToo    3

I think this is one of the reasons why Arts education is importatnt at an early age.  We teach our children with right and wrong when it comes to answers. Simple math is finite, one answer. Memory of dates etc only one answer. Laws of Physics, bio, earth sciences-mostly one answer. The children come to learn not to fail, but to geve the answer. In the Arts, there are no real right or wrongs. Analyzing a poem, many answers, writing a story the same. In the visual arts, there are rules-1/3-2/3 etc, but in the end it is about beating, breaking and rediscovering the rules. Students often reach HS without the opportunity to understand this concept, and it needs to be taught to them, but often it is too late.

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Benzine    610

Thinking more on this, I think teaching creativity is getting the student to not be afraid; to open up and experiment; take a leap; failure is ok. 

In clay, mistakes are cheap, not a life and death situation. Maybe that's what makes clay so much fun.

 

Marcia

That's a tough thing, to get the students to do, especially these days.  Students are becoming more entitled, it seems, and expect near perfect grades for everything they do.  I blame parental expectations/ pressure for much of this.  They don't want to take risks, because that could give them a "bad" grade.  And obviously a college/ future employer will notice that little blip on their grades, where they didn't get a perfect score on an art project right?

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