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Teaching Creativity?


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#21 Pres

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:53 PM

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.

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#22 Benzine

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:48 PM


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've seen a lot of studies saying that the whole "Left Brain/ Right Brain" thing, isn't as black and white, as once thought. There are numerous stories of people, receiving injuries to the right or left side, but not losing any capacity, in the areas, the respective side, is said to be responsible for. One of the most extreme examples, is where a child, who was gifted in math, had a condition, that led to extensive damage to the left side of his brain. The did a lobectomy, and removed most, if not all, of the left side of his brain. Afterwards, he was still just as capable in math. The only issue, was a slight weakness in the right side of his body. The human body is an amazing thing.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#23 Natania

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:16 PM

I think that if you catch people relatively early you can change or foster habits of thinking and tesch people how to use their imaginations. By the way, I am literate, but lazy and my iPad keyboard will make a ton of typos here that I don't want to go back and fix, so please excuse. Where do artists and creative people get ideas? Is it rally out of thin air? I don't think so. They look around, the notice details, they look at others' art and the art of past cultures and people. So I teach my students to record things like this in sketchbooks. They all choose themes to make art about, and they conduct a ton of visual research and also use primary sources like taking their own pics (so easy with phones now) if anything to do with their themes. His helps thm notice details. I find that the ones who are motivated, and not those who are most creative, seem to make the most progress. I try to teach them how to find inspiration and to recognize it when it happens. There is plenty of variation in how they all do with this, so I don't exactly know if I am teachin creativity or not,but many seem to make progress. Teaching ways to us the imaginations they have is what I hope I am doing!

#24 Pres

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:34 AM

I think that if you catch people relatively early you can change or foster habits of thinking and tesch people how to use their imaginations. By the way, I am literate, but lazy and my iPad keyboard will make a ton of typos here that I don't want to go back and fix, so please excuse. Where do artists and creative people get ideas? Is it rally out of thin air? I don't think so. They look around, the notice details, they look at others' art and the art of past cultures and people. So I teach my students to record things like this in sketchbooks. They all choose themes to make art about, and they conduct a ton of visual research and also use primary sources like taking their own pics (so easy with phones now) if anything to do with their themes. His helps thm notice details. I find that the ones who are motivated, and not those who are most creative, seem to make the most progress. I try to teach them how to find inspiration and to recognize it when it happens. There is plenty of variation in how they all do with this, so I don't exactly know if I am teachin creativity or not,but many seem to make progress. Teaching ways to us the imaginations they have is what I hope I am doing!


Much of what you say here seems to confirm my earlier post in this strand. Good teaching will help students to look around, view cultures, history and nature a little differently. I think this helps to foster what we call creativity. I think that your sketchbook reference shows that you are doing things well for your students-keep up the good work.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#25 TJR

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:22 AM

I think that there is a linear path to creativity - not exactly a straight line, but ideas are based on what has come before. Some times there is a eureka moment when the inventor sees an application for something he is working on. The man who invented the Etch-a-Sketch, saw that aluminum powder would retain an image when static electricity was put through an acrylic plate. He was working on a light fixture at the time. Silly Putty was invented while scientists were trying to develop synthetic rubber during the second world war. The 3M company invented sticky notes when they realized that the rubber cement they were working with would not dry.
Creativity is very valuable in industry. You have to be able to see the possibilities of an idea, and not be narrow in your goal.
I do not know if creativity can be taught, but you can teach a search method-the sketch book, the portfolio.
I am currently working on a table top version of cold fusion. I still have a few bugs to work out.
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#26 OffCenter

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:06 AM

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
E pur si muove.

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#27 spring

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:12 AM


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".

#28 Pres

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:44 PM



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.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#29 OffCenter

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 02:16 PM

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
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#30 Claypple

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:52 AM

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!





#31 TJR

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:49 PM

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.
TJRPosted Image
I am also trying to use all the emoticons I can.
T.

#32 bciskepottery

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:18 AM

"Raku as a metaphor for creativity" . . . worth a few minutes of our time. http://www.ted.com/t...paign=ios-share

#33 trina

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:41 AM

""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"

#34 futurebird

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 10:35 AM

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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#35 OffCenter

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 10:54 AM


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
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#36 Chris Campbell

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:46 AM

""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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#37 trina

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 02:01 PM


""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

#38 Pres

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:35 PM



""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 Posted Image 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.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#39 chinujhon

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:59 AM

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...

#40 OffCenter

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:27 AM

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
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.




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