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Teaching Creativity?


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#41 trina

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:52 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


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

#42 oldlady

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:14 PM

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?
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#43 TJR

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:00 PM

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.

#44 OffCenter

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:34 PM

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
E pur si muove.

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

#45 oldlady

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:09 PM

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.
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#46 Benzine

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:33 PM


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.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#47 morah

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:25 PM

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.



#48 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 07:31 AM

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



#49 PresToo

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:27 AM

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.



#50 Benzine

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:30 AM

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?


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#51 Benzine

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:34 AM

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.

Funny you should say that, as I was thinking about it the other day.  We look at classes like Math, Science, and History, as being "set" in terms of knowledge.  But even most of those are changing, as we discover new information.  Math seems fairly immune to such changes, but Science and History are being constantly revised.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#52 PresToo

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:39 AM

Agreed, but at the higher levels. The base rules of Primary education are still the same.



#53 Benzine

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:39 AM

What's interesting, is that there is a big push in education now, for students to work on creative problem solving, in all content areas.  Luckily, for the arts, it's just a natural part of the courses.   Sadly, as we've discussed, students don't want to find a creative solution.  They want to get from point a. to point b., in the quickest way possible, and basically want you to hand them a map on how to get there.  I've noticed more students, even in art classes, who feel this way.  They come to hand something in, and I tell them it isn't finished, or won't work.  "Well what do I have to do?"  They do not like to determine themselves, what has to be fixed, or what will make the project more interesting. 


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#54 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:16 AM

 

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?

 

 

 

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.

The new format is a little awkward. Not sure about this.

Anyway, my last teaching gig at UTB was a very bad experience. As Benzine mentioned students feel entitled. It had been 7 years since I had been in a University classroom and things really had changed. In a lecture class (Art Appreciation with 100 students) laptops on the tables, texting , cheating with smart phones, rude behavior. I decided I wasn't doing that again.Ceramics lab had this stuff as well but not much the students can do with clay covered hands. Attitudes are a different thing. I did have some great students , but also had some real assholes.

Marcia



#55 Pres

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:10 AM

I've heard increasingly more of this sort of thing going on at colleges.  At my HS, before I retired, phones were not allowed in classrooms. these had to be kept in their lockers. If we saw a phone we were required to confiscate it.  The advent of social media/web based media and the prevelence of wifi and other functions make it increasingly difficult to remove distractions from the classroom.   Our district in the interest of security would restrict sites on out web, but knowledgeable students would use "tunnels" to by pass the restrictions. Maybe the creativity has turned to other things, and we are just dinosaurs of the past. I think that this wil integrate itself into society better, but the time of transition is too long. I get tired of over hearing conversations about so and so's face book post, who you are tweeting, whether or not your ex has posted your pictures on some illicit web site. Jeees folks when will they realize that once its out there, its forever.


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#56 TJR

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:11 AM

PRES,BENZINE,MARCIA;

oops, caps lock on, sorry. Pres, at my high school, we did not see the cel phone epidemic coming, and so we are constantly taking phones away. Our rival highschool has posted signs on the door forbidding cel phone use in classes. I was over there the other week, and saw cel phones all over the place.We now encourage students to bring lap tops. All students in grades 10,and 9 MUST have them. Great for research,but not for clay work.

2.On the question of effort.... we offer two grade 12 classes-40s,and40g. 40s is specialized. 40g is general art. The s's work on portfolios and there is much written work for entrance to university. The g class is basic art with five studio/media projects. I have many talented students taking the "easy" class, and many who have little ability taking the s class because they wnat to believe that they have talent. Difficult to tell a student that they just don't have it. I don't think I have ever done this, but I have thought it. You can't really stream students, but it would be nice to have ONE class of really top notch students.

Unfortunately, a lot of the really top students just don't want the work load expected of them. Very frustrating.

TJR.



#57 Benzine

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:28 AM

Yeah, technology has led to a whole other set of entitlement.  The students get upset, when they can't use their electronic devices at all times. 

I'll be honest, I've been a little lax on cracking down on the cellphones, in my class, as long as they weren't being a distraction.  I let my students use them to look up images, listen to music and use the timer function, when developing film.  I know there were students, who abused that privilege.  Next year, I will really go after the cell phones though.  We are going one to one with iPads, so all the things, I let them use their cellphones for, they can use those for. 

 

This talk of technology, ties nicely into our discussion of creativity.  As much as the pro-technology people, like to tout all the benefits, having access to technology, especially those that are web enabled, gives students an easy out in terms of creativity.  Why do a little research/ thinking, when Google exists?  Don't get me wrong, I like that studnts can look up source images and basic information, but such access can make other work far too easy for the students.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#58 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 11:01 AM

Rant:
Univ. level students don't think they have rules. I erased the rest of my rant. But I won't ever be going back to a classroom like that again.

However, research and inquisitive minds are really the way of learners. I love the internet and do a lot of research on it.My dear deceased friend, Dr. Louana Lackey, said "you can't be a teacher unless you have a classroom of learners"

Marcia

#59 OffCenter

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 11:27 AM

Rant:
Univ. level students don't think they have rules. I erased the rest of my rant. But I won't ever be going back to a classroom like that again.

However, research and inquisitive minds are really the way of learners. I love the internet and do a lot of research on it.My dear deceased friend, Dr. Louana Lackey, said "you can't be a teacher unless you have a classroom of learners"

Marcia

You've mentioned this before. Did univ student studio behavor really get that bad over the years in general or do you think it was just that particular school?

 

Jim


E pur si muove.

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

#60 Benzine

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 12:21 PM

Jim,

 

I can't speak for teaching at the University level, other than my time there, which wasn't that long ago (relatively).  But, as I do see the students, right before they start, I have noticed a change in the mentality, over the past several years.

They are more self-centered, which says a lot, when talking about teenager.  As I said already, they already have a sense of entitlement, which goes a long with that.  To complicate matters, there seems to be more of the "Helicopter Parents" that you hear about.  The parents do so much of the work, in regards to signing the student up for classes, checking the student's grades, and worst of all, doing the work for the student, that when the student goes on to college, they are incapable of adapting to the college format.  So the student struggles, and has to play catchu p, since their parent(s) didn't let them learn how to be a student themselves.  Or, there are the cases, where the parent continues "Hovering" throughout college.  I've even seen stories of such parents getting involved in the job interview process.  Guess what happens to those applications/ applicants?

There's nothing wrong, with want your child to succeed, but it needs to be on their own merits.

 

It's yet another way, how kids/ students are missing out on the opportunity to learn problem solving skills.  "It's easier to just give my child the answer".


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"




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