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Creativity is an important subject in business management, economics, psychology, sociology and philosophy, fields that deal with creating and identifying new ideas. Each of these disciplines uses a discipline-specific language and theoretical framework. The entrepreneur applies these new ideas to innovation in products, services, organizations and markets.
Creativity is the fuel for innovation and new thinking. It is the raw ideas and the mess that turns into something new and different. In addition, creativity has a lot of different facets. It is not just about groups getting together. In fact, the creative process must include time for reflection and quiet—moments of rumination and time for ideas to be on our brains’ back-burners. The individual needs time alone to make creative ideas to grow.
What is Creativity?
Creativity has traditionally been defined as the ability to respond adaptively to the needs for new approaches and new products, or as the ability to bring something new and valuable into existence purposefully. The Modern concept of creativity emerged in the Renaissance and has expanded and changed in the last few decades. Postmodern scholars have problematized such basic concepts as originality, and “the author” or creative person. The rise in networked information technology, among other factors, has led to an increased awareness of collaborative and networked creative processes. In the sciences, the machine/clockwork view of the Universe was unable to account for creativity. Today creativity is increasingly viewed as a fundamental characteristic of existence. There is an emphasis on interactions and emergence rather than essentialism and an exclusive focus on the individual. A new emphasis on “everyday, everywhere, everyone” and “networked” creativity is shifting the focus from creativity as a phenomenon confined to the rare individual genius to one that also includes collaborative creativity in everyday life (1).
Should we use Creativity in Education?
Perhaps a nation’s technological development may lie in the ability to tailor the educational system toward acquiring and applying creativity knowledge. This may contribute to a sustainable economy and to survive in the competitive global market. We can ask to what extent this has come into practice in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). This education should in addition to the technological skills, train the students in competencies to create, design, repair and modify technological products.
How to Promote Creativity in Education?
The way we organize TVET can inhibit or promote creativity. An article from 2019 points out that for teachers who want to encourage creativity in their classrooms, understanding the circumstances that lead to its emergence in learning settings is key. One of these circumstances is finding spaces to build creativity through risk and failure (2). The article underlines that creativity happens through iterations of failure that lead toward ultimate success and learning. This approach also allows students to live with uncertainty in ways that support deep learning and teaches them to manage the kinds of ambiguity and complexity that abound in the real world.
Sir Ken Robinson, Professor at Warwick, UK, argues that a problem schools from around the world are facing today is that their curriculums are designed in a standardised manner in a similar way that factories have been set up since the Industrial Revolution — that is, schools are focusing on delivering a certain set of facts and values to a mass body of students irrespective of their individual needs. This makes little room for creativity and imagination (3).
Everyday creativity is about an ongoing willingness to be open to small or interesting changes and, gradually, these small changes add up to creative confidence. Indeed, research has shown that the most effective creative teachers cultivate a personal mindset of openness and seek opportunities to put their own spin on the curriculum. For instance, this technique may involve weaving in unique cross-curricular connections, finding real-world applications of ideas, and viewing all students as creative, articulate, and able to play with ideas. Classrooms can become spaces where teachers incrementally make small changes and foster creative practices through modelling, as well as allow a safe space for positive risk-taking and failure (2).
Environments that support creativity encourage creative dissent. They allow for vigorous exchanges of ideas, challenging assumptions, and discourage conformity. Creative individuals may not, and often do not, fully share the goals and interests of upper management. What sets them apart is that they are open to listening, and will take direction, if they know they are also being listened to and respected for their opinions. At the same time, in order to support creativity, it is also important to be able to allow ideas to emerge and not attack them and test them before they are fully formed. Creative ideas may initially seem bizarre or wrong-headed (1).
- Alfonso Montuori, Nature of Creativity, ResearchGate 2017
- Danah Henriksen, Edwin Creely & Michael Henderson; Failing in Creativity: The Problem of Policy and Practice in Australia and the United States, ResearchGate 2019
- Samir Salama, Gulf News, November 02, 2017
Lucubrate Magazine November 2019
The photo on the top of the article, Creative and analytical thinking concept, by peshkova