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Harnessing Creativity

I can't count the many times I've seen evidence of inherent creativity in our studios. Creations left by Learners in obvious or obscure places. What seemingly appears to be useless materials transformed into something beautiful and magical. We have a new rug that has been shedding since day one. One morning, I see a small tree made of carpet shedding- evidence of unsurpassed imagination and creativity that no test or assessment can ever begin to measure. These small and unexpected signs are such a gift!

Creativity —the process of having original ideas that have value. The late Sir Ken Robinson and his highly famous TED Talk on Schools Kill Creativity, stated that creativity is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status. All children are born artists. The problem is that they don’t grow into creativity, rather they get educated out of it. As children grow up, we eliminate their need for movement, expect them to sit still, and we start to educate them progressively from the waist up with a focus on their heads. And slightly to one side.

If we really took the time to observe very young children, we would undoubtedly see unparalleled imaginative capacity even with what most people would consider trash; some loose or recycled parts, a carton or strips of paper or felt and they make it into something that's a feast to the eyes and play with it for hours or days with delight.

The gift of imagination and creativity that children are born with must be nourished, cultivated and used wisely.

"And the only way we’ll do it is by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are and seeing our children for the hope that they are. And our task is to educate their whole being, so they can face this future. By the way — we may not see this future, but they will. And our job is to help them make something of it."

-Sir Ken Robinson

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