Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Creativity in the classroom

The effect I have on students, in relation to the theme of this page, demands that I consider their creativity and provide opportunities for that creativity to develop and be demonstrated in their learning.  As Humanities students you probably know this best since many of your assignments do not tell you how your response should be formatted.  I know this often frustrates you guys -- you want to know what I want or exactly what is expected.  However, like Ken Robinson in the video above, I want to cultivate creative thinkers, not just regurgitating automatons.  To allow my students to escape the creative process would violate my commitment to protecting the freedom of others.  I will encourage creativity in my students, as often as possible, because you have the right to determine how to best express your knowledge and understanding.  To knowingly and willingly suppress this right would affect your willingness to learn freely, and in the spirit of Elizabeth Gilbert in the following video, I am firmly against ruining genius because I don't understand it. 

In the end, I want your mark to become secondary to what you take away from this course in the form of knowledge, skill and understanding.  I want each of you to understand yourselves in relation to the world (today, historically, and in the future) and be able to explain what you know in a manner that best reflects your strengths.  No percentage score can accurately depict that kind of smart.

Note: both of these videos are taken from TED.com
Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity. (2006) TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. Ted Conferences LLC. Retrieved 22 February 2010 from the Internet: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Elizabeth Gilbert on Nurturing Creativity. (2009) TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. Ted Conferences LLC. Retrieved 23 February 2010 from the Internet: http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html