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Creativity & Learning

May 22, 2008 1 comment

Sir Ken Robinson offers an entertaining view on how the current education system is killing creativity in children and why that’s such a bad thing.

It’s a 20 minute video from the TED conference…. but a worthwhile watch.

Although Sir Ken talks mostly about children in an academic setting, most of what he says applies to us. now. in a corporate setting.

His comment that if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never be creative rang true with me. How often in the courses that we design to we use feedback like “Incorrect, try again.” or “Sorry, that’s not correct.” We focus on the fact that it’s incorrect. Current thinking & research in instructional design encourages teaching through feedback rather than correction, but as practitioners we’re not there yet.

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Be Creative!

This week was our internal training event. My practice lead brought in The Second City to do a four hour session on creativity and innovation. The widespread panic at the thought of having to do improv in front of everyone in the practice (there are only 22 of us!) was almost comical. Fortunately, that wasn’t what the training was about.

We started off the session talking about what creativity or creative meant. The answers varied from “a unique solution” to “something that’s never been done” to “a visual element”. Obviously our opinions are wide spread. What the facilitators told us as a result of the ensuing discussion is that you can’t ask someone to “be creative“. It can’t be a forced activity. It’s a process. And, it’s often not a result of an initial idea, but instead how an idea morphs through collaboration.

The collaboration portion is key. Coming up with the idea is really hard, but adding to a suggestion, taking away pieces, modifying one aspect with a group of peers enables a truly creative idea to form.

It was a great session… I’d take the opportunity to attend one of their sessions again!

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