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The Science (and Practice) of Creativity

The Science (and Practice) of Creativity
"Creativity isn't about music and art; it is an attitude to life, one that everybody needs," wrote the University of Winchester's Professor Guy Claxton in the lead-up to the 2014 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) dedicated to creativity and education. "It is a composite of habits of mind which include curiosity, skepticism, imagination, determination, craftsmanship, collaboration, and self-evaluation." Sounds like the perfect skill set for equipping young people to navigate an increasingly complex and unpredictable world. Encouragingly, there's plenty of evidence -- from both research and practice -- that most of the above can be taught in the classroom. In fact, innovation and education experts agree that creativity can fit perfectly into any learning system. But before it can be incorporated broadly in curriculum, it must first be understood. Creativity Starts in the Brain Complex cognitive mechanisms are required to produce creative ideas. Dr. Nurturing Creativity at School 1.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/changemakers-science-practice-of-creativity-diane-cadiergue

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The Creativity Mindset I absolutely love all of the emphasis on mindsets these days. There are growth mindsets (which I discuss in The Educator with a Growth Mindset: A Staff Workshop) and maker mindsets (which I discuss in The Mindset of the Maker Educator). Mindsets are simply defined as “the ideas and attitudes with which a person approaches a situation.” Mindsets imply that mental and attitudinal states can assist one in being successful with a given skill set. Yes, You Can Teach and Assess Creativity! A recent blog by Grant Wiggins affirmed what I have long believed about creativity: it is a 21st-century skill we can teach and assess. Creativity fosters deeper learning, builds confidence and creates a student ready for college and career. However, many teachers don't know how to implement the teaching and assessment of creativity in their classrooms.

How Mind-Wandering and “Positive Constructive Daydreaming” Enhance Creativity and Improve Our Social Skills by Maria Popova The science of why fantasy and imaginative escapism are essential elements of a satisfying mental life. Freud asserted that daydreaming is essential to creative writing — something a number of famous creators and theorists intuited in asserting that unconscious processing is essential to how creativity works, from T. Legendary Designer Charles Eames on Creativity, the Value of the Arts in Education, and His Advice to Students by Maria Popova “There is always a need for anyone that can do a simple job thoroughly.” “If you examine this furniture,” observed a 1946 profile of legendary design duo Charles and Ray Eames, “you will find sincerity, honesty, conviction, affection, imagination, and humor.” Alongside this exuberant emotional dimensionality you will also find a dimensional approach to design itself — a fusion of science, technology, art, and philosophy, evident in everything from their iconic furniture to their clever educational films to, even, the handwritten love letter with which Charles proposed to Ray.

How Jessica Walsh and Gerry Graf Turn Data Into Art in Their Advertising CANNES, France—Two well-respected creatives preached the gospel of jumping in, and then letting go, as they described their personal process of making advertising at a Cannes Lions seminar presented by Adobe here Monday morning. In her first visit to Cannes, Jessica Walsh, a partner at New York design studio Sagmeister & Walsh, took the main stage at the Palais and quoted Picasso—"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up"—to emphasize the importance of play in the creative process.

7 Tenets of Creative Thinking In school, we learn about geniuses and their ideas, but how did they get those ideas? What are the mental processes, attitudes, work habits, behaviors, and beliefs that enable creative geniuses to view the same things as the rest of us, yet see something different? The following are seven principles that I've learned during my lifetime of work in the field of creative thinking -- things that I wish I'd been taught as a student. 1. The Art of Looking: What 11 Experts Teach Us about Seeing Our Familiar City Block with New Eyes by Maria Popova “Attention is an intentional, unapologetic discriminator. It asks what is relevant right now, and gears us up to notice only that.” The Big Picture DRS. SALLY and BENNETT SHAYWITZ, co-directors of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, illuminate the scientific origins of dyslexia and have created a revolutionary imaging test that pinpoints, for the first time, a specific difference (or marker) in the brains of dyslexics. Dr. Sally Shaywitz explains that this unique marker, while often associated with problems with reading, is also associated with a superior ability to think out of the box, create original ideas, and see the big picture. Super-achieving dyslexics revered in their fields—from SIR RICHARD BRANSON and financier CHARLES SCHWAB to politician GAVIN NEWSOM and attorney DAVID BOIES—confirm what the children, experts and families suggest: dyslexia carries with it as many rewards as frustrations. Quotes

Pete Seeger on Combinatorial Creativity, Originality, Equality, and the Art of Dot-Connecting by Maria Popova “All of us, we’re links in a chain.” In 1987, shortly after being appointed editor of SongTalk, the journal of the National Academy of Songwriters, Paul Zollo began interviewing some of the greatest songwriters alive — Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Madonna, Frank Zappa, David Byrne, and dozens more — “always with the assurance that my focus is strictly on songwriting and the creative process, as opposed to the celebrity-oriented queries often directed to them by the press.” Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: The Power of Perspective In this nine-part series, we will look at important factors that influence the happiness and social and emotional learning of elementary school age children. These are very useful in helping students learn, manage emotions better and increase empathy. Each blog features one letter of the acronym HAPPINESS: H = Happiness A = Appreciation P = Passions and Strengths P = Perspective I = Inner Meanie/Inner Friend N = Ninja Mastery E = Empathy S = So Similar S = Share Your Gifts In this post, we’ll explore perspective. How we frame the circumstances in our life has a great deal to do with the happiness we derive from them.

Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity by Maria Popova Why creativity is like LEGO, or what Richard Dawkins has to do with Susan Sontag and Gandhi. In May, I had the pleasure of speaking at the wonderful Creative Mornings free lecture series masterminded by my studiomate Tina of Swiss Miss fame. I spoke about Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity, something at the heart of Brain Pickings and of increasing importance as we face our present information reality. The talk is now available online — full (approximate) transcript below, enhanced with images and links to all materials referenced in the talk. These are pages from the most famous florilegium, completed by Thomas of Ireland in the 14th century.

Most Valuable Players Across the USA, high school sports are regularly lavished with funding, publicity and scholarships, while theater departments struggle to put on the school musical hoping for some recognition of their own. Helping to settle the score are the "Freddy Awards," a live television event that celebrates excellence in high school musical theater. Illustrating that arts education encourages the same teamwork, camaraderie and confidence as sports, Most Valuable Players follows three theater troupes on their creative journeys to the elaborate award ceremony — the "Super Bowl" of high school musical theater.

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