On Assessing Creativity – Yes you can, and yes you should!
” The naysayers are quick to say that you cannot measure creative thinking. This is silly… We can and do measure anything: critical and creative thinking, wine quality, doctors, meals, athletic potential, etc. More to the point, we recognize creative thinking immediately when we see it – much more so, then, say “organization” in writing (which is a far more abstract idea that creative thinking) or “effective collaboration.” Grant Wiggins
“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. While we may have the tools to teach and assess content, creativity is another matter, especially if we want to be intentional about teaching it as a 21st-century skill. In a PBL project, some teachers focus on just one skill, while others focus on many. Here are some strategies educators can use tomorrow to get started teaching and assessing creativity — just one more highly necessary skill in that 21st-century toolkit.”
Read more from Grant Wiggins on assessing creativity here.
Ken Robinson: Can you assess creativity?
‘To be creative is not an abstraction…to be creative you have to be doing something.” Sir Ken Robinson
This five minute clip may convince you – creativity can be assessed. Sir Ken Robinson asks us to consider assessing creativity as a process not an event, looking for originality and value. Watch this video to find out more.
Creativity is King
“Recently NY Times freelance writer, Laura Pappano, wrote an article on a change in education slowly beginning to take hold across the United States: creativity as an educational discipline.
Traditional thought, as the article elaborates, is that creative ideas come only with “a bit of magic”. One must have a stroke of genius to have a truly unique idea. However, the idea of creativity as an educational discipline advances the thought that innovative ideas don’t come to only those with extraordinary skill or a divine blessing. The new approach says creative brilliance can be learned through a series of teachable techniques.
By placing yourself in situations that push you beyond your normal environment, thinking patterns, and social response, you are pushing your brain to find different paths to problem solving. Academic programs across America are implementing courses such as “Creativity, Innovation, and Change“ and “Failure 101” in order to teach students a method of creating that involves increased creative inputs and outlets, clearly identifying the problem , quick and repetitive failures, and testing societal boundaries without fear.
Guinean youth are up against two very powerful social and systemic constructs that tear down creative thought: the education system and the negligible amount of successful examples. The Guinean academic system is based on the old rote memorization system, repeating information taught for the past several decades, leaving very little room for critical thinking, much less creativity, in teaching or learning styles. With a very uneven distribution of wealth and an exorbitant unemployment rate, Guinean youth are prone to thinking that success, or creative/successful ideas, only comes to those at the very top of the spectrum by divine chance.
Dare to Innovate seeks to rupture these decades old mindsets by teaching Guinean youth creativity through prototyping, breaking social constructs through socially awkward and creative games, and allowing for different modes of thought and creative expression through using varying forms of presentation and participant response. Dare to Innovate seeks to place its participants in an environment where they are bombarded by so many thought provoking questions, creative activities, and interesting solutions to common problems that the only outcome is innovation. In giving Guinean youth the opportunity to create, we seek to show our participants that innovative business ideas don’t come to those with the best education, with the most money, or with the most influence, but that creativity and innovation is a skill available to all those that dare to engage in doing something different.
One activity University of Pennsylvania professor, Dr. Matson uses in his course on failure is to tell his students to do something socially abnormal and watch the consequences. The idea is to feel the embarrassment of “failure” in order to “examine what in culture is preventing you from starting something new or different.” Around the world we are all following the status quo to remain within the lines. Dare to Innovate is a study in what in Guinean culture is preventing our youth from doing something different and creating programming to coax Guinean youth to break through all that is holding them back.
And in doing so, we have seen how only one week of creative coursework can begin to undo the effects of decades of Guinean education and social constructs to create innovative social entrepreneurs. Proving indeed that creativity can be taught.”
Click here to read the entire article from Wiatta Thomas, Dare to Innovate Board Member.
See other Ken Robinson – creativity clips here.