Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lego of the Nonsense: Creative Writing

Taken at the Lego Store in NYC
Last year, around Christmas time, my family took a trip to New York City. We made a pit stop in the huge Lego Store near Rockefeller Center. This Lego mural greeted customers the moment that they walked in the doors.

We are often afraid to be creative because creativity invites chaos, unexpected ideas, things we don't have control over. But as this Lego mural reveals, creativity is our stability. It ensures that we will grow and prosper as a society.

Creative thinking is the key to progress, and so I find it extremely sad that many people deny our students access to their creative outlets. When we ask our students to routinely do what they have come to know, we are not asking them to tap into their creativity. If you ask them to repeat the same skills, they will never grow. Furthermore, when students do tap into their creativity and we reprimand them, we are doing them (and ourselves) a great disservice. We limit their ability to find new and better ways to solve problems and sometimes prevent them from fulfilling their greatest potentials.

Sir Ken Robinson often talks about this. This video is just one example:

I don't believe that creative must mean artsy. For instance, in Composition class, one doesn't have to do "creative writing" to be a creative thinker (although I think playing in all the genres is a good idea). A good essay is just as creative as a good novel. Susan Orlean anyone?

Creativity simply requires an individual to think about things from a new angle. It asks them to problem solve in ways that are different from the ordinary. It involves critical thinking, a willingness to try and fail, a desire to explore and inquire, and all of the things we really want students to be doing.

So I leave you all with two questions: How do you show your creativity? And how do you inspire creativity in others?

No comments: