Presentation on theme: "Teaching Creativity AJ Nafziger. PERSPECTIVES AND DEFINITIONS OF CREATIVITY Merriam-Webster ▫“The ability to make new things or think of new ideas” Mihaley."— Presentation transcript:
Teaching Creativity AJ Nafziger
PERSPECTIVES AND DEFINITIONS OF CREATIVITY Merriam-Webster ▫“The ability to make new things or think of new ideas” Mihaley Csikszentmihalyi from “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention” ▫“Any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one… What counts is whether the novelty he or she produces is accepted for inclusion in the domain.” Robert W. Weisberg from “Creativity: Beyond the Myth of Genius” ▫“novel products of value, as in ‘The airplane was a creative invention.’ ‘Creative’ also refers to the person who produces the work, as in, ‘Picasso was creative.’ ‘Creativity,’ then refers both to the capacity to produce such works, as in ‘How can we foster our employees’ creativity?’ and to the activity of generating such products, as in ‘Creativity requires hard work’”
ARRIVING AT A CREATIVE PRODUCT “The Myth of Genius” ▫Creative products are the result of mysterious, extraordinary though processes ▫A dominant view in Western society for thousands of years ▫As a process of thinking, the genius perspective is not teachable, inherent to some and not others Robert W Weisberg attempts to debunk and move beyond this view ▫Claims that even the highest level of creative products result from “ordinary thinking” ▫Creativity is a process of making complex connections between “ordinary” aspects of life ▫This does not necessarily apply only to art Example: Alexander Calder’s Mobile ▫Artistic and Mechanical themes run throughout Calder’s life ▫His arrival at this famous and ingenious invention was a straightforward combination of his unique experiences ▫The reason this idea seems unattainable to others is because it is a result of Calder’s unique life, but it is still explainable by tracing logical connections Everyone has different collections of past experiences and exposures and the potential for one-of-a-kind connections.
CONDITIONS FOR EXERCISING CREATIVE THINKING IN THE ART CLASSROOM Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Possibilities for Improving “Creative Flow” ▫Curiosity and Interest ▫Expression of individuality and personality ▫Problem finding ▫Aiming for and increasing complexity
CURIOSITY AND INTEREST / EXPRESSION OF INDIVIDUALITY AND PERSONALITY Important to allow students to explore themselves and their interests while exploring art Weisberg’s theory and Calder example shows that ideas must be intimately understood in order for successful connections to be made. The key idea is to create assignments and projects that teach fundamentals while offering ways to integrate separate, individual interest into their structure. Require students to think about themselves and their lives and experiences, working from familiarity.
PROBLEM FINDING Scientific Method ▫“Principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypothesis” Relationship to Art Teaching ▫Showing past examples and examples from famous artists might be counterproductive to creative thinking ▫There is no single correct answer ▫It is important for an instructor to engage this non-assuming, questioning attitude. ▫As a form of individual expression, students can only feel ownership of their work if they are the owners of the answers it took to arrive at the finished product. ▫Being surprised is essential to creativity, and creative individuals do not make assumptions as to what is going on around them (Csikszentmihalyi) Providing matter-of-fact answers teaches dependency, not creativity Answering questions with questions encourages real critical thinking.
AIMING FOR AND INCREASING COMPLEXITY Being complex means that something is an differentiated of integrated system, where several parts are working together. Simple concepts can become challenging by combining them with others. Keeping this in mind leads to a more interesting and challenging structure of material taught over the course of a semester Materials, concepts, and techniques should be learned as tools that can be put to work in larger problems This not only keeps assignments interesting, but allows students to see the results of earlier assignments continue to pay off progressively more and more as building blocks for reaching a student’s larger, more complex artistic goals