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What are your thoughts concerning schools offering classes that teach creativity and promote innovative thought?

I found it ironic as I was sorting through TEDtalks as part of a project for a class titled "Creativity and Business Innovation" to find this talk titled "How schools kill creativity". The textbook for the class, The Innovator's DNA by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton Christiansen, offers great insight into proven similar thought processes and behavior patterns found in successful innovators and entrepreneurs. Though I have found the class to be extremely insightful, I feel that there must be some debate about whether or not creativity and innovation is something that can be given a grade. What are your thoughts?

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    Feb 20 2014: If your question is whether schools should foster creativity and creative thought across the curriculum, the answer is surely yes. If you ask whether fostering creative thinking should be the focus of only one class, I would say that by taking that avenue you miss an opportunity to link creativity actively to all areas of inquiry.

    The question of how to grade work with creativity as a criterion is a distinct question, but I don't think the challenge in assessing work in an area at all argues against teaching something. There are other constructive dispositions that schools need to cultivate and do, such as teamwork and questioning, which are also not entirely straightforward to assess, but this does not reduce their merit as part of what students work on at school.
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      Feb 21 2014: Fritzie, I completely agree. Teamwork, questioning, reading comprehension, social or historical events contextualization, among others are skills that deserve to be very neated from an early age.
  • Feb 23 2014: Agree with Fritzie, it should in the entire curriculum. Grading, I would be very careful. It is very difficult to grade/judge creativity and innovation. There is too much of a personal component. What I think is creative, someone may not think so. You also need to be careful in a team situation where one or two carry the entire team.

    In a course in creative writing I took, the final exam was graded by someone who did not know any of the students to remove any personal impressions.
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    Feb 22 2014: Are you asking how one would "grade" creative, project based learning? This article delves into that topic and you may find it interesting.

    Or this one:

    Or this one on integrating arts through out content areas.

    I rather prefer a natural integration of creativity and innovation across content areas, as opposed to an actual "class" on it. Besides, we learn things better by making it meaningful (relevant) to life outside of the classroom.

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding the question? Been known to happen....a lot. ;)
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    Feb 21 2014: i think that a lot of this talk is exactly that - trends and fads largely promoted by the companies that sell a lot of their products to schools (think of all the saccharine drivel in digital device advertisements and the way they have attached their products to education and buzzwords like 'creativity').

    that could be seen a pessimistic view of technology and the "creative revolution" but it's desperately needed considering the rampant "hey, yeah!" responses to this issue.

    creativity cannot be taught - it can be allowed for and it can be catered for. time and space can be given over to the pursuit of formulating an idea or thinking up a new approach to an old sausage. unfortunately, schools and ed systems do not work well that way because they are first and foremost about managing large numbers of people given limited space, time and resources.

    I also think that to settle on some kind of process or teaching model for creativity will merely lead to Creativity Class being taught like a Physics or Literacy class.

    the great problem with many assessment systems or methods is that, once they are introduced, everything begins to revolve around the assessment method instead of the student or learner. to attach a grade system to creativity would be to kill it before it even comes out of the gate.

    schools provide certain benefits and they are also limited by their very nature - but for some reason, people have been programed to believe that all learning/thinking/creativity should happen in school. in my experience, this has never been true.
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      Feb 24 2014: I agree with you Scott. I see computers, electronics, 3-D printers and robotics now. This is often proudly pointed to as new STEM initiative. The main winners with those initiatives are the companies selling the product. That said, I think those products could be effectively used to foster creativity.

      Teaching through projects enhances communications and applied concepts. The world we live in is project based. Cooking, shopping and money management are word problems waiting to be formed and solved.

      I think the biggest issue with this kind of approach would be grading and accreditation.
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    Feb 21 2014: i believe you can look at a creative effort and tell how much effort and positive risk-taking went into it and in that sense you can grade it.
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    Feb 21 2014: Our schools of all sorts have been "designed" to tame minds - not to inspire them. I think, beside this limited conventional approach to schooling there are few more reasons why the most gifted young minds become more suppressed than learned.

    First of all - the teachers commonly do not understand or do not know the original work of the authors/scientists/inventors they represent in their class. Those introductions are just soundbites. The conventional explanations create more confusion than they make some real sense.

    Lots of students just memorize what they are told. However, the most intuitive students remain confused and even begin to believe that they are stupid.

    I'd offer to ask students to think on their own, critically, and express their thoughts regarding everything they might feel interesting or bewildering. Ask questions even these might sound silly. The most "stupid" questions lead to new discoveries of various nature.