The Pursuit Of Creativity

A few months back, I had written a blog titled The Creative Mind, my layman perspective on the importance of creativity. I didn’t know it then, but what started off as an intriguing topic for research at first, has turned into an invaluable source of learning and discovery for me. While researching about the ways of nurturing creativity in kids, I came across some very interesting finds on the importance of creativity that I’d like to share here.

I was deeply moved by this speech by Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He makes an entertaining yet profound case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity as much as academics. Robinson’s comment “We are educating people out of their creativity,” resonated deeply with me, perhaps because I could relate to it personally. The more I advanced in my formal education, the less creative I kept getting. My education had focused mainly on teaching application of existing knowledge to the real world problems and not at all on the process of creating new knowledge or solutions.

“In our competitive and evolving economy, being logical and analytical is no longer enough. Left brain is out. Right brain noodling, the kind of processing that is intuitive and creative and synthetic, will soon rule the day.” – Daniel Pink, 2008. Daniel Pink’s provocative book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future charts the rise of right-brain thinking in modern economies and describes the six abilities individuals and organizations must master in an outsourced, automated age. (I want to thank Tana, a fellow bloggermom, for introducing me to the work of Daniel Pink.)

The K12 lab, an educational research program at Stanford University’s Institute of Design, promotes application of product design techniques to education. They want to loosen the narrow, rigid process of traditional learning and show teachers how to tap into students’ deep wells of creativity. Melissa Pelochino, a teacher and a K12 lab convert, after attending a workshop observed: “Our kids spend their time trying to figure out what answer the teacher wants to hear rather than on what they want to say. They don’t know how to process information without a how-to guide, a model and an example for everything. We need to be asking our kids questions that don’t have predetermined outcomes. We need to let them explore and construct and investigate and try and, most important, fail.”(Source URL: http://www.edutopia.org/classroom-design-k12-laboratory )

If you are intrigued by the concept as I was or even slightly interested, I’d be sharing a variety of creative thinking activities for kids that I have learned over the past few months, in my next blog. Not only do they encourage creative and higher-order thinking but are really fun to do at home with kids, as I found out.

Last 5 posts by Neelam Kamdar Bhamani



9 Comments

  1. Khushi

    I am looking forward to the posts. I do believe that the world is moving toward a creative economy. So helping our kids unleash their postential in this area, and actually figuring out how to help myself use more of my creativity is a dream.

  2. Marjorie

    Very interesting theme. I like the picture too.

  3. rajvi

    Neelam – What an informative post. I would love to learn more about fostering creativity. Also, I recently had an interesting discussion about Daniel Pink’s other book – Drive – it is about what motivates people once their basic survival needs are met. One of the case study in the book is about Google employees’ freedom to use 20% of their time to pursue the projects they want to work on. As Khushi said – world is moving towards a creative economy. I look forward to your other posts.

  4. reshma

    hey neelam very nicely written, looking forward to more of such thoughtful articles which gives a different persective

  5. Indrani

    Dear Neelam thanks for the post. Can’t wait to see your next post to learn how to nurture creativity in our children

  6. Tana

    Neelam, Agreed 100%. I think I mentioned Pink’s work in response to your previous post on creativity, and many other authors point to “integrative” thinking (Roger Martin, the Heath Brothers, Richard Florida, Seth Godin …) which is essentially about creatively connecting the dots rather than getting stuck in either/or thinking (promoted by analytics). I just returned from India and saw the Montessori school my mom is building in rural Bengal, and was blown away by the simple but creativity-promoting teaching tools. Those kids will definitely have different conceptual understanding of numbers, words and colors! I look forward to your future posts on the topic.

  7. Seema H.

    Neelam, totally agreed with your point. Such an insightful writing. I have experienced it so many times in this country , how our indian education have made us robots who can complete a given task in steps 1,2,3 and do not think out of the box….training our brain at this age to think creatively is impossible…. I am all for promoting creative development in kids

  8. Shahana Dattagupta

    Neelam, do also read Seth Godin’s Linchpin. It will have a profound impact on your path.

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