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Creativity and learning
A bubble-and-squeak dish of elearning, creativity, innovation and design education
Curated by Clive Hilton
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Alexander Graham Bell on Success, Innovation, and Creativity

Alexander Graham Bell on Success, Innovation, and Creativity | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
"It is the man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider … who is bound to succeed in the greatest degre
Clive Hilton's insight:

No matter how much one reads or consumes about the processes of creativity, it only serves to underline how variable and nebulous a phenomonon it is.

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Design Process Kills Creativity / Design Process Creates Creativity - Core77

Design Process Kills Creativity / Design Process Creates Creativity - Core77 | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it

What is created when we apply a process? When process is used consciously you have evidence of work for each part of the design process. Those groupings of work help tell the story of the project, and the decisions made at the transition points in the process.

Now I think it's important at this point to acknowledge that process is, in some sense, a lie. Or at least an artificial designation.

 

Those people who say they use no process, that they just get the work done... honestly, I think that can be a recipe for disaster. When we work for others or with others, we need to have a clear plan, a map for the road we're going to take together, and how we're going to get there. It's not just clients that like to know when they're going to see round two and how much it's going to cost...employees like to know, too. People who say they have no process are lying. They have, at least, a heuristic, a rule of thumb, a method, an approach.

Clive Hilton's insight:

Intelligent article on the value of the design process. My Industrial Design students - please take note!

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Lori Pirog's comment, January 30, 2013 4:39 AM
Good read. Thanks for the article!
Clive Hilton's comment, January 30, 2013 3:49 PM
My pleasure, glad you liked it, Lori.
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Is Technology Making Us Less Human?

Is Technology Making Us Less Human? | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it

This article is one-half of a point-counterpoint with Ray Kurzweils article, The Man-Machine Merger.Im sitting in this café in Silicon Valley, watching conversations flowing between Macs, tablets, mobile devices, and their owners.

Author: Andrea Kuszewski, behavior therapist and robopsychologist  

Clive Hilton's insight:

Intriguing discussion in which the author argues that technology is having a deleterious effect on people's capactiy to use their own intelligence. She cites a claim that over-reliance on sat-nav systems, for example, is harming people's spatial awareness. Most interestingly, however, is her central thesis, which is that the factor that distinguishes human intelligence from computer-based intelligences is that only the former (currently) possess the capacity for creative thinking.

 

Hurrah!

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Old Age and Creativity in Art and Science - Huffington Post

Old Age and Creativity in Art and Science - Huffington Post | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
Old Age and Creativity in Art and ScienceHuffington PostOne of the most widespread and persistent myths about creativity is that it is the domain of the young.

Via Lori Pirog
Clive Hilton's insight:

There's hope for an old 'un like me yet. Mind you, I peaked intellectually at age 9...

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Clive Hilton's comment, January 12, 2013 9:03 AM
I'm clinging to the idea that I get more creative as I get older. That said, I could be deceiving myself...
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Innovating Policy with Creativity and Social Sciences - Core77

Innovating Policy with Creativity and Social Sciences - Core77 | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
Industrial Design content and community site - articles, discussions, interviews and resources.

 

Today's global financial and social crises demand innovation not only in public services, but within the whole bureaucratic, administrative system of public governance. In order to respond effectively to a changing context of complexity and uncertainty, governments and other public service organisations need to consider innovating the processes and practices of public policy itself.

 

There is a consistent need for actively bringing creative processes into policymaking and focusing more on creating valuable outcomes for citizens than only on projected and programmed outputs. Yet innovation introduces a different way of knowing (or not knowing), exploring and planning into governance which create tensions with the status quo.

 

This paper by Nesta (UK) and MindLab (Denmark) aims to frame the discussion between policymakers, researchers and practitioners around the dilemmas and challenges involved in developing policymaking practices that can respond productively to the current crisis, state of uncertainty and wicked character of public problems. This creates the need for exploring and establishing new principles of decision making inspired by digital technology, social sciences, scientific experimentation and the creative arts in order to frame different possibilities and expectations of what governments can and should achieve.

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The Dinner Series

The Dinner Series | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
James Victore's week of brain exercises feeds meaningful thinking...

 

In sports they tell you that to become a better player, you have to practice against people more talented than you—demolishing your opponent each time will never lead to increased skills. This advice holds true in the creative realm as well, and one of the great graphic designers of our time, James Victore, is inviting a handful of budding designers to come play with him. Never one for convention, Victore began hosting a week-long workshop in his Williamsburg studio last October as a way of challenging up-and-comers to see design through his eyes while giving them a "set of wings" so they can continue to grow.

 

His provocative style extends from his own work to how he encourages others. Although a professor for many years at NYC's School of Visual Arts, Victore doesn't claim to take an academic approach. "All I know how to do is spur thinking on," he says. "I don't teach design because I don't know how to." Referring to his role as a content generator over a graphic designer, Victore focuses more on the statement made than the aesthetics behind it. The exercises he challenges the group with revolve around this ideology, each tasking them to expand their thinking. "We want to stretch your brain and hope it doesn't return to its original shape," he explains.

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Cageless Thinking: Innovation and Creativity in Education | The Creativity Post

Cageless Thinking: Innovation and Creativity in Education | The Creativity Post | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
An exploration of how creativty is restrained by inherited values from both family and the education system.

 

Blog post, Adam Webster. Synopsis:

 

From an early age our creativity is restrained by conformity. It is our responsibility to help those around us break free from this 'cage' and think more freely.

 

Once we go to school, or perhaps long before that, we are coerced into putting all of our thoughts and ideas into a cage which is then labelled ‘preconceptions and limitations’ or ‘reality check.’

We are not born with, or in a cage; the cage is more a sort of family heirloom, passed down by previous generations of children, parents and, crucially, educators. Some cages are bigger than others and some cages even grow, or at least stretch, as time goes by.

 

Sadly though, what is more common, is for the cage to shrink. Ultimately of course, the cage represents our creativity, or at least it measures our ability to think creatively. What too few people realise, is that creativity was never supposed to live in a cage.

When it is first put in there, it struggles and fights against the bars that have surrounded it and sometimes it might even slip through the bars and briefly escape, but it is quickly told ‘no’ and is scooped up and put back in the cage.

 

Eventually, the creativity stops trying to escape and simply resorts to bouncing off the walls of the cage, constantly retreating back over ground that has been covered before. Finally, the creativity stops moving; the cage has won and begins to close in around it.

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Inspiring Creativity In Others - DesignTAXI.com

Inspiring Creativity In Others - DesignTAXI.com | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it

Inspiring Creativity In Others...by Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner [article]

 

If you want to push others—such as colleagues, team members, children, students, sweethearts or friends—to be more creative, there are a few simple things you can do.

 

ASK QUESTIONS

The best thing you can do is ask lots of questions. In particular, ask open-ended questions (questions which require more than a “yes” or “no” answer). Answering questions makes people think, particularly if they believe you are genuinely interested in their answers. Hence you also need to acknowledge answers.

 

“Why” and “Why do you think…” questions are particularly powerful and this is doubly true if the question relates to a problem for which you are seeking creative ideas. “Why do you think sales of our electronic toilet paper dispenser are so poor?” “Why do you think people do not separate their rubbish in this neighborhood?” Such questions force people to use their imaginations in order to understand a problem, sometimes from the perspective of other people. This is great for creative thinking.

 

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IMAGINE: How Creativity Works

Flash Rosenberg imagines how the ideas in IMAGINE are tackled, tickled and teased-out by the author Jonah Lehrer.

 

Creativity go hand in hand with frustration, mental blocks and an inmmersion in disappointment, according to Lehrer. A delightfully animated and insightful account of the  processes of creative thought and inspiration.

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The neuroscience of Bob Dylan's genius

The neuroscience of Bob Dylan's genius | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
How do we have insights, and where does inspiration come from?

 

Every creative journey begins with a problem. It starts with a feeling of frustration, the dull ache of not being able to find the answer. When we tell one another stories about creativity, we tend to leave out this phase of the creative process. We neglect to mention those days when we wanted to quit, when we believed that our problems were impossible to solve. Instead, we skip straight to the breakthroughs. The danger of telling this narrative is that the feeling of frustration – the act of being stumped – is an essential part of the creative process. Before we can find the answer – before we probably even know the question – we must be immersed in disappointment, convinced that a solution is beyond our reach. It's often only at this point, after we've stopped searching for the answer, that the answer arrives. All of a sudden, the answer to the problem that seemed so daunting becomes incredibly obvious.

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Changing Higher Education: Creativity

Changing Higher Education: Creativity | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
Major changes occurring in the world are redefining the metrics of excellence for higher education.

This is a continuation of Creativity and the Research University
II. The creative faculty

The issues are different here from those encountered in looking at student creativity, because we are dealing with a class of accomplished scholars who have already shown capacity for creativity. Thus the environment in which the faculty work becomes a critical determinant of whether or not they can reach their creative potential.

Amabile describes some of the environmental conditions that help to promote creativity. Among them are:

stability of employment - this lowers attention to problems not related to the main tasks of research and teachinglow bureaucracy - similarly, this enables faculty to keep their attention on the important thingsencourage rational intellectual risk taking, accept failureencourage interdisciplinary conversations - this help connections into different networks of knowledgeexpectations high but reasonablerewards not controlling - faculty choice in tasks, methods

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Creativity and Emotional Intelligence

Creativity and Emotional Intelligence | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
An excerpt from the Handle With Care Emotional Intelligence Activity Book.
Creativity and EQ
When we have conflict or no one seems to be hearing what we're saying, it is time for some creativity.

 

Creativity is not so much making something new as it is recombining the old. Creativity requires informality because its essence is “breaking rules.” The result is that creativity is sometimes tied to strong emotions which both give it power and make it challenging.

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Popar Books make reading more interactive with augmented reality

Popar Books make reading more interactive with augmented reality | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
When I was a wee lad and asked my parents whether I could have the latest toys to play with, they gave me a sheet of blank paper and asked me to write a story or draw something, exercising my [...]...
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Creative Intelligence

Creative Intelligence | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
What makes us creative? Our ability to form our own intent. It is only through creating a purpose that is uniquely our own that we can fully embody the human spirit.
Clive Hilton's insight:

Can machines/computers ever be truly creative. (Clearly, yes). Worth looking at if only for the Feynman interview.

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Characteristics Of Highly Creative People - DesignTAXI.com

Characteristics Of Highly Creative People - DesignTAXI.com | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it

Characteristics Of Highly Creative People - DesignTAXI.com

Author: Jeffery Paul Baumgartner.

 

There are a surprising number of blog posts about the characteristics of creative people. However, most of these seem to focus either on an idealized vision of an artist or the blog-writers idealized self image! Here is my take on the characteristics of highly creative people. However, what I have done is look at how creative people think—based on my understanding of the latest research—and applied it behavior.

It is also worth bearing in mind that creativity is not all about positives. There are good and bad creative people. Moreover, there seem to be some characteristics of creative people, such as dishonesty, that are not very nice. More controversially, some research has shown a correlation between creativity and mental illness.

 

 

Clive Hilton's insight:

The author avoids the sort of self-satisfied smugness that can accompany so much writing about creativity (the sort of, aren't we special, variety) and as such this account is rather more balanced in its analysis than many.

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Happy New Year: Pick Up a New Skill

Happy New Year: Pick Up a New Skill | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
Whether your dream is to play piano, cook steak sous-vide, or finally learn to speak French, the lesson from all this new research is clear: there is no better time than now to take on something new.
Clive Hilton's insight:

I've long held the view (possibly more in hope than belief) that one never stops learning - indeed, that increasing age per se is no barrier to the perfection of skill or the attainment of highly creative output. It seems that old dogs like me can really learn new tricks.

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Research debunks the ‘IQ myth’ | KurzweilAI

Research debunks the ‘IQ myth’ | KurzweilAI | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
The monkey ladder cognitive test (credit: Adam Hampshire et al./Western University) After conducting the largest online intelligence study on record, with
Clive Hilton's insight:

As someone who's always been sceptical of the worth attached to traditional IQ tests, I find the results of this piece of research by  Canadian Western University particularly interesting. In short; there is no one single standardised test that is capable of reliably measuring IQ.

 

Further - perhaps contentiously - the report goes on to suggest that "regular brain training didn't help people's cognitive performance at all...".

 

And that ageing has a profound negative effect on both memory and reasoning abilities.

 

Oh well...

 

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Lori Pirog's curator insight, January 3, 2013 4:41 AM

I've always believed intelligence was not being measured accurately. I would imagine creativity in all its different forms contributes to healthy brain aging and intelligence.

Clive Hilton's comment, January 4, 2013 4:19 AM
I think you are right, Lori, and I completely concur with your premise that creativity is symptomatic of a intelligence and high order cognitive processes.
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Can American Universities Teach Chinese Students Creativity? | Business Beyond the Reef

Can American Universities Teach Chinese Students Creativity? | Business Beyond the Reef | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it

There’s big money being made in China now and middle / upper class families are falling over themselves to give their children the absolute best educations. (Chinese families save vigorously for many years for two things: educations for their children, and to care for their parents during retirement). Naturally, U.S. universities have carved out plenty of space to help satisfy this growing demand, sometimes though to their own detriment.

 

Don’t think for a minute universities are beyond overlooking a few entrance requirements to bring in the big spenders. It’s nothing as blatant as accepting Chinese students who score very poorly on the test scores, but more of knowingly accommodating Chinese students who have always learned by rote memory, and in some cases find it impossible to make decisions for themselves (you see problems in the China workplace stemming from rote-learning mentality– needing managers to tell them exactly what to do).

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Innovating China: Education(Creativity)=Innovation | ChinAnalyst

Innovating China: Education(Creativity)=Innovation | ChinAnalyst | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it

Why is China’s economy growing so much faster than its ‘intellectual footprint’? Shouldn’t the success of the world’s second largest economy be built as much on its ideas as its exports?

 

Many diagnose this problem by pointing to creativity. But after having spent some time looking at this issue through a few different lenses, it’s increasingly apparent that Chinese entrepreneurs aren’t lacking in creativity and resourcefulness. Instead, many signs seem to suggest that it’s two broad areas that stifle or act as a disincentive for innovation:

1) the burden of having gone through the Chinese school system, and

2) the many systemic barriers to business innovation inherent in the Chinese economy.

 

Fortunately, the former is not insurmountable.

Education and teachers in general have an immense impact on our lives. They can either encourage our innate curiosity and equip us with the tools to grow and adapt in a dynamic world or they can harm our self confidence and burden us with reticence and inadequacy.

An unfortunate reality of modern China is its education system, particularly K-12. I never cease to be amazed by how deleterious an affect that its test-focused, high pressure methodology has on the development of student’s intellectual curiosity—a foundation for critical thought and adaptability.

 

There is very little room for practicum, there is very little tolerance for divergent thinking and incisive inquiry, and there is absolute focus on quantity, memorization, and competition. The needs of the individual student are lost—almost intentionally—in a rat race of exams, pressure, and weekend tutoring.

 

Changes are underway.

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China Daily: Teaching students to think creatively

This is an old article (Dec 2010) but it's highly relevant for anyone involved (as Iam) in the education of Chinese students at graduate and post graduate level.

 

According to the editorial, the survey confirmed what Chinese parents know, that their children rarely are challenged to use their imaginations to solve problems.

Undoubtedly, teaching students to think creatively is important. A July Newsweek Magazine article entitled "The Creativity Crisis," concluded that the "necessity of human ingenuity is undisputed." The Magazine cited a recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs which identified creativity as the No. 1 "leadership competency" of the future.

 

MF President Theodora Kalikow said the question Chinese educators most often asked her last month on a visit to Beijing was, "How do you teach creativity?". Without providing specifics, President Kalikow hinted that American educators could teach Chinese professors a great deal about the subject.

Other recent reports suggest that China has already begun to teach creativity. The "Newsweek Magazine" story featured an exchange between Jonathan Plucker of Indiana University and colleagues at Chinese universities.

 

When Plucker was asked to identify trends in American education, he described America's focus on standardized curriculum, rote memorization, and nationalized testing. The Chinese professors laughed. "They said, ‘You're racing toward our old model. But we're racing toward your model, as fast as we can.'"

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Want to be More Creative? Science Suggests Stop Fretting Over Mistakes

Want to be More Creative? Science Suggests Stop Fretting Over Mistakes | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it

What’s going on in artists’ brains when they create?

 

A recent article in The Atlantic on MRIs pointed to a TED video by Charles Limb, a scientist who researches jazz musicians. “I’m just astounded,” he says, “How can this possibly be, how can the brain generate that much music, that much creativity, spontaneously?” It’s a good question: from jazz musicians to performance artists to live painters, artists and creative people constantly have to create in the moment. Many artists are brilliant at this. How is that possible?

 

It turns out that two things are happening: the part of your brain responsible for self-expression turns on. That makes sense. But then the part of your brain responsible for self-monitoring turns off. That means jazz musicians in the throes of improvised creation aren’t paying attention to their mistakes. As Limb explains, it was just one study, but the results make intuitive sense.

 

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Saul Bass’ Oscar-Winning Animated Short Ponders Why Man Creates

Saul Bass’ Oscar-Winning Animated Short Ponders Why Man Creates | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
Maybe you already had a fascination with Saul Bass...

 

...you can round out your understanding of the man’s artistic sensibility by watching Why Man Creates (part one, part two), the animated film by Bass and his wife/collaborator Elaine which won the 1968 Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject. An eight-part meditation on the nature of creativity, the film mixes animation and live action, using Bass’ advanced repertoire of optical techniques, to look at the issues surrounding how and why humans have, throughout the history of civilization, kept on making things.

 

It begins with early hunters felling a beast and making a cave painting out of it. From that cave rises a tower built out of every major phase of human civilization: the wheel near the bottom, the pyramids somewhat higher up, the literal darkness of the Dark Ages as the camera rises higher still, ultimately capped by a heap of planes, trains, and automobiles.

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Throwing muses

Throwing muses | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it
Imagine: How Creativity Works. By Jonah Lehrer. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 304 pages; $26. To be published in Britain by Canongate in April; £18.99. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
WHERE do good ideas come from?
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Emotional intelligence - Catalyst of Creativity

MARC  BLANCO  Thesis  for  MA  in  Creative  Advertising,  2010  -­‐  Bucks  New  University,  UK EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE - CATALYST OF CREATIVITY

 

Creativity is not so much making something new as it is recombining the old. Creativity requires informality because its essence is “breaking rules.” The result is that creativity is sometimes tied to strong emotions which both give it power and make it challenging.

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8 Secrets To Creative Thinking (Hint: Steal From Others) | Co. Design

8 Secrets To Creative Thinking (Hint: Steal From Others) | Co. Design | Creativity and learning | Scoop.it

So, if anyone who can type can do much of the work previously done by well-paid specialists, what’s left for the designer? They have to do things that a typist with a computer can’t do. This means that they have to be thinkers, problem-solvers, whether they like it or not.

 

The most likely chance of having an interesting solution is to begin with an interesting problem. Unfortunately, almost every problem designers are likely to get will be boring. The first thing, therefore, is to redefine the problem so that it is interesting.

For example: Original problem: Logo for AGM, a company that makes very small industrial models. The client also wanted the AGM logo to be large enough to be seen on their building and on their delivery van.

Problem redefined: How can the AGM logo be large enough to be seen on the side of their building and, at the same time, communicate that the company makes very small things?


Via Kay Oddone
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