Where has creativity gone?

Findings from this post on creativity sounds too good for me.  Thanks to Ana Cristina for the link.

For all the talk of creativity in business, industry and academia, there’s evidence that it’s implicitly discouraged in these areas as well. Although leaders of organisations say they want creative ideas, the evidence suggests creativity gets rejected in favour of conformity and uniformity (Staw, 1995 cited in Mueller et al., 2011).

I shared this in my post.  Here in Creativity and creative learning, how is it valued in community, and schools?

So really, what we are being told is, “be creative, but not TOO creative”. Any creative ideas that attempt to shift the current paradigm or reject a paradigm completely are usually driven by extreme passion, and almost always met with some type of resistance from society. We are left with the choice of (1) give up on our ideas, or (2) put up a hell of a fight to defend them.  Those who decide to stand their ground and fight for their creative ideas are the ones who are generally seen as “rule-breakers”, “rebels”, “trouble-makers”, or simply, “obnoxious”. And the ideas generated by those individuals are generally the most creative, innovative, and necessary ideas to support.

That may be the protocols and norms set by our community, society, as part of the cultures.  How to be creative, yet be perceived as constructive, as a valued citizen (a worker, an educator, a researcher, an artist, a learner) could be interesting for me to re-visit.

What we need would be renewed ways of supporting and developing ours’ and our fellow students’ creativity in their search and exploration of knowledge, whilst constructing and navigating through the networks and communities, and  the teaching and learning activities and tasks in classes, networks and communities.

These need to be based on creative learning principles where strategies could be developed ranging from different pedagogies – including peer-to-peer learning (peeragogy, as espoused by Howard Rheingold), and peer learning with active learning, participatory pedagogy,participatory action research, and online conversation as part of the learning pedagogy etc.  These aligned with some of the elements of networked principles and Connectivism as discovered in MOOC, as elaborated here by Stephen Downes.

You may find this interesting to watch:

I will come back to reflect and comment.

How about you?

Postscript: Another video on Creative Genius.



Does creativity come with a price? Part 2

This is part 2 on creativity.

In this creativity closely entwined with mental illness:

As a group, those in the creative professions were no more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders than other people.

But they were more likely to have a close relative with a disorder, including anorexia and, to some extent, autism, the Journal of Psychiatric Research reports.

There has been studies about creativity and mental illness.  I have copied them here as reference:

Creativity is known to be associated with an increased risk of depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The thalamus channels thoughts

Similarly, people who have mental illness in their family have a higher chance of being creative.

Creative people, like those with psychotic illnesses, tend to see the world differently to most. It’s like looking at a shattered mirror”  Mark MillardUK psychologist

He believes it is this barrage of uncensored information that ignites the creative spark.

This would explain how highly creative people manage to see unusual connections in problem-solving situations that other people miss.

In an earlier review on Creativity and mental illness, however the

Conclusions: There is limited scientific evidence to associate creativity with mental illness. Despite this, many authors promoted a connection. Explanations for this contradiction are explored, and social and research implications are discussed.

I found these findings fascinating.  As I reflected on the significance of developing ourselves and others as more creative educators and learners, we might need to be aware of these research findings.

Would creative sparks for some creative people and geniuses  be associated with some forms of mental illnesses?

Could we be highly creative, but are perfectly healthy mentally?

It seems that we still have a lot of unknowns about creativity and its association with our mental being.

Does creativity come with a price?

I am interested in creativity and creative learning, and so it would be interesting to understand how these would be associated with creative people and how we could provide education to nurture one’s creativity.

In this post on Creativity – Does Creativity come with a price, it was found that writers were more likely to suffer from mental disorders:

Writers were a whopping 121% more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder than the general population. Moreover, Simon Kyaga, the study’s lead researcher, says that authors had a “statistically significant increase” in anxiety disorders–38% to be exact. Rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide also increased among writers.

Researches relating creativity and mental illnesses found that “genius may occur in appreciably introverted persons – Newton, for instance – and Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and James Joyce are all said to have had near relatives with schizophrenia.  One controlled study found an excess of schizothymic traits in the group of able people represented by research scientists. Psychological tests have shown a similarity between the mode of thinking in schizophrenia and in creative people.”

If the research findings are true, then it seems that we need to take creativity both as a gift and a sign of caution, to see if there are any symptoms associated with those mental disorders.

In a world where we all cherish creativity as the number one priority in developing learners to face the unknown future, what does it mean if we are to develop the creativity capacity of learners?

What are the characteristics of Creative people?

Cognitive Rational Creative Individuals

  • Self-disciplined, independent, often anti-authoritarian
  • Zany sense of humor
  • Able to resist group pressure, a strategy developed early
  • More adaptable
  • More adventurous
  • Greater tolerance for ambiguity and discomfort
  • Little tolerance for boredom
  • Preference for complexity, asymmetry, open endedness
  • High in divergent thinking ability
  • High in memory, good attention to detail
  • Broad knowledge background
  • Need think periods
  • Need supportive climate, sensitive to environment
  • Need recognition, opportunity to share
  • High aesthetic values, good aesthetic judgment
  • Freer in developing sex role integration’ lack of stereotypical male, female identification

To what extent are these characteristics common to our learners who are considered creative, or genius?

What are your thoughts about creative people?

Enjoy this video where Brene Brown talks about our vulnerability and the “connection – disconnection” dilemma.  Story tellers are usually people who are quite creative, isn’t it?