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?

#Change11 #CCK12 Creativity – Where is it coming from? Why is it important?

I have been exploring creativity for a few years.  I have shared them here and here.

I have posted questions:

  1. What is creativity?
  2. Why creativity and creative learning?
  3. What are the dimensions of creative learning?
  4. How could one nurture creativity within him/herself?
  5. How would creativity foster the development of new and emergent knowledge at this digital age?
  6. What technologies would support creativity and creative learning?
  7. What should be introduced in a curriculum of creativity and creative learning in networks or institution?
  8. What sort of environment would support creativity and creative learning?
  9. How would creativity and creative learning be designed and developed in MOOCs?
Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing.
2. Where does creativity come from?

Tina Seelig develops a model called “The Innovation Engine” that fosters creativity.    It includes inside and outside things:

Inside things:

A person’s knowledge, attitude, imagination

Outside things:

The environment: Culture, Habitat, Resources

Tina mentions that knowledge and resources are related, in that the more you know, the more you are able to unlock the resources available, and thus become more creative.

Sounds interesting in fostering creativity: to find new ways to solve problems.

3. Here in this report on creativity:

1. Unlocking creative potential is seen as key to economic and societal growth.

2. There is increasing pressure to be productive rather than creative at work.

3. Japan is seen as the most creative country, followed by US.

4. Where do good ideas come from?


A great post on How geniuses think?

#Change11 #CCK12 Creativity in education and learning – Part 1

Thanks Grainne for the invitation on her post of Crowdsourcing digital literacies.
Here is one of my posts on Creatagogy – Creativity and Creative Learning.  This Creativity and Multicultural Communication MOOC by Betty Hurley Dasgupta and Carol Yeager provides lots of resources.

The following questions are my quest to Creativity and Creative Learning.

  1. What is creativity?
  2. Why creativity and creative learning?
  3. What are the dimensions of creative learning?
  4. How could one nurture creativity within him/herself?
  5. How would creativity foster the development of new and emergent knowledge at this digital age?
  6. What technologies would support creativity and creative learning?
  7. What should be introduced in a curriculum of creativity and creative learning in networks or institution?
  8. What sort of environment would support creativity and creative learning?
  9. How would creativity and creative learning be designed and developed in MOOCs?

I would address each of the questions in coming posts.  This could also provide a framework on Creativity and Creative Learning.

What about yours?

#Change11 Creativity and Connected Learning

I have been thinking about this basic question: How does creativity impact on learning?

In this post on Why Creative Teaching is Essential for the Information Age? http://summify.com/story/TvhSby7XrzJFKqGg/www.good.is/post/why-creative-teaching-is-essential-for-the-information-age/ and this post on Why Making Schools Creative Requires Radical Change http://www.good.is/post/why-making-schools-creative-requires-radical-change/

“Our modern information age needs curious, humble minds—people willing to absorb new knowledge, think critically and put information into context. Abandoning a narrow, one-size-fits-all approach to curriculum standards would help students develop the curiosity they need to become the innovators of the future. That matters more than the ability to recall an answer on the test.”

To what extent is the following true?  I would like to examine the assumptions behind these.  When the dropout rate of students is high, we need to ask: Why did students drop out?

Posts on High School dropouts – here and here.


  • Didn’t like school in general or the school they were attending
  • Were failing, getting poor grades, or couldn’t keep up with school work
  • Didn’t get along with teachers and/or students
  • Had disciplinary problems, were suspended, or expelled
  • Didn’t feel safe in school
  • Got a job, had a family to support, or had trouble managing both school and work
  • Got married, got pregnant, or became a parent
  • Had a drug or alcohol problem

“While there is no single reason that students drop out, research indicates that difficult transitions to high school, deficient basic skills, and a lack of engagement serve as prominent barriers to graduation.

Most dropouts are already on the path to failure in the middle grades and engage in behaviors that strongly correlate to dropping out in high school. Various researchers have identified specific risk factors, such as low attendance or a failing grade, which can identify future dropouts—in some cases as early as sixth grade.

Ninth grade serves as a bottleneck for many students who begin their freshman year only to find that their academic skills are insufficient for high school-level work. Up to 40 percent of ninth grade students in cities with the highest dropout rates repeat ninth grade; only 10 to 15 percent of those repeaters go on to graduate.

Academic success in ninth grade course work is highly predictive of eventual graduation; it is even more telling than demographic characteristics or prior academic achievement.

Unfortunately, many students are not given the extra support they need to successfully make the transition to high school. As a result, over one third of all dropouts are lost in ninth grade.

The six million secondary students who comprise the lowest 25 percent of achievement are twenty times more likely to drop out of high school than students in the top-performing quartile.

Both academic and social engagement are integral components of successfully navigating the education pipeline. Research shows that a lack of student engagement is predictive of dropping out, even after controlling for academic achievement and student background.”

In response to these, what might be the options and possible solutions?

For poorly motivated kids or school dropouts, surely the school environment may not be the best community for them to learn.  However, there are lots of potential for these kids to be connected to others via the community, both inside  and outside school, so they could develop themselves into adult lives.  So why not leveraging the potential of community as part of their classroom activity to re-boost their interests of learning and socializing?

Here in this video:

I re-post part of the transcript as shown on Youtube here:

“We can debate outcomes of engagement all we want, but the thing that’s really important, I think, to have on the public agenda is really the question of ‘Who is getting access to the kinds of experiences that are productive and engaging, and who is not?’ And what are the factors contributing to that?” (3:30)

“I think there’s still a persistent perception among parents and teachers that activities like gaming and social media use are a waste of time and a distraction from learning, rather than something that is inherently a support for productive forms of learning.” (6:25)

“It’s often profoundly uncool to care deeply about something […] kids have mechanisms for hiding these kinds of identities[…] Now, the online world suddenly offers an opportunity for kids to affiliate and connect with others who share these passionate interests in a way that’s not bound by the social status hierarchies of high school.” (12:46)

“Now what was extremely interesting about Clarissa that made her different from […] almost all of the kids who we talked to as part of our study was she was able to take the work she did in the role-playing world and make it visible and consequential, in a positive way, to the adult-facing world.” (15:33)

“We’re doing work right now in trying to develop some alternative assessments, ways of thinking about dispositions, metacognitive capacities, preparation for future learning […] that can really enable us to make an argument why it’s not domain-specific knowledge that we should be looking at as much as an underlying disposition for learning and capacity for future learning that’s the most important outcome.” (22:27)

“Our theory of change, it’s really centered on the fact that–in the best circumstances–new technology can really lower the barriers of access to connected learning experiences. That it can help really connect the dots between these diverse spheres of learning that young people navigate through in their everyday lives.” (27:09)

The connected learning mentioned by Mimi are based on:

-Friendship, Community

-Interests, Affinity

-Reputation, Achievement

She also mentioned about a Theory of Change that is based on the use of technology, with technology affordance, media and community that would:

– lower the barriers towards connection with community and others,

– recognize their achievement of competencies,

– connect the dots, via community,

– navigate the networks, community and webs,

–  negotiate with others, and

– voice their views and opinions.

Further research is required to explore how such connected learning based on informal learning outside school setting be integrated with the school education and learning.

In reflection, this connected learning relates to Connectivism and Connective Knowledge significantly.  Also the concepts of Conversation as part of the pedagogy in Community and Online Learning (see here and here) are not only valid for adult and community learning, but also crucial to K-12 learning, though the degree and depth of conversation among learners may vary, depending on the maturity of the learners, and the context of conversation and discourse.

I reckon creativity is related to connected and connective learning.  If we could help and support our fellow learners and educators in creating a learning environment and ecology via technology and media, then they would feel more comfortable and easy in connecting, conversing, cooperating and collaborating with each others, and be able to exercise their creativity and talents in the engagement, production and sharing of artifacts.  Surely that would lead to networks and communities of learning that could fulfill their life-long and life-wide learning aspirations.

I will continue to explore this in the coming posts.

#Change11 Purpose of Higher Education, Creativity and Collaboration

What is the purpose of Higher Education? Here in this post of top-ed-tech-trends-of-2011-the-higher-education-bubble by Audrey Watters:

“What about the promise of opportunity and advancement that comes with a college degree?  What about the intellectual demands of university life?  What are students learning?  What should they learn?  What degree programs should schools keep or ax when there are fiscal (and perceptual) constraints?”

I have posted here some views about the purpose and tasks of Higher Education.

University (and Higher Education) is about the creation and dissemination of knowledge.

How to achieve such a vision?

Through creativity and collaboration in the academy.

A wonderful summary.

Your views….