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The Challenge with Teaching Creativity

Tanner C

Creativity is a broad and often ambiguous topic. Even when defined, the traits of creative thinking are difficult to teach. You can't teach someone to be passionate, just as you can't teach creativity.

"Rather than trying to teach creativity (the act of generating unique and valuable thoughts), it’s worthwhile to instead teach and actively promote the attributes that make up creativity."

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  • Dave Greene

    Creative people can teach creatively. There is both talent and skill involved, as in any art. Too many reformers simply don't get that. However, being in a collaborative atmosphere and working with creative people means more teachers can share creative ideas and learn to be more creative, given their talents.

    For more:

  • Semhal Tekeste

    Agreed! Measuring creativity is very limiting - and attempting to do so actually kinda hinders it. It's a thin line! I like how this article speaks about teaching the attributes instead, and focusing on fostering/cultivating the creativity rather than "teaching" it.

    p.s Sir Ken Robinson is fantastic! :)

  • Mark Guay

    This one makes me smile. I wrote something similar when taking a look at "teaching" entrepreneurship. Nurturing, teaching, guiding, and standing a student back up after he fails all go under the umbrella of teaching.

    Thanks for the posting this :)

    • Tanner C

      Thanks for reading and commenting Mark. :)

  • Lee Fatone

    I love this article! This is something that I struggled with when I used to teach art in NY. In many of the school districts that I taught in, teachers had to have clear goals and expectations laid out for students to meet at the beginning of each project - it's part of a grading and evaluation system (both for teachers and students). The challenge for me was figuring out a way to get students to think independently and create unique works of art, while still ensuring that they were successful within the parameters of those expectations. While I understand the need to assess student learning, this did hinder the organic, creative, and experimental process of creating art. Really, I think there needs to a be a fundamental shift in the way student achievement is evaluated if this problem is ever going to be addressed in a significant way in the schools.

    I also love that this article references Sir Ken Robinson - he's sort of my hero.

    • Tanner C

      Great insights Lee, it's at-least encouraging to see so many educators thinking the same general things on the matter.

    • Mark Guay

      That makes two who find Sir Ken a hero. I do hope to have a beer with him someday.