Learncreatively.org is a portal for research into the creative process through action and reflection in education. The purpose is to help other educators install creativity in their lessons preparing young minds for a successful 21st century working life.

The blog covers Creativity, Performing Arts and Arts-Integration to enhance student engagement and understanding. Through my writing and reflection I aim to:

  • Demystify creativity.
  • Collect and provide resources for the classroom and beyond.
  • Provoke thought and encourage discussion.
  • Connect and collaborate with other like-minded individuals.

 

Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value” (Sir Ken Robinson).

For me there are three key words within this definition:

  • Process
  • Original
  • Value

Process: Creativity is something you do. Creativity requires investigation and the comparison of alternatives. It is not a magical idea, that is imagination. Imagination is important for creativity but they are different things.

Original: It has to be new to the person or people who are involved in the process of creating. It may not be the first time that this idea has come to fruition but is important for those creating this time round.

Value: The value could be going through the process itself or the resulting idea/service/product of the process for the creator and/or others.

The Performing Arts are forms of art in which participants use their voices and/or their bodies, often in relation to other objects, to convey artistic expression.

Singing, Dancing and Acting are an innate quality of human life. Evidence of theatrical activity dates back to 2000 BC in Egypt and through the Orient, although we know song, dance and storytelling have been a part of cultural and religious rituals for much longer. They are devices that cannot be stamped out of human existence and will persevere in the future, helping us understand and reflect on the world around us.

Arts-Integration is a methodology of teaching and learning. It can be contextualised by using Howard Gardner’s “theory of multiple intelligences” which brings to light the different paths one connects to, and understands, information. Gardner has till now identified nine modes of comprehension:

  • Musical-rhythmic
  • Visual-spatial
  • Verbal-linguistic
  • Logical-mathematical
  • Bodily-kinesthetic
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal
  • Naturalistic
  • Existential

Arts-Integration works on the premises that information experienced in different ways makes it more accessible for a wider range of individuals. We know we are all different why should we be expected to learn everything only one way?

By employing the Arts (Performing and Visual) to experience concepts and content, the understanding of that information is enhanced for those of us who do not necessarily find it easy to grasp by just writing it. For example drawing a picture or dancing the process of photosynthesis may resonate with you and provide you with the comprehension of how it works.

 

Arts-Integration and The Arts utilise Creativity to explore and understand. Creativity is a driving force in the modern day workplace where we do not know what the jobs of tomorrow look like. “Business leaders are calling for more innovation and creativity to prepare students for a future we can’t fully envision and to solve complex problems that will require interdisciplinary skills and the ability to use creativity, critical thinking and communication.” (www.p21.org)

 

My story is told here.

 

Nela Fletcher’s story, the site’s illustrator, can be found here.

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