“Creativity is intelligence having fun”
To a little girl who was 6, during a drawing lesson was asked what she was drawing. The teacher said this girl hardly ever paid attention ever, but in this drawing lesson, she did. The teacher was fascinated. She went over to her, and she said, “What are you drawing?” And the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” And the teacher said, “But nobody knows what God looks like.” And the girl said, “They will, in a minute.”
This is how Sir Ken Robinson introduces his speech during a TEDx talk, talking about creativity and why the nowadays schools are killing it. He is one of the most important personalities when talking about creative development and innovation in human beings. He says “Kids are not frightened of being wrong. I don’t mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. What we do know is, if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” He continues by saying that by the time kids get adult they loose the capacity of running the risk of being wrong and they stop being creative.
In #TheNowFamily we know how important is the creativity in order to have success. Creativity gives us the possibility to see a situation from a different perspective and to find a solution where everybody else is seeing a problem. This is how we converted the smartphone into a thermometer. This is how most of the things in the world are invented from a creative place, which burns into each and every human being. This burning desire to create things is not alimented by summing up numbers during a math class neither by learning by heart historical dates. Being able to see the light where everybody else sees darkness is where the origin of all inventions lies.
Why is so important Creativity?
Creativity is the most important form of expressing ourselves, in a way free of judgment and limits. This capacity helps kids in solving issues when in difficult situations involving feelings and challenging experiences. How many times did we see that no matter how good the marks of a student during the university years were, he dramatically failed during his life? And we now know that emotional intelligence doesn’t depend on marks.
Developing the creative part of a child means giving him/her the possibility to develop their unique part, the one that makes them different in personality and approaches to life. Being creative means finding the best from any situation, means taking risks that to the eyes of someone else is excessive, means to be prepared in facing the daily challenges of their lives.
Nowadays reality is characterized mainly by stress, same daily situation where doing something different is rare. Our priority is not being creative but becoming more productive in daily activities. We are numbers in our job places and what counts is what you can mostly do in your 8 hours shift. There is no time for having fun, a deep breath, for an activity to open your mind and boost your creativity. We are not able to enjoy our free time, we don’t give ourselves permission to free our mind from worries and problems.
Thomas Friedman says that nowadays Economy is totally changed in comparison to what it used to be some years ago. Friedman argues that success in this new age requires more “individual initiative;” citing the importance of “P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient)” in addition to plain old I.Q. During the school years, to children are taught a certain thought pattern and they build a knowledge about reality depending on what they learnt. They learn to keep risky situation aside and to choose the most secure road in life. As Friedman assumes, success nowadays cannot be realized without developing a crazy idea, without taking the risk and being different.
What is interesting is that most of the time teachers themselves are the ones who have been told to not take risks, to not be original and to follow a certain road. They are the first ones in having fear of being different. For teachers is easier to teach to a class of children who accept the same ideas. It is easier to evaluate at the end a class with the same marks, with a Yes or a No, with an A or a D. It is harder to evaluate a child according to his/her emotional development, paying attention to their individuality ant their peculiarity.
Sir Ken Robinson in his book “Finding your Element” moves an important critic towards the traditional schooling education. What it used to be essential in finding a job during the XIX century is not the most suitable for nowadays reality. Being good at math, languages or history is not what guarantees your success. Thanks to the Internet’s development and the “Cloud” source, it is easier to have access to the information at any time of the day with a simple click. Today, what makes special and of high value a person is their unique gift, their capacity to develop something that didn’t exist before, something to be know for, in their small reality or on a wider range.
Those who find opportunities in difficult moments are the ones to find the easier way to success. The crisis, which affected our society, is a sigh of change. Everything has been automatized and robots can easily substitute “human capital”. Each of us has the duty to develop their unique voice, to risk what he/she thought to be the only reality. The need to connect to our personal talents and passions has never been greater. The human mind is profoundly and uniquely creative, but too many people have no sense of their true talents. Education has an important role in helping us to achieve our potential, but the processes by which we assess ability were designed for other times and for other purposes.
The nowadays educational systems smiles to an answer out of the common scheme. This is what has to be changed. Teachers have to see the beauty in different answers. As in the case of the girl with whom we opened our article. She was drawing God and she was sure about her actions.
“- Nobody know how God is”
“-Don’t worry, now they will know”.
We have to promote in our educational system activities, which involve the use of the right hemisphere of our brain. Contrary to the left hemisphere, which is totally dedicated to rational thinking, the right one stimulated the creativity in each person. Unfortunately what is mostly promoted in schools is the left one. Being able to take in consideration the importance of the right hemisphere means that during the school years, teachers have to focus the daily activities in activities to develop this part without forgetting about its importance.
Appreciating a different answer and seeing the uniqueness of a child is what makes a teacher valuable of being named like this. If a child is being asked how much is 2 + 3 and he/she answers 23 there is no need of making fun of his/her answer. It simply changed the “logic” of the question putting together the two numbers. It is another way of seeing a problem.
The “weight” of being a teacher
For sure, a teacher doesn’t have to feel the weight of her/his role. But not everybody is capable of taking this role. This specialization has to be felt and not be chosen by compliance. Someone is good in teaching something when his/her students fell in love with their way of teaching. This is the story of the movie “The dead poets society” (1989), where Robin Williams plays the role of a very particular teacher, who stimulates the creativity in his students. Finding beauty in poetries and inspiring his students to seek and to find their unique voice is the most relevant message of it.
The successful teachers want theirs students to be creative and to find their own voice. Innovative and original ideas are the ones to direct people to success.
Here are some of the most important actions to be taken in consideration when developing this capacity called creativity:
- To promote the single initiative to generate ideas out of common in any situation. This is what brainstorming is used in finding new solutions to problems. The mind tools is a website that gives an in-depth view of the topic.
- To promote the freedom in expressing ideas during classes, always keeping in mind the respect towards others. Dancing, drawing, writing, singing, taking a walk in nature or meditating are just some of the activities which can boost your creativity and the one of your kid. The Monterossi method is famous for giving importance to the freedom of expressing oneself.
- To promote easy ways of working in groups. As much as one can say that he/she is a creative person what makes unique and most valuable a result is the work in a teal. Check this link for a better knowledge of the subject.
- To promote sincere and open – hearted talks. What is important for someone is for sure important for someone else. It is essential to be ready to take the risk and talk about subjects, which are not the most common ones. It is easy to talk about things, which are not that important. It is harder to talk about something that is close to one’s heart.
- And, most of all, never forget that we are all potential creators and all we need is to find our unique way of developing our creativity capabilities. A great tool in starting this process is the book “The artist’s way” .
Any of the activities you may choose are a great way to improve your life. And we are not talking just about children in their early stages. No matter the education you had, you always can develop your brain’s right hemisphere. From the bottom of our #TheNowFamily heart we invite you to give a change to your right hemisphere brain and go beyond your “limits”. Dare to be unique, dare to discover your beauty.
Here is a great example of a mum dedicating her time to creativity and stimulating her kids imagination. We are sure in her home there are lots of colors and playgrounds. Les Maman Winneuses.