Monday, 12 April 2010

Creativity in the classroom

Interesting post here from John Lehrer's science blog about creativity in the classroom.

A snippet (for those to lazy to read the whole thing):

"Look, for instance, at daydreaming. It's hard to imagine a cognitive process that's less suitable for the classroom, which is why I was always castigated for staring out the window instead of looking at the blackboard. In a culture obsessed with efficiency, daydreaming is derided as a lazy habit or a lack of discipline, the kind of thinking we rely on when we don't really want to think. It's a sign of procrastination, not productivity.

In recent years, however, it's become clear that daydreaming is actually an important element of the creative process, allowing the brain to remix ideas, explore counterfactuals and turn the spotlight of attention inwards...

...Of course, daydreaming is less helpful when we're supposed to be learning our multiplication tables, or studying for a standardized test. In such instances, the lack of focused attention is a classroom failure, and not a potentially useful state of mind. The danger, however, is that we're teaching our kids a very narrow and stultifying model of cognition, in which conscientiousness is privileged above all.

The solution, I suppose, is rather banal: we really do need arts education in our schools, if only to give kids a break from this one-size-fits-all model of thinking. Because sometimes we need to daydream. And sometimes we just need to let it all out, even if we haven't raised our hand. "

So, next time I take a wrong turn in my car because I'm daydreaming, I can just put it down to having a very creative brain.


MadameSmokinGun said...

I must have an explosively creative brain.

Biggest memory of school is the view out of the cheek-streaked windows.

Most terrifying sound: my name being called out to explain what Miss had just said.

shell said...

It was always on my reports at the end of the year 'Michelle would do much better in class if she stopped daydreaming' hehehe. Explains my crafty notions then.

Big mamma frog said...

My reports just said that I should 'talk more in class'. Now how perverse is that?! Maybe they suspected that the bored silence radiating from me was a clever cover-up for a rebellious take-over plot I was planning. (I wish).