http://www.thesmartbean.com/magazine/21st-century-skills-magazine/i...

The article mentions that David Kelley believes that "creativity" is not necessarily innate, and can be taught and mastered, just like one can learn to play the piano.

(a) Do you agree?
(b) If yes, I'd love to know what teachers and parents could do as concrete measures to foster and nurture creativity, and divergent thinking, and problem finding and solving skills in kids.

Tags: 21st-century-skills, creativity

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Just briefly, based on my students the last two years I truly believe creativity can be taught. The last two years my classes have been incredibly uncreative and I blame that on the structured lessons they have been forced into their entire school careers.

How do we do it?

Well, I'm working on a succinct answer to that. :p
Thanks for getting this conversation started. I've had the great pleasure of interviewing innovators who are tackling some of the world's most vexing problems. Whether they're working on issues related to clean energy, fair trade, or sustainable building, they often describe similar strategies for coming up with solutions. If more educators can get familiar with these strategies, and encourage students to apply them, we'll go far toward developing a new generation of problem-solvers.
I agree with David Kelley that creativity can be taught and mastered. I feel that one reason many students lack creativity today is because they are taught to think in multiple choice answers, which definitely hinders creativity. Children today are also constantly stimulated with television, video games, portable dvd players and hand held gaming systems. Children do not have to find ways to entertain themselves during car rides because almost every family has a dvd player in the car, and uses it for even short trips to the store! One way to foster creativity is to read read read. I feel parents and teachers should read with children so they can encourage discussions and ask questions about the books. Teachers should encourage class discussions instead of simply copying down notes. They should require their students to read and write for every subject and limit the amount of multiple choice assessments. Parents should make their children turn off the tv and instead encourage them to find ways to entertain themselves, putting on plays, arts and crafts, playing outside, reading a book.
Children today are also constantly stimulated with television, video games, portable dvd players and hand held gaming systems. Children do not have to find ways to entertain themselves during car rides because almost every family has a dvd player in the car, and uses it for even short trips to the store! One way to foster creativity is to read read read.>>

Reading is a far less creative task than playing hand held gaming systems. I find it so very interesting that many teachers just assume reading is this magical process that sparks creativity and though. In truth, I'd say it is creativity and thought that sparks reading.

Video games require constant variation and methods to approach new situations. That, to me at least, is the very definition of creativity.
I see it a bit differently, in that creativity IS innate (as Kelley alludes to in the article, but says we educate it out of kids), but what we can do is help find ways for kids to unleash their creativity. One way I believe is to try, when possible and practical, to break kids out of the right/wrong answer "what grade will I get" mentality. Unfortunately, at least here in the US, as we move up in grade level the "game" of school becomes more about what grade or score you get and less about what you actually learned.

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