What is Creativity? And How Can We Embrace It?

“When people speak or think of creativity, they mistakenly think of it as having only to do with the visual arts and the other arts. Creativity cuts across all areas, and has to do with making new in all domains. “
(Jane Piirto, 2011)

Creativity and Me! 

Feeling comfortable when embracing creativity is something that I feel may come easier to me than some of my classroom peers. Growing up I engaged with music as a creative outlet from a very young age. When I considered that some peers in my class felt very challenged by engaging with creative practices, I decided it was important that I also challenge myself to explore new things too. I decided that over the coming weeks that I will purse new forms of creative outlets that I am not experienced or confident in such as drawing, story-telling and writing poems. I hope by the end of the month this will help me feel comfortable in expressing my self through more creative outlets than before I started this course and also that this will help me become a teacher who is able to encourage my class to experiment with creativity through various practices.

What is Creativity? How do We Embrace It?

This week we considered what is creativity and how to embrace it. The quote at the top of this page taken from Creativity for 21st Century Skill explains well that creativity is not limited to the arts, but it is something we can choose to engage and embrace with regularly, in many forms. Whether it’s in creating a new recipe or coming up with a new idea at work, it can be found and implemented in so many aspects of our lives! I think this is something that is so important to consider when engaging with creativity ourselves but also when teaching creativity in the classroom! Engaging with creativity shouldn’t be limited to doing so through strictly ‘arts’ but something that we feeling comfortable incorporating into our daily teaching plans and our lives.
creativity

The Five Core Attitude for Creative Practice
Risk Taking | Openness to Experience | Group Trust | Self Discipline | Tolerance for Ambiguity 

We also discussed the five core attitudes to use when engaging with creative practice. Learning and understand these core values will help me not only develop my creative practice, but I believe that it will enable me to build a classroom environment that supports and encourages creative thinking and a safe place to share ideas.

creativy risk

How Did I Engage Creatively This Week?

open to experience

This week I went down to the lake at UQ and for about an hour attempted to sketch the lake, animals and trees. Nature and animals, is something that really inspires me so I thought that using it as my inspiration would help me feel more comfortable when trying out a a new creative practice. I know that drawing isn’t one of my strongest skills, so when trying this I engaged with risk-taking and ambiguity. This fish sums up how I was feeling very well haha!
curiosity

Firstly I was terrified because I didn’t know the techniques of drawing or where I should start but I was able to over come this with some tolerance of ambiguity and risk-taking. It’s definitely not the greatest drawing, but I was really excited I tried it out and I will be more comfortable drawing again in the future.

turtleducklake
lake

11127824_10206873117891300_998898370_n

Advertisements

Week Two: Who do we create? Processes and Practices in Creativity.


How did I Engage with This Weeks Content?
Inspiration | Imagery | Imagination | Intuition | Insight | Incubation | Improvisation

This week we discussed the processes and practices that assist us to create. This was really interesting to me as I haven’t actually considered the processes and practices behind how I write music and embrace creativity before. After learning about the 7 I’s as discussed by Jane Piirto and watching Lousie perform through story-telling in class I really wanted to incorporate what I had learned this week into my work.

I work at a childcare center and I strongly believe in learning through play-based learning and also incorporating as many creative elements into my work as I can throughout the day. Usually my favourite thing is to sing songs and clap along to songs on CD’s as this is something I am really comfortable with.  But I was determined on trying something new this week and getting out of my comfort zone and engage with the kids using a differ creative platform!
We sat down outside and I asked them if they wanted to hear a story. I was really worried that it wouldn’t make any sense, but I used my imagination and quite a bit of improvisation to make up a story on the spot! I started telling them a story about a crocodile that wanted to make friends with the other animal in the pond who were scared of him. I used my hands and arms and sounds to help paint a picture in the children’s minds. They kids really loved it and responded well to the story! I was really happy I got to try a new approach to teaching creatively!
storytelling

Solitude | Ritual | Meditation | Walking | Silence |Divergent Production Practice | Creativity as The Process of Life

This week we also learnt about general practices in the creative art process. My partner, Matt, is a very talented musician who is blessed with the ability to create incredible music without ritual, solitude, silence or mediation. Because of this though I have struggled to find myself with any space or time for solitude over the past few years and find an opportunity to let myself go and create away for hours like I used to. When we discussed these topics I was really inspired to go and start dedicating time to myself where I could be silent, on my own and reflective. On the weekend I made my way up to Mount Cootha early one morning and sat by the creek. I forced myself to become silent in my anxious thoughts (which is super difficult for me to do) and eventually I was able to lose myself and let my my mind take me somewhere else. I felt really energized by this and wanted to try and create something and I decided to try writing a poem.
solitude

I sit on the ground and let it pull me down, 
in to the depths I have not yet found.
The world around me has faded away, 
My worries, have left me for now today. 
This is a feeling I do not normally know.

For I am normally filled with anxious ideas, 
Today I will not let them interfere. 
Away from the noise and all on my own, 
I can embrace this now, I am in my zone. 
This is something I have ignored for so long, 
But it was so simple, I could have been right here all along. 

I really enjoyed this weeks learning and I genuinely have found it to really positively influence my mindset about taking time to engage with processes and practices when wanting to create.

Week Three: Creativity and Place

place
“A sense of place represents a deeply emotional and complex attachment to a particular geographical and cultural space. It encompasses a shared experience of history and community, a connection embedded in social networks and rich in tacit knowledge. It informs people’s sense of who they are, where they are, where they have come from and where they are trying to go.”
(Bradley, 2012)

Creativity and Place
This week we explored creativity and place. I learnt the importance of culture and globalization and it’s role in creativity. When discussing the need for ‘place-based pedagogies’ in schools (Grenuewald, 2003) it was evident that developing a safe space in the classroom for children to create and learn was crucial for helping them to feel comfortable in expressing themselves.

It was really interesting to learn not only about what’s important in creating our own space at home or at work but also how we could turn somewhere new into a place based on memories and community partnerships.

Firstly, in the lecture we talked about ‘The Walking Neighborhood‘ project.
the walking neighbourhood
I
t was really incredible seeing this project turn a place that was considered taboo for children to go to, into a place where they were able to create tours and engage with local shopkeepers and other’s in the community. It was amazing to see how this project enabled the children to take ownership of themselves and the tours and turn this space into a place they will cherish as their own for some time to come.

I hope that when I begin teaching, that I will be able to create a space for my children to feel comfortable in. At my childcare where I work, they have done an amazing job of this! They have photos of each child’s family in the room, the art that children create is hung from the ceilings and all over the walls and photos of the children playing and learning also cover the room! This environment really helps children take ownership of their rooms and their space and feel comfortable to create and play.
In the bathroom they have this beautiful tree that I really wanted include in my journal. It has so many beautiful inspirational quotes all over it about creativity, place and friends and family! This childcare creates a place not only for the children and their families but for us as educators to feel like we have a special place too! It’s really something special, which I hope to recreate in my teaching.
treee work

Lastly we were actually able to recreate a place we consider special in our tutorial. I move house quite frequently and have never had the opportunity to really make a room that was my own. But I’ve lived on the Gold Coast for a long time and I found Mount Tambourine and Bunya Mountains to be places that always resonate with me and really make we feel like I am somewhere where I feel inspired, free and be able to create and be myself without consequence. In my picture I create a place deep within the national park where I would be surrounded by green, as I would be in the mountains. No roads, no cell-phones, just a place where I was able to breathe and relax and take in all the beautiful animals and plants around me.

artowrk

Week Four: Creative Pedagogy

creativity-in-the-classroom-4

“Imagination, creativity and the Arts are, in our view, inextricably linked and every child deserves the opportunity to learn in, about and through dance, drama literature, media, music, storytelling and visual arts” (Gibson and Eqing, 2011)

Creative Pedagogy

This week we were able to further explore creative pedagogy. After reading Chapter One in ‘Transforming the Curriculum through the Arts’ it was more clear than ever before, that a creative pedagogy is crucial element that we must incorporate into our everyday teaching. It was really motivating to read that it had been found in studies that creative pedagogy not only increase imagination and creative abilities with in children but also benefits them in so many other areas like numeracy, literacy, self-confidence, motivation, self directed learning and self esteem.

Following this reading, at our lecture and tutorial we were able to explore more ways and ideas of implementing creative pedagogy in our classrooms. It was really useful to discuss this so soon after leaning about how to create a safe space for our children to learn in. I learnt how to identify and use activities that are inclusive, open-ended, had elements of self-discipline and risk-taking, promoted a tolerance of ambiguity and helped encourage creative thinking.

creativity

This week was a really great way to put every thing that I had learned over the last four weeks together and really understand the importance of creativity and how to effectively implement it into my classroom.

creativity is

Becoming a teacher that incorporates creativity into my everyday practice has always  been something I have been passionate about. I finished a Diploma of Music out of high-school and hoped to become a primary school music teacher. This last four weeks though has really shown me that I don’t just have to teach music to teach children how to be creative! I can be a creative teacher every single day no matter what I am teacher! I really truly hope to embrace what I have learned over the last four weeks in my teaching career 🙂

Creative Pedagogy: Personal Statement & References

clothes

Personal Statement

I believe that creativity is a crucial element that all teachers should be implementing in their everyday pedagogical approaches. Creativity has been found to not only increase a child’s sense of identity, social skills and flexibility but it has also been found to have positive effects on a child’s academic outcomes (Gibson and Ewing, 2011). When considering these benefits of creativity, I believe that integrating practices such as dance, story-telling and music should not be limited to extra-curricular activities, but something that teachers incorporate into their everyday practice. Though, it’s also mportant to not that creativity shouldn’t be limited to ‘The Arts’ in our approach as “creativity cuts across all areas, and has to do with making new in all domains” (Piirto 2011, p. 1 ). We as teachers must find ways in which we can encourage creative thinking in as many activities as we can. It is vital that we create a space that children feel they can freely express themselves in creatively and be enable to discover who they are (Grenuwald, 2003). By providing children with a safe space where they can create, we can help them discover “who they are, where they have from and where they are trying to go” (Bradley, 2012 p. 1).

References

Bradley, F. (2012). Creativity: does place matter?. London Review Of Education, 10(2), 145-157. doi:10.1080/14748460.2012.691280

Gibson, R., & Ewing, R. (2011). Transforming the curriculum through the arts. South Yarra, Vic.: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gruenewald, D. (2003). The Best of Both Worlds: A Critical Pedagogy of Place. Educational Researcher, 32(4), 3-12

Piirto, J. (2011). Creativity for 21st Century Skills. Rotterdam: SensePublishers.