miltontan

Can Creativity be Taught?

In Creative Culture, Creativity, Education on 2010/09/30 at 2:58 pm

I seldom use this expression but I sincerely think it is the best answer to this loaded question: “yes and no”!

A related question, “Can thinking be taught?”, would attract the same response.  Creativity to a large extent is thinking, although we tend to expect it to have more tangible outcomes (such as art, music and design) compared to more abstract or conceptual thinking.  But both creativity and thinking share the need to be practised for them to make sense for the rest of us.  Both are fascinating subjects for lectures and discourses but mean relatively very little until they are applied to the real world.

The thing with creativity — and thinking — is that is an innate attribute, like language, that is unsanctioned.  We do not need to be formally taught creativity, thinking or language, but it helps if we want to take it to a higher level.  For example, creativity, like thinking, is contextual; but many fight for “more creativity” as if it were fresh air or clean water.  The funny thing is that cognitive psychologists, sociologists, neuro scientists, philosophers and linguists trip over themselves to explain what is practised billions of times everyday since the beginning of time without the slightest awareness that these are subjects of deep inquiry that may be taught.

Have all the probing made any impact on creativity?  Well, yes and no.

Stay tuned for cases of “yes” and “no”.  Send me a note on your yes/no encounters.

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