Creativity = Connections
Creativity is innovation. If, as a country, we want innovators and innovative educators and businesses, then we must develop our ability to make connections in diverse ways.
Steve Jobs was a master of innovation — his creative ideas developed from thinking globally — beyond the box in which he was working. So, the Apple II case was inspired by kitchen appliances. The mag-safe magnetic power plug was inspired by Japanese rice cookers. Outside the usual idea of computers. He connected the disparate. He imagined how one could translate to another.
So, education needs to be more flexible, more amenable to connecting ideas, to taking time to solve problems through creative and critical thinking. It’s more powerful learning than demanding objectives and parsed skills. We need more conversation and more time for playing with ideas. If we want innovation, we need time to play, to make, to step back and see how something completely unrelated may help solve a confusing issue.
What I see in my classroom is a hope to get the teacher’s answer. What I see are glazed eyes when I talk about the objective for the day. What I see is a sparkle when I turn the tables so students ask the questions, when the topic is relevant to their lives, and when the task is determined by their desire to share something important to them — their connection, their ideas.
When do you see that sparkle?