Creativity Thinking, Innovation and Invention
What to do in the classroom to help students develop CREATIVE THINKING SKILLS and HOW TO HELP STUDENTS APPLY this in REAL-WORLD CONTEXTS
“Every day most of us make use of the internet as a part of our lives. Some are absolutely avid users of it. And think of what we can accomplish. Remarkable and wonderful. And think about how much this has changed our lives over the past 35 years.
But our ability to connect with and use the internet wasn’t just something that someone happened upon somewhere. It was the deliberate active engagement of a team of people – perhaps teams – and over time deliberately trying to make something that will give people access to other people like has never happened before, and providing varied productive uses of the internet that accomplish a myriad of other things that we had never been able to do before. And in fact one main goal of all of this is to make all of these things easy so most people can do them. Remarkable and wonderful! And a masterwork of creativity.
Actually, when you think of it, the internet and its various access systems is something that makes the invention of the telephone 150 years ago, celebrated as a great invention, pale by comparison. But, when you think of it again, this magnificent system today is part of a continuum of progress that the telephone played a major role in, of that has not by any means ended. And this is all for us you and me — not just for a small elite group.
And think too about the creative components of this magnificent system: laptops, Iphones, flash drives – we could go on and on. These, too, in and of themselves, are innovations that not only serve a purpose, they are components in a larger system each component of which contributes to the overall goal of our maximizing the potential of our connecting through the internet for our benefit.
But we must also realize that none of this would have happened were it not for us, and in particular for us making use of very special skills to come up with new ideas about how to do things that work well to accomplish what we want. Without us there would be no telephone, no internet, and nothing else, from poetic masterpieces to great symphonies and Rembrandt and Andy Warhole masterpieces. But not just us – us using good inventive creative thinking to come up with good ideas, and using good careful critical thinking to make sure that those creative ideas will really work, and then translating what we think will work for us into action to produce what we have. So here we have the best of our thinking, creative thinking, critical thinking, both done skillfully, and then our ability to transform our thoughts into action through carefully crafted decision making or problem solving. The result: something not copied from anything but created by human beings to become something unique and assured to contribute to human progress. And the process: a team with a clear shared objective, coupled with a spirit of collaboration, not competition, facilitated by honest sharing through effective communication. Complicated – but think about the impact that this has all had, and will continue to have, on our lives.
In this workshop we will explore how we can help students in our classrooms, and at whatever our grade level and subject area you teach, to develop these skills and work together in this way and learn to use these skills so that they are natural when they confront a problem or challenge. We will do this in the spirit of moving away from memory-based rote learning classrooms by transforming your classrooms into active-learning classrooms. And in this context, we will explore how we can teach students to exercise care and skill at decision making to translate their thoughts into action.
Of course, working with 3, 4, and 5 year old children on this means a starter that fits their abilities, to be developed further as they progress through the grades.
We will give you all an opportunity to start to develop your own ideas about how you can do this with your students. So, we will use the methodology of Thinking-Based Learning (TBL) to show you the best way to do all these things. That is because we reject the idea, as I am sure that you do also, that only certain special kids can develop creative and critical thinking skills – the kids we used to call “gifted” with very high IQs — and the others, well, too bad, they will never be able to do the same things. That’s wrong. All students can become critical and creative thinkers and we can teach them how to do that in all of our classrooms.
We also want to enrich your experience by integrating special techniques that earlier writers have proposed for the same purpose. So we will look at some of the ideas proposed by Edward DeBono, Paul Torrance, and Donald Treffinger so we can discuss how you can integrate these into the experience of your students.”
Robert Swartz and Rosabel Rodríguez
THE CREATIVITY WORKSHOP HAS BEEN CANCELED, WE WILL SCHEDULE NEW DATES FOR THE SECOND SEMESTER OF THE YEAR AND WE WILL BE INFORMING YOU.