Learning Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, 6775 Readings

Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

The Impact of Culture on Creativity

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Culture is the general expression of humanity, the expression of its creativity. Culture is linked to meaning,  knowledge, talents, industries, civilisation and values. The objective of the study is to have a better understanding of the influence of culture on creativity, a motor of economic and social innovation. Does music, visual art, cinema and poetry for instance contribute to creativity as a way to stimulate job creation, economic prosperity, learning and social cohesion? What  is the impact of artistic creation on innovation?  Why do companies want to be associated with culture and art?  What is the social function of artistic and cultural creativity? The report develops the concept of culture-based creativity, stemming from art and cultural productions or activities which nurture innovation, and going beyond  artistic achievements or “creative content” feeding broadband networks, computers and consumer electronic equipments. This culture-based creativity is linked to the ability  of people, notably artists, to think imaginatively or metaphorically, to challenge the conventional, and to call on the symbolic and affective to communicate. The nature of culture-based creativity is closely linked to the nature of artistic contribution as expressed in art  or cultural productions. The spontaneous, intuitive, singular and human nature of cultural creation enriches society.

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Written by learningchange

October 29, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Creativity, Culture

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Critical Thinking and Creativity – An overview and comparison of the theories

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In this paper, I plan to review some of the scholarly literature about creativity and critical thinking, looking for commonalities between them. I also plan to compare the public trade books about creative thinking and explore how that thinking aligns with the research. Finally, I would like to explore if the relationships between them can strengthen my creative and critical thinking abilities. Both consider the thinking as processes rather than products or outcomes. Both involve the re-examination of existing information. It appears that creativity takes the next step after challenging assumptions and begins creating new ideas. Critical thinking challenges, but draws conclusions, rather than taking the concepts to new dimensions. Creative thinking is designed to create, and critical thinking is designed to analyze. It seems that creative thinking has aspects of critical thinking, and critical thinking has aspects of creativity. Like deBono’s thinking hats the process of looking at the alternative perspectives brings out the end result in both. Each has value, and when used in conjunction, creates a powerful process of higher order thinking.

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Written by learningchange

October 29, 2014 at 3:30 pm

A Critique of Creativity and Complexity – Deconstructing Clichés

In an increasingly complex world the natural human inclination is to oversimplify issues and problems to make them seem more comprehensible and less threatening. This tendency usually generates forms of dogmatism that diminish our ability to think creatively and to develop worthy talents. Fortunately, complexity theory is giving us ways to make sense of intricate, evolving phenomena. This book represents a broad, interdisciplinary application of complexity theory to a wide variety of phenomena in general education, STEM education, learner diversity and special education, social-emotional development, organizational leadership, urban planning, and the history of philosophy. The contributors provide nuanced analyses of the structures and dynamics of complex adaptive systems in these academic and professional fields.

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Creativity and Complexity in Cross Functional Teams

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Cross functional collaboration, when individuals attempt to integrate their diverse knowledge backgrounds into synergistic solutions, is the intersection of a complex set of factors researched in a variety of fields: psychology, management. social psychology, computer science, design, architecture, and many more.  Concepts such as team group, cohesiveness, cognitive complexity, group maturity, creativity, decision making, and many more interact and influence each other in very complex ways.  Like the Blind Men and the Elephant, these different people and fields have diverse, often conflicting perspectives and insights on the process.  It would seem useful if these diverse knowledge resources could be brought together in an integrated perspective on this phenomenon that would enable the different fields to build upon each other in the search for more useful knowledge.  This paper discusses some perspectives that may assist in bringing all the perspectives together into a shared discussion space that supports deliberate efforts to get more from cross functional efforts: defining creativity as insight, managing for complexity of thinking, and understanding team complexity.

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Written by learningchange

October 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

The Organizational Context in Cultural Patterns of Creativity

In this article, we first review cross-cultural research, especially that concerning similarities and differences between East Asian and Western cultures, on creativity using laboratory tasks and tests. On the basis of this review, we then propose some directions for future cross-cultural research on creativity in the workplace. We emphasize the need to theorize why cultural differences make a difference in creativity and directly investigate, rather than assume, effects of contextual factors on creativity. In this regard, two literatures on creativity – cross-cultural studies using laboratory tasks and organizational studies of employee creativity – can benefit tremendously from integration. We also call for more empirical research examining effects of culture on creativity in the workplace, especially in China.

Our review of the cross-cultural creativity literature revealed that much of the research has taken an individual-centered, or individual differences approach to an understanding of levels of creativity in different cultures. Context has been almost completely missing from previous theorizing and research in the cross-cultural creativity literature. As a result of the decontextualized approach, the usefulness dimension of creativity has not been considered. Also, there has been little theorizing about the proximal social contexts that affect creative work, such as the workers’ relationships to supervisors, peers, and associates. This unsatisfactory state-of-affairs provides impetus for more and better theorizing and research in the cross-cultural creativity research area …

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Written by learningchange

July 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Enhancing Creativity in Group Collaboration

As Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become established tools for communication, organizations increasingly use computer-mediated work groups to support various business processes and find creative solutions to organizational problems. In such a context, groups’ creative performance can greatly contribute to organizational success. Previous literature has examined the influence of various factors on different outcomes of group collaboration. However, mechanisms through which creativity can be improved, and how to design ICT’s interfaces to increase creativity have received little attention. In this study, we aim to understand the effects of two specific motivational affordances, namely, performance targets and performance feedback, on people’s perceived competence and creativity within the context of computer-mediated collaboration. Using computer-mediated idea generation as an instantiation of collaboration systems, we test the effects of performance targets and different types of feedback on people’s perceived competence and creativity in a controlled laboratory experiment. Our results show that the difficulty of performance targets and the type ofperformance feedback interact, influencing people’s perceived competence, which in turn influences their creativity in group collaboration. We conclude our study with a discussion of implications for the design of human–computer interfaces for computer-mediated idea generation.

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Written by learningchange

July 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Fostering Creative Thinking: Co-constructed Insights from Neuroscience and Education

The following educationally relevant and scientifically credible concepts were identified in this project:

  • Although every creative act contains elements of spontaneity, teachers can play a critical role in fostering creative thinking processes through use of environment and strategy.
  • No single part of our brain is responsible for creativity. Some regions linked to producing divergent associations, of the type needed for creativity, appear usually located in the right hemisphere. However, creativity is a complex thought process that calls on many different brain regions in both hemispheres. Left-brain/right-brain theories of learning are not based on credible science and are unhelpful in understanding creativity, especially when used to categorise individuals.
  • Creativity appears to require movement between two different modes of thinking: generative and analytical.
  • Cognitive fixation occurs when we become unable to move beyond an idea or set of ideas. It can be thought of as being stuck in analytical mode. However, in normal circumstances, we can monitor and, to some extent, regulate which mode we are using. In this sense, creative thinking appears amenable to metacognition.
  • Analytical thinking can benefit from extrinsic rewards such as assessment praise, whereas generative thinking can benefit more from more intrinsic motivations such as fascination and curiosity. Analytical thinking can also be encouraged by mild anxiety, while a stress-free and uncritical environment can produce more generative thinking.
  • Rehearsing the same idea can feel reassuring, whereas generative thinking can feel like a step in the dark, especially when there are few constraints or guidelines. To avoid anxiety, and thence fixation, the right level of constraint is sometimes required: not so constrained that creativity can’t flourish, but sufficient to provide some level of reassurance.
  • When we visualise, our brain activity can resemble that associated with real experience. This suggests visualisation is a potentially powerful educational tool. For example, enhancement of generative thinking can be achieved through visualising changes in context.

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Educating for Creativity and Innovation

In the last several decades many of the world’s most developed countries have shifted from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy, one based on the creation of knowledge, information, and innovation. Educational researchers have paid very little scholarly attention to this economic shift, although it has substantial implications. After all, educational historians have repeatedly shown how today’s schools were designed in the first half of the 20th century to meet the economic needs of the industrial economy; if that economy is a thing of the past, then many features of contemporary schools may become obsolete. In today’s knowledge society, creativity always occurs in complex collaborative and organizational settings. Teams and organizations innovate using open-ended, improvisational group processes. I argue that education should be structured around disciplined improvisation, and I advocate the use of situated, collaborative knowledge-building activities. I argue that creative collaboration in classrooms aligns with the social nature of innovation in today’s economy.

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Written by learningchange

July 18, 2014 at 3:14 pm

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