Learning Change

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Posts Tagged ‘creativity

Teachers’ Interpretation and Promotion of Creativity in Learning of Mathematics

Creativity is important for young children learning mathematics. Comparing the investment theory of creativity and national standards and principles for early mathematics shows that doing mathematics is more than applying rules and procedures; rather, learning mathematics takes a lot of creativity. However, much literature claimed that creativity for young children in the learning of mathematics was not adequately supported by teachers in the classroom due to teachers’ poor college preparation in mathematics content knowledge, teachers’ negativity towards creative students, teachers’ occupational pressure, low quality curriculum, and the like. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to generate a model that explains how teachers make sense of creativity in the learning of mathematics and how teachers promote or fail to promote it in the classroom. In-depth interviews with 30 Kindergarten to Grade-3 teachers, participating in a graduate mathematics specialist certificate program in a medium-sized Midwestern city were conducted. These teachers were also asked to draw a picture to represent their understanding of creativity for young students in the learning of mathematics. A theoretical model was developed describing: 1) the central phenomenon of how teachers interpret mathematical creativity; 2) the strategies teachers use to promote creativity in the learning of mathematics; and 3) the consequences of how different aspects of mathematical creativity are promoted by different strategies in different degrees. The findings challenge the popular notion that teachers do not view mathematics in early grades as requiring creativity and that they are not supporting enough creativity in the learning of mathematics in the classroom. Instead, this study finds that teachers from the graduate certificate program have a well-developed concept of mathematical creativity and that they are also resourceful about how to promote creativity in the learning of mathematics. This study provides researchers and teacher educators information on how to assist teachers to facilitate creativity and strong mathematics capability for children from an early age.


Written by learningchange

19/04/2014 at 11:00

Play Outside! Ways to Health, Happiness, Creativity, and to Environmental Sustainability

For both adults and kids, time spent outdoors increases all measures of well-being:  psychological and physical health, cognitive abilities, and creativity. It is also good for the planet. Here’s a brief review of the research and some suggestions for how to make it happen for your child and yourself. Spending more time outdoors, preferably in natural settings, may be the simplest, healthiest, and most economical remedy for the terrible increase in numbers of children diagnosed with social, emotional, and learning problems over the past two decades. It may also be the answer to many problems suffered by adults in our increasingly rushed, technology-focused lives. And on a global scale, there’s evidence that more people spending more time in natural spaces would contribute to solving the environmental challenges that are increasingly disrupting our lives.


Written by learningchange

17/04/2014 at 12:47

Democratic Schooling: What Happens to Young People Who Have Charge of Their Own Education

A follow-up study was conducted of the graduates of the Sudbury Valley School (SVS), a democratically administered primary and secondary school that has no learning requirements but rather supports students’ self-directed activities. Although these individuals educated themselves in ways that are enormously different from what occurs at traditional schools, they have had no apparent difficulty being admitted to or adjusting to the demands of traditional higher education and have been successful in a wide variety of careers. Graduates reported that for higher education and careers, the school benefited them by allowing them to develop their own interests and by fostering such traits as personal responsibility, initiative, curiosity, ability to communicate well with people regardless of status, and continued appreciation and practice of democratic values.


Read also: When Play Is Learning: A School Designed for Self-Directed Education

Harnessing Children’s Natural Ways of Learning

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

Free Play can define Kids’ Success

Free, unstructured playtime gives kids a chance to discover their interests and tap into their creativity. It’s a crucial element for building resilience in children, an attribute they’ll need in order to become happy, productive adults. That’s Kenneth Ginsburg’s thesis and the core of his book Building Resilience in Children and Teens. Ginsburg, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who also works with homeless children, has spent a lot of time trying to help young people build tools they’ll need to succeed — even when trauma has marred early lives.


Read also: Building Resilience in Children and Teens

Written by learningchange

12/04/2014 at 23:17

Creativity and the Brain: What We Can Learn From Jazz Musicians

Listening to jazz musicians improvise, how the piano player’s chords toy with the sax player’s runs and the standup bass player’s beats, it may seem like their music-making process is simply magic.  But research of jazz musicians’ brain activity as they improvise is helping shed light on the neuroscience behind creativity, and it turns out creating that magic is not as serendipitous a process as we might think. When musicians go to an improvisation, the brain switches, and the lateral prefrontal lobes responsible for conscious self monitoring became less engaged.  “Musicians were turning off the self-censoring in the brain so they could generate novel ideas without restrictions,” he said. Interestingly, the improvising brain activates many of the same brain centers as language, reinforcing the idea that the back and forth of improvisation between musicians is akin to its own language.


Written by learningchange

12/04/2014 at 22:23

Mobility in Urban Social Events – Towards Organizational Transvergence

The paper explores the emergence of territories that are constituted through spontaneous assembling of self-organized communities resulting in what we term urban social events. A concrete event is employed, namely Embros, an open occupation of an abandoned public building in the center of Athens, to highlight the dynamics that make urban social events transformative urban phenomena. By focusing upon the entangled mobilities of diverse agents, we explain how through differential, discontinual assembling and creative collaborations, such urban social interactions institute unbounded and immanent modes of organizing. The paper contributes to organizational territoriality studies proposing that urban social events are mobile entanglements that institute practices of creative transactions with formal or informal communities. By doing that, it places the Arts, creativity and community participation at the center of transformative organizing.


Fostering creative thinking – Co-constructed insights from neuroscience and education

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  • 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.


Written by learningchange

20/03/2014 at 10:00

Can Any School Foster Pure Creativity?

How do we promote creativity in schools? This is one of the prevailing concerns of many progressive education reformers. From a long-term fiscal perspective, creativity can lead to innovation, minds capable of identifying problems and imagining new possibilities are a necessity. At the same time, we sense that there’s something ethically wrong with suppressing creativity in children. The correlation between creativity and self-actualization seems implicit. Presumably, children’s aspirations include a meaningful personal engagement with whatever it is they want to achieve. Creativity can be broadly defined as the phenomenon of developing new processes, constructs, or ideas. But can creativity be measured? Just as with measuring intelligence, the challenge of measuring creativity is complicated by lots of different factors, including the current temperament on any given day of the child whose creativity is being measured. That’s why it’s important to understand how data is used in tests that are designed to quantify creativity as a single number. Measuring creativity typically involves evaluating the quantity and originality of responses to prompts that do not demand a specific answer. For instance, a child could be asked to come up with as many original or unusual functions as he can conceive for a toy airplane, or ways he would want to alter it to make it more fun.


Written by learningchange

19/03/2014 at 09:45

Posted in Creativity, Schooling

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The Scientific Basis of Individual and Team Innovation and Discovery

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The interface between cognitive psychology, social psychology and engineering provides a natural and as yet minimally explored environment to deeply understand the theory, processes and mechanisms of innovation and their influence on the design, creation, and discovery processes. This NSF report communicates the findings of this workshop. In particular, five “umbrella” research  areas are identified as critical pathways in helping the U.S. lead in the process of innovation:

• studies that expand understanding of the cognitive mechanisms of innovation/creativity and the ways in which strategies and external tools influence these cognitive mechanisms;
• computational modeling and agents simulations of innovation/creativity that allow for theoretical development across levels of individual, group, and organizational analysis;
•  empirical studies and computational models that explore the temporal dynamics of individual and group factors on creativity/innovation;
• interdisciplinary programs of research that coordinate psychology  laboratory and design engineering experiments; and
• empirical studies that unpack cognitive and social/motivational factors of group cognition in more realistic group settings: horizontally integrated across disciplines, vertically integrated (with leaders), and evolving group structure over long time periods.


Written by learningchange

18/03/2014 at 20:00

Are We Wringing the Creativity Out of Kids?

Do you think you’re creative? Ask this question of a group of second-graders, and about 95 percent of them will answer “Yes.” Three years later, when the kids are in fifth grade, that proportion will drop to 50 percent—and by the time they’re seniors in high school, it’s down to 5 percent. Author Jonah Lehrer recently discussed the implications of these sobering statistics for education in his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. Lehrer elaborated: “What she means by that is that’s important to give kids a menu of possibilities pretty early on, a menu of things they might fall in love with—maybe it’s painting, maybe it’s drawing, maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s computer science—just a bunch of passions that they could discover. [You want them to] find these things that don’t feel like work, activities that just feel like fun. And then you have to remind them—‘OK, so you’ve found something you love, the goal you want to strive for. Now you have to work hard. Now you have to put in your thousands of hours of practice. Now you have to be willing to persevere through failure and frustrations.’” With these key interventions, Lehrer suggested, children’s vital spirit of creativity can be kept alive.


Read also: Imagine: How Creativity Works

Written by learningchange

15/03/2014 at 17:21


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