On Creativity

Sarah DeBacher | October 21, 2013

Creativity

This entry comes to us from GNOWP allstar Ari Zeiger. Ari attended the Summer Institute in 2012, co-facilitated it in 2013, and teaches writing (brilliantly!) at Delgado Community College.

###

In this short video, Sir Ken Robinson discourses on a range of subjects (from creativity to education to imagination). At last count, I’ve watched the video a dozen times. And here’s why: I just keep wondering how I might use it in my classroom. Put differently, how might this video help my students better understand themselves as “writers with power”?

Maybe like this.

First, screen the video — followed by a directed fast-write on Robinson’s ideas.

Next, discuss our written reactions as a group.

After the discussion and a second screening, students receive the following handout:

Class:

Robinson’s definition of CREATIVITY contains three traits. Please identify them below:

Those same three traits, I believe, are crucial not only to creativity but also powerful writing. Thus, I’d like you to use those traits to evaluate a piece of writing — your own or someone else’s.

Importantly, I’d also like you to “define your terms” for each trait. So please provide a one-to-two sentence description for each one.

###

What do you think? My hope is that students can see how Robinson’s definition of creativity (“The process of having original ideas that have value”) can serve as a beacon for better writing, can help underscore how powerful prose depends on rewriting (process), on voice (originality), and on meaning (value).