Tony Bolder
Teacher in Media

Creativity - What is it?

Having viewed or at least made good use of some of the professional Development courses and the resources here, I find that creativity has no real definition applicable to it. I tend to think that creativity is a subjective area of individualistic approaches. We all (in education) want to apply a high level of creativity to our students work, and get them to understand just what they need to do to achieve a creative level, that would facilitate further development in their chosen subject area. But how can we define just what creativity really is?

There are many and varied resources out there that will help us in applying our own definition of this topic, but do they [resources] really give us that predefined approach we want? Or is the question here not about defining what creativity is, but to assist students in achieving a creative state through our own resources and applications? I for one try to allow my media students to guide me through their vision on a theme I have given them for a project. This method, I think does have merits when students come back with a complete project that has had very little creative input from me as their teacher.

The way to a mans heart is through his stomach, or so they say (who ever they are), maybe the way to a students mind is to give them full creative autonomy in their projects. What are your thoughts on this?

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Jan Michael Garcia

Posted on 7/9/19 4:11:09 PM Permalink

From the perspective of an educator, I believe creativity is something we elicit through unconventional means. Creativity is something we help students develop by providing freedom to explore about certain issues, topics, and concepts through the use of 3 different thinking skills: critical (fact-based), reflective (experience-based), and creative (innovations).

Creativity is the art of thinking beyond what is the accepted solution, and formulas for problems, all the while accepting that there is a risk for failure - trial-and-error. It is here that we begin to question what boundaries we should place on this trial-and-error process as we are limited by time among other things. As much as we would like to give our learners all the time they need to practice their creativity, it is a gamble for time and resources.

That is why in terms of creativity I follow a guided process on how they can use creativity by answering a trail of questions using the 3 different thinking skills. In a simple example, I first ask "what is known (critical)", followed by "what have they experienced (reflective)", and finally "what can they change and how, based on what they know and experienced (creative)". It is only at the creative thinking skill that I give full creative autonomy to my students. This process was developed coming from feedback that not all learners can imagine a process in being creative, and that different learning speeds and styles should be considered. It's sort of a compromise, that to achieve creativity you have to first know where you stand. Otherwise, you'd just recreate something that already existed.

I do believe that creativity is a matter of assisting students achieve their creative state as giving definitions can already box in ideas even before creativity kicks in.

Russell Pritchard

Posted on 6/26/19 4:58:18 AM Permalink

I was taught creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality.​

Creativity involves 2 processes

1. Thinking

2. Producing

We gather information with research, create a brief and define goals.


Dean Utian

Posted on 6/22/19 8:32:57 AM Permalink

​Here is a section of my course outline with some quotes.​

Creativity, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Creativity: “Creative or innovative thinking is the kind of thinking that leads to new insights, novel approaches, fresh perspectives, whole new ways of understanding and conceiving of things.”
- Facione, P 2010, Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts, Santa Clara University

This is assessed in the level of innovation and imagination of ideas and techniques applied to projects. Creativity involves risk taking, allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn from them.

Critical Thinking: “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualising, applying, analysing, synthesising, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”
- Scriven, M & Paul, R, National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987

You will need to show you have questioned and evaluated the subject of your projects, in addition to reflecting on your own experiences and learning.

Problem Solving: Problem solving involves creativity in the generation of ideas and critical thinking in their evaluation. “Critical thinkers must be creative thinkers as well, generating possible solutions in order to find the best one. Very often a problem persists, not because we can't tell which available solution is best but because the best solution has not yet been made available - no one has thought it up yet.”
- Paul, R 1990, Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World

You will be assessed by your translation of concepts, ideas and technical challenges into own work.

Quote from past student
“I feel I now have a greater capacity for enterprise, initiative and creativity, particularly creativity. I feel that this was my weakness as I thought myself incapable of an original idea. However, being able to reflect on what I and my peers have created and being exposed to the animations in our lectures, has and did inspire me. I feel I am now more ambitious and willing to make mistakes in the interest of creating something great.”

Michael Puma

Posted on 5/29/19 1:42:45 PM Permalink

Creativity is a tough subject. It's all we want for students but it seems the more you try to teach it the less it happens. Give the students total freedom and they produce nothing. Stick to a too regimented plan and they'll produce the same work over and over with little variation. ​

Given those difficulties it seems that creativity cannot necessarily be taught. I've been using this definition:
"A knowing manipulation of rules, forms and structure to produce something new, artistic or original."

While it's difficult to define "artistic", the words "rules, forms and structure" can give educators something to latch on to. Those can be taught for students to use, manipulate, create and, in terms of rules, break. AdobeSpark is just one more "Form" students have access to.

William Cortez

Posted on 5/25/19 3:28:09 PM Permalink

I think if there is critical thinking or logical thinking there should be creative thinking.​ Students should have exercises or activities in thinking outside the box. In this way they can cultivate their creativity.

Joseph LoCicero

Posted on 4/16/14 6:24:23 PM Permalink

This is an interesting topic and one that I deal with each semester. To me, creativity is the ability to arrive at an effective, yet unique solution to a problem. I do not think it can be taught in a traditional manner. I try to create an atmosphere where the students are given ownership of each other’s work through collaboration and critique. Often times, I step away and have them hash out ideas. When I hear a spirited discussion, I know they are on the right track. It is only through this exploring and interaction that fresh, creative ideas emerge. Later in the process, when I am more involved and the work is evaluated, the students have reasons for their design choices and total ownership of both their good and bad decisions.

margaret campbell

Posted on 4/7/14 7:20:58 AM Permalink

This sounds exciting to be a student in this classroom!!!

Tony Bolder

Posted on 4/7/14 9:22:07 AM Permalink

Thank you. I would like to know your thoughts on how you integrate creativity in your classroom.