Valery Keibler
Director of Faculty and Staff Development

What is a better word than "creativity" to convey thinking in all subject areas?

This is a follow up to a previous discussion on how the word "creativity" may have an art bias.  Several comments have agreed that it might, and others said that "creativity" was over-used and had lost meaning.

So, what terms do you use to get students and others to think "creatively" in ALL subject areas?

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Comments (3)

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Carole Juarez

Posted on 10/21/14 9:43:50 PM Permalink

innovation, innovative ideas, thinking outside the box

Mark Hajewski

Posted on 9/12/14 4:13:28 PM Permalink

To expand on Duane's comments ...
In my media classes, I challenge my students to defend their designs. Creativity can be misinterpreted as a wide open, anything goes, brainstorming event. I
n fact, the audience, duration, voice and purpose will reduce the size of the sandbox you get to play in.

So a creative approach in any subject area should first identify the constraints and recognize them as valuable organizers. Then start to look for a solution to the challenge, the question, the problem, using whatever "Legos" they have, whatever tools they have mastered. Visual arts have visual solutions, literary arts have literary solutions, engineering arts have engineering solutions.

(Please allow me to expand on this for a moment.) In some classes, students are asked to be "creative" on demand, for one hour, for one class. Other classes eschew creativity. I submit that most students do not know how to be "creative", that creativity has not been taught as a "habit of mind". I realize that creativity can be a challenge to classroom management if the process is not addressed. My goal in my media classes is to teach more of the creative process and identify to students that creativity is not limited to the arts.

Duane Erickson

Posted on 9/8/14 9:35:51 PM Permalink

It's really not one word, but instead a two part question.

  • "What is the problem that we are trying to fix?"
  • "Now that we know what the problem is, how are we going to solve it?"

These two questions can be asked in any subject area.