You don’t hear much about collecting in school now-a-days. But a century ago psychologists and educators took the collecting habit in children seriously – and pondered how to use it to advantage in the classroom. Read More
Like many thousands of people, this spring we found ourselves obsessively watching a pair of eagles raise their young. Responding emotionally to the trials and tribulations of eagle life, we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the empathizing dilemma. Read More
Creativity is not a “you have it” or “you don’t” kind of thing. It isn’t a personality trait. It’s not a “one size fits all” habit of mind. It’s not, simply, a set of skills to test for or a roster of art classes. So what’s a society to do? Especially one committed to constant innovation? Read More
Massachusetts and California want to mandate teaching creativity and testing for its outcomes. Maybe your state does, too. In our last post we challenged whether creativity can be taught. In this one, we challenge the measures these states intend to use to test for it. Read More
What do babies, birders and a set of fictional folks faced with a do-or-die puzzle have in common? Once again, we tease out an imaginative thinking tool fundamental to human cognition and creativity. Read More
Add the imaginative and creative skills acquired in writing to the learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and what do you get? Hint, if you need one: the creative capital of society depends on our answers. Really. Read More
Thinking in images and feelings is often dismissed as mere intuition. When a person "just knows" without the language to articulate how or why she knows, there may be difficulties in the boardroom-or the bedroom. But sensual thinking can be surprisingly "logical" as well as heart-felt.
Congress is once again making plans to gut the National Endowment for the Arts, so it is time for us to post more data supporting the arts. In previous posts, we've argued that the arts are essential for the development of scientific imagination. Here we argue that the arts stimulate economic development by fostering invention.
Many writers find inspiration in what has been called ‘la ligne donnée' or ‘the given line'. A few choice words, sometimes whole stanzas or paragraphs, come into the mind and a piece of writing begins its gestation. Does that mean we got the creative process wrong in our last post?
Some years ago, in an interview with Bill Moyers, the poet Gary Snyder compared a vital aspect of writing to rummaging about in the sock drawer. "And that's how you write poetry?" Moyers asked. "Rummaging in the socks?" The exchange, short as it was, spoke volumes about how poets and writers think.
Who among us has not thought at one time or another that they have a great story to tell? Whether or not we ever put pen to paper, that story may be no more than the stuff of dreams-literally. For as novelist John Barth once said, "there is a kind of work involved in the making a dream which is not dissimilar to the making a story..."
Where do ideas come from? We wish we had the answer! The best we can do is to provide some strategies that seem to stimulate creative thought. One of them is what we call "purposeful dreaming." Read More
All the times you read Goodnight Moon, all those hours you and your children spent together with Jim Hawkins in search of Treasure Island--were they worth it? Children immersed in books from an early age can become good readers. And good readers, recent research tells us, do better in school. But that's not the only reason to make a big deal out of books. Read More
The New York Times reports that children's book publishers are releasing fewer picture books for young readers because parents are pushing their kids into advanced text-only books at ever younger ages. We're appalled. Find out why.
We blog a lot about the fact that creative people are often polymaths, talented at many things. The 19th century singer Manuel García illustrates how such multiple talents can result in surprising and unexpected discoveries - even in science!
Some ideas keep turning up like lucky pennies on the sidewalk. Take this one. Across the centuries, creative endeavor in the arts and sciences has often been compared to child's play. Any number of famous individuals have remarked upon the subject. So have many people who "lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs." And in some cases, these "unhistoric" individuals have helped illuminate "the growing good of the world..." We submit Una Hunt as a case in point.
Here's an interesting question: if you show the same image to a group of artists, a group of scientists, and a group of people trained in both fields, will each group respond to that image in a different way?
What do origami, talking points and champagne toasts have to do with resolving the tradition/innovation conundrum? All suggest that the cutting edge of modern culture lies in dialogue between diverse arts and sciences from around the world and their integrated role in creative education.
The dichotomies commonly drawn between tradition and innovation, between the preservation of national arts and crafts and the assimilation of global arts and technologies, suggest a false divide in human culture. The conundrum is how do we close the gap with justice to both sides?
We will always remember the UNESCO 2nd World Conference on Arts Education held in Seoul, Korea as a wonderful and stimulating experience, both professionally and personally. As we absorbed purposes and points of view, however, we realized that conversations were occurring at two different levels of discourse: what was said...and what was unsaid. We take a look at some of the silences.
At the end of May we'll be leaving for Seoul, Korea to deliver the opening keynote speech at UNESCO's 2nd World Conference on Arts Education. We're excited to have this opportunity to talk about some of our favorite things - imaginative thinking, creativity, and the profound role art can play in educating for both. Here's a peek at what we'll have to say, the "abstract" of our talk...
Pick up just about any book on how to be creative, how to get your juices flowing in words or images, melodies or movements, and you're bound to come across this piece of advice: Look around each day for something remarkable. What's remarkable? Well, it's not always what you expect.
We recently experienced an interesting convergence, a pattern of marvelous coincidence. Perhaps not of cosmic significance but remarkable nonetheless, this little convergence links the last three of our posts on Einstein, musical improvisation and amateurism into a larger and synthetic whole.