Friday, July 13, 2012

Creativity Killers & Visualizing Different

The Anti-Creativity Checklist is one of those videos that hits home and requires no words to describe its powerful message about how to kill the creative spirit. It was published on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network in March 2010. The creator is Youngme Moon, a Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Her research focuses on the intersection of business, branding, and culture and how it affects marketing and strategy innovation. Perhaps the strongest message is that so many of the points made in the video are reflected in the bureaucratic approach to our current education system and the lack of forward thinking on the part of legislators and administrators to make changes.

The takeaways are clear: if we stick with the list of 14 points, so carefully depicted as a series of patterned statements followed by quotations that emphasize each one, we can systematically kill creativity. Maintaining the status quo is not good enough anymore. Our students need to compete in the marketplace for their future, and it requires us to change tactics to raise innovative and creative kids to be entrepreneurs.

Creativity is a necessity. Students need time to tinker, grapple, and ponder what they are learning to develop their imaginations, artistic abilities, and ingenuity. It's at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy and the key criteria in IBM's 2010 Global CEO Study. Countless other resources, from Ken Robinson's infamous TED talk on schools killing creativity to Tony Wagner's new book Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, support the idea for raising and not killing the creative spirit.  Without it, our kids will have an increasingly difficult time adapting to changes in a fast-paced, growing, complex world.

Source: Architizer
Education needs to differentiate itself from its routine, homogenized view for this century. It needs to be different, because kids learn differently. New schools look like old schools. Big deal, instead of black boards they have interactive whiteboards; most new schools haven’t taken a risk like a new one built in Stockholm designed without classrooms for today's kids. Now that breaks from the norm.

Youngme Moon addresses this, too, in her book, Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd, about breaking with conformity. Her message:
"Get off the competitive treadmill that's taking you nowhere. Aspire to offer the world something that is meaningfully different-Different in a manner that is both fundamental and comprehensive."
The book trailer Youngme Moon produced for Different captures what it means to think differently in a mesmerizing visualization that in and of itself is creative. The design and clarity of the message to deliver her a point of view remind us of The Value of Visualization video from Column Five. Its straightforward and simplified delivery on being different is a powerful message and one we need to think about as educators.

We need to be forward thinking and not afraid to make the necessary changes for the world of learners we teach now. Technology changed the game rules, and if we don't watch out, we could be out of the game of school.


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