Monthly Archives: March 2014

Dear Abbey…Sincerely, Curriculum

images-2Dear Abbey,

I don’t know where else to turn. I feel so misunderstood.

I have heard people call me “explicit” and say I am such an extrovert and like to be  on “public display”. They accuse me of being the way I am so as to appease people who don’t have a day to day impact on my life. They say I just simply show the outward things about me and that I am hiding other things that aren’t so obvious to the public.

Then there are those who call me by the name “Implicit” and say I encourage conformity. I am accused of “fostering compliant behaviour” (Eisner, 2002) and that I don’t encourage creativity or innovation. I want to, believe me,  but am scared what others around me will object to if I do. Honestly, I am not really wanting to modify anyone’s behaviour. I really want to encourage people to do things because they want to not because I make them. I want them to be motivated by themselves not because they feel they have to because of me.  I just can’t help it sometimes. They misunderstood me, truly , and I especially don’t want to pressure them to do things because time is a factor. I am just trying to teach them social virtues and punctuality (Eisner, 2002). These people even suggest that the way I look affects others around me. I can’t help it what I look like. I don’t always have a say about the furniture I use, or the resources I have available to me. Yet, I am blamed for them.

The last accusation they say I am is neglectful and I purposely don’t include things that matter. I don’t have time for everything! I can only do so much! I know I should be more open to including other things like being more open to suggestions and comments  from others but I can’t always do that. I have to be honest, depending who I am with, my choice of what is important and what isn’t will change. Is that my fault? These are the ones who call me a most hurtful name…they call me null. It makes me feel like I am not valid, I am void of any purpose and yet I am the complete opposite.

All I know is that I feel that I am most happiest when I am around people who let me be more free, more adaptable, less restricted, more creative and give me chances to think and reflect. I want to show them that I can also give people a chance to be innovative and imaginative when they are with me.

I have had lots of educated people say they would love to help me change but I still feel so controlled by more senior people in society. Please help!

 

Sincerely,

Curriculum.

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Defining Creativity – No Cognitive GPS

ImageTo define a word such as creativity, after reading just one or two scholarly papers, is like scrapping the skin off a cup of boiled milk. Yet, this is a term that we use so loosely  and confidently in our classroom settings, our staffroom meetings, our report writing and our evaluation of student abilities. Continue reading

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“Flowering of Innovation”-My New Favourite Idea

ImageInnovation is a term I would have best described as being a problem solved. A need, known or unknown, and its solution i.e. the innovation.

But after listening to Steven Johnson speak on “Where Do Ideas Come From?” I am starting the process of restructuring my understanding of innovation.

Is innovation a multi dimensional term? Is it just cognitive? Perhaps not.

Originally, innovation was a solitary awakening, a moment that stood out from the moments that surrounded it. But when Johnson refers to terms such as “Intellectual Flowering” I start to think that solitary moments and solitary participants are no longer a necessary part of the definition. Flowering suggests “over a period of time”. Often flowers have no “spectacular necessity” as a bulb but once they gradually “grow” and “unfold” we find visual feasts, remarkable beauty, places for pollen, distractents for prey. They are multi faceted.

The original definition of Innovation is becoming clearer too in an alternate way. Innovation needs order in the disorder..strange as that may sound. When an environment is hectic with people communicating, there is a “chaos where ideas can come together (Johnson, 2010). When a “liquid network” of people from different backgrounds, different ideas and different interests share a common space, intellectual and physical,  we start to build a network of invigorating and inspiring conversations, and when we can have this sort of  “architecture of space” (Johnson, 2010) we can take away from the predictable outcomes that often arise from  singular, solitary cognitive processes.

Johnson also discusses the term “hunch moments” as if they have magically appeared in an instant in time. Johnson suggests that hunch moments actually “incubate” over a longer period of time and refers to them as “Slow Hunch”.  I believe we can take this one step further and suggest that the incubation period doesn’t necessarily have to be a constant with just one person either. When someone has a “eureka moment” that it may be after someone else has had an investigative period of time, or an enquiring period of time, or a problem solving period of time, or even a “hunch moment”? And therefore , the  compounding of multiple hunch moments strangely becomes a singular hunch moment!

What is  cognitively arousing is the encouragement to share and associate thinking by many individuals as opposed to secretly “festering of an individual thought”. Johnson refers to this as “Connecting vs Protecting”. This is most definitely an attribute to encourage in any learning environment. The innovative energy is allowed to charge over a period of time and when it is released, the discharge can be more of a lightning strike than a “light bulb” moment!

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