Thursday, 10 December 2009

Criativity and Originality

Creativity is "the capability to create" [Princeton WordNet, 2009]. According to Ken Robinson, everyone is born creative, but the schooling processes frequently "squander" individual capacity and character (Robinson, 2006). "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original" and claims that through education which scares children of being wrong and concludes that we "get educated out" of creativity. So is it possible to link creativity to originality?

Tan notes that originality is often transformation of existing ideas than inventing something new entirely (Tan, 2001). “Inspiration has more to do with careful research and looking for a challenge” and “testing one proposition against another and seeing how things combine and react”. In Tan’s view, “ideas and feelings appear spontaneously and of their own accord” is a concept of myth (Tan, 2001).

This is clearly evident in my practice also, as I place half of my time at the NUCA and the other half at Summerhill School in Leiston. At the Activity room I often discuss ideas I have learned or developed through Digital Arts sessions with pupils, and I gain large amount of knowledge at Summerhill which feeds into my creative work in Norwich. I create collaboratively with the kids at Summerhill and make use of conversations I have with them. Ideas are bouncing off each other constantly, and is transforming and evolving continuously.
The Summerhill environment is based on self-governance and I have a lot of control over the projects I participate in. This is not to say that the school community has no structure, but the point is that each individual is responsible and held to account for their decision and actions. The fundamental values of the community, that everyone takes part in managing the community, nurtures free and creative environment.

Creativity is about “playing with found objects, reconstructing things that already exist, transforming ideas or stories I already know” and “exploring inwards, examining your existing presumptions, squinting at the archive of experience from new angles” (Tan, 2001).
“What really matters is whether we as readers continue to think about the things we have read and seen long after the final page is turned.” (Tan, 2001)
Princeton WordNet [2009] Creativity. [online] [10/12/2009]
Robinson, Ken (2006) Talks: Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity. [online] [02/12/2009]
Tan, Shaun (2001) Originality and Creativity. [online] [10/12/2009]