This blog is about my latest presentation at the University of Malta on how creativity can influence the perception of the human mind and how creativity in education can enhance the perception of time we are living in. This could also help the Universities to stand out and find new potential in the troubled futures.
To understand this lets see what is Creativity?
Most contemporary definitions of creativity tend to focus on originality and usefulness. Amabile (1987) defines creativity as “a novel and appropriate solution [product or response] to an open-ended task” (p. 227). Csikszentmihalyi and Wolfe (2005) view creativity as “an idea or product that is original, valued, and implemented” (p. 81). Prabhu, Sutton and Sauser (2008) offer a similar definition: “the generation of novel, original, and unique ideas concerning procedures and processes that can used at work and are appropriate and significant to the problem or opportunity presented” (p. 54). Torrance (1970) defines creativity as traits “which lead us to respond constructively to new situations, rather than merely to adapt or adjust. The true value of creativity is to be found in daily living, not just in the creation of new products” (p. 15). Creative needs include curiosity, the need to meet challenge and attempt difficult tasks, the need to become fully absorbed in a task, and the need for individuality. Sternberg and Lubart (1992) suggest that creativity has been studied from two perspectives: internal (the process of an individual) and external (the interaction of an individual and context). Creativity is found along a continuum: when it is less contextualized, or internal, the focus is on the psychometric, or personality and process; when it is more contextualized, or external, the focus is on the social-psychological (Amabile) and case-study (Gardner, Feldman).
Let’s now understand what time is and what do psychologists mean by time?
How can education systems learn from this?
The influence of culture and context on creativity is emphasized by Csikszentmihalyi and Wolfe (2005), “Creativity is not produced by single individuals, but by a social system making judgments about individuals’ products” (p. 81-82). Such a test on education system would require participants to respond to divergent thinking tasks with products that are rated by experts on certain aspects of creativity (originality, fluency, flexibility).
Cognitive, conative, and environmental factors would influence such a creative change, according to Lubart, Georgsdottir, and Besançon (2009). Cognitive factors include intellect, thinking (divergent, logical and analogical), and knowledge, including the “accumulated facts, theories, and personalized expertise that concern various content domains, but also an understanding of constraints and other implicit parameters that play a role in problem solving” (p. 44). We need to look into our past and learn from the what the others have done, one of the examples would be looking at how animals perceive the world around, the field of bionics has been able to come up with a lot of creative innovations by mimicking the nature, now its time we mimic the basic human tendency to perceive things and make it last for longer by using creative education as a tool.
- Amabile, T. (1983). The social psychology of creativity. New York: Springer-Verlag.
- Amabile, T. (1987). The motivation to be creative. In S. Isaksen (Ed.), Frontiers of Creativity Research: Beyond the basics, 223-254. Buffalo, NY: Bearly Limited.
- Csikszentmihalyi, M. & Wolfe, R. (2005). Conceptions and research approaches to creativity: mplications of a system perspective approach to creativity in education. In K.Heller, F. Mönks, R. Sternberg, & R.
- Kellaris, J. J., & Kent, R. J. (1992). The influence of music on consumers' temporal perceptions: Does time fly when you're having fun? Journal of Consumer Psychology, 1(4), 365-376. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1057-7408(08)80060-5
- Prabhu, V., Sutton, C., & Sauser, W (2008). Creativity and certain personality traits: Understanding the mediating effect of intrinsic motivation. Creativity Research Journal, 20, 53-66.
- Sackett, A. M., Meyvis, T., Nelson, L. D., Converse, B. A., & Sackett, A. L. (2010). You’re having fun when time flies the hedonic consequences of subjective time progression. Psychological Science, 21(1), 111-117.
- Torrance, E.P. (1970). Encouraging creativity in the classroom. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Publishers.
- Sternberg, R.J., & Lubart, T.I. (1992). Buy low and sell high: An investment approach to creativity. Human Development, 34, 1-31.
- Wallach, M.A., & Kogan, N. (1965). Modes of thinking in young children: A study of the creativity-intelligence distinction. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc
- EagleMan Lab for Perception and Action http://www.eaglemanlab.net/.
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