I wonder if there could be a relationship between the two?
Mobley says that creativity is correlated with self-knowledge, requires taking a job that makes you feel uncomfortable, and requires treating the impossible as possible. Finally and most importantly, Mobley says, “Never quit.” Refusing to quit requires having faith in ourselves. Mobley says, “Transformation, like giving birth, is always a painful process.”
Our first speaker, Sebastian Seung is modeling this in his quest for seeking to map and understand the human brain. The task is daunting, seemingly impossible especially since the only connectome currently mapped is that of a worm. But it is his persistence and yearning to understand our identity that drives him onward. Might he have the recipe Mobley discusses to make this dream a reality?
In a New Culture of Learning, Thomas and Brown speak about a culture that that responds to its surroundings organically. It not only adapts, it integrates change into its process as one of its environmental variables. This tolerance for ambiguity will need to embraced as we don’t know what jobs or problems the 21st Century World will face. So connecting Howard Gardner’s 5 minds of the future will be especially important as we prepare our youth for what lies ahead. Gardner says that it is important to be disciplined, respectful, ethical, synthesizing, and creative. He gives us ideas about how to build that character in our students.
Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we are educating our children and encourages us to teach to the multiple intelligences of our students. When we focus on our strengths it helps us to overcome our challenges. When you connect that to Daniel Pink and his ideas about motivation, he shows that choice is one of the highest motivators. He believes that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are what people yearn to have in their daily lives.
Put this all together and I can apply it to my own career. Can creativity be taught? I agree with Mobley. I don’t think it can be taught in the traditional sense, but I do think that one can become creative. I never thought of myself as a creative person. There are many artists in my family so I always thought of creativity as being artistic. It wasn’t until I was asked to become the GATE TOSA for the district that I found my creative side. When I was asked to be the GATE TOSA it made me feel sick to my stomach. I had negative feelings about GATE. My expertise was working with English Learners at Title I schools. I knew I loved teaching children, but was I really capable of teaching ALL children? Was there one type of learner I preferred over another? I had no formal GATE training and what was a TOSA anyway? I was placed in a situation that was uncomfortable. Families were unhappy and I had to figure out why. I had to ask myself could I advocate for ALL learners. When I reflected on my years of teaching, I realized that with or with-out GATE training it was all about moving students forward. Many said it was impossible to really adopt an All Means All model within our district. It took the ability to look at our system in a new way and it took persistence to stick with it even when it was only .40 of my week. But now we have a program called ALPS to be proud of in our district. It looks at all of our learners and reinforces that we all need to keep moving forward academically and social- emotionally. As Pink would say, “This work has given me a sense of purpose and autonomy.” I am thankful for that!