Creativity Time

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I remember in the first few weeks of Innovation Diploma last fall we read an article called “What I Wish I Knew About Creativity When I was 20.” One of the points the article makes is about putting creative time on a schedule because eventually your brain will make a routine out of thinking creatively.

The thing is, we can’t always be thinking creatively. I have no scientific evidence to back this statement up, but it seems reasonable enough to believe that people can’t consistently be creative 24 hours a day. So this just makes me wonder, “when is it most beneficial to be thinking creatively?”

If we know that we can try to program ourselves to think creatively at certain times, and we know that we can’t always be thinking creatively, then how do we choose what time is best to use our creative quota for the day?

What about while at school? If we can’t be held accountable for being completely creative all day, then how do we know what times, and therefore what classes, get to be the classes we are creative during?

Here’s another thought: what if teachers could help students get into a routine pattern of thinking creatively at certain times during the day?

My thoughts are a little scattered right now, which I apologize for, but I’m wondering if there is a way to maximize students creativity capacity during the day.

At least at MVPS we have a rotating schedule, so we don’t typically have the same class as the same time everyday. In theory this would mean that if even just one hour during the day became “creativity time” then students would experience this “creativity time” during multiple classes. However, this would only work if students got into the routine pattern of thinking creatively at a certain time in the day. This would also mean teachers would have to work together to decide on a time during the day and make an effort to encourage creative thoughts during that time, and then eventually students may just naturally think more creatively during that time out of habit.

I think this would be pretty neat to have a consistency like this. I mean almost all teachers do creative thinking things at some point in their class, but these exercises don’t work very well when students are all maxed out of creative juices for the day. If there was a consensus on a “creativity time” during the day, then teachers could plan creative thinking lessons during those times and hopefully have a better success rate with students being able to contribute creative thoughts.

Taking this a step further even, what if most of the day was broken up into time chunks to focus on different skills? A time for creative thinking, a time for problem solving, a time for ethical decision making, a time for collaborating, a time for researching, etc… I don’t know what the different categories would be exactly, but if creativity can thrive on a routine, then why can’t other 21st century skills thrive under similar circumstances? If classes are rotating, then students will still get to work on these skills in different classes, but maybe the skills will develop more if brains could be prepared for when they will happen.

The brain is a muscle that if properly exercised can do amazing things. However, if you try to work the muscle too hard, you may strain or pull it. With a training routine then muscles can develop better and become stronger all over.

This is all theoretical at this point obviously, but this article just came back into my mind and got me thinking about how might we create more consistency across different classes to help develop our 21st century skills?

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