Thursday, April 14, 2011

Website Searches related to Creative Teaching and Learning

Courtesy of Catherine Tillman a student in CRS 594 Creative Teaching & Learning Course:
Teaching for Creativity: An Institute for Educators at the Guggenheim
The Guggenheim offers a week-long program for educators that builds upon the findings of a four-year research program completed by the Guggenheim Museum called the Art of Problem Solving. The purpose of the research initiative was to “identify the skills associated with problem solving and determine how educators can encourage the development of these skills with their students including experimentation, flexibility, and intentionality.” The institute is funded by a grant from the US Dept of Education. I particularly like this program because it emphasizes the exploration of research based methods for promoting creativity and problem solving in the classroom, and because as an educator, I am always looking for professional development courses related to creativity and this looks like a good one! Recently I also participated in another great professional development course you might be interested in
I feel in love with Harvard Psychologist Ellen Langer when I chose her book, Mindfulness, as the subject of my first research paper for my graduate course work at Buffalo State in Creative Studies. Her definition of mindfulness comes close to the definition of creative personality; mindfulness, according to Langer, involves, novelty-seeking, engagement, novelty producing, and flexibility. She has now created an assessment to measure mindfulness called the LMS. Although Langer does not say she is promoting creativity per se, I believe all four of her popular books are continuing to educate the public about the value of creativity and her research lends refreshing insight into the field.
I found Sugata Mitra from a friend who thought I might be interested in his work. He is an education scientist and professor of educational technology who is using computers and self-instruction (he calls it “minimally invasive education”) in remote locations to revolutionize what we know about teaching and learning. Fascinating. His work is really changing my attitudes about teaching and learning. “His project demonstrates that, even in the absence of any direct input from a teacher, an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge.”
I found this site at Psychology Today from a link on Dr. Shelly Carson’s website. She is a Harvard professor who is the author of the book, Your Creative Brain. She includes a link to this site noting that it includes links to fascinating blogs about creativity. What surprised me about this site is the fact that there are so many people out there blogging about so many different aspects of creativity. One blog that I particularly like is by Mark Batey,
who is Joint Chair of The Psychometrics at Work Research Group at Manchester Business School, and researches the psychology of creativity. Batey is an editor for the International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving and sits on the Editorial Board for the American Journal of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and Arts (PACA).
PBS has a great website to help parents and their children explore creativity. The site includes activities for the children and lots of background information for the parents. I found this link in the resource section of a book I have, Creative Activities for Young Children, 10th Edition, by Mary Mayesky. I like it because it is evidence that parents are starting to realize the value of creativity with their young children. Hooray!

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