Out of Our Minds – Part 3

I previously wrote about this book back on July 17. Chapter Four concluded with this notable quote: Human intelligence includes the capacity for academic activity; this does not mean that academic activity is the whole of intelligence. This speaks directly, I think, to formal education (e.g., schools) as a reminder of how important the holistic nature of education is, beyond our traditional structure of subjects and what appears upon a report card.

Chapter 5 tells us that human intelligence is highly diverse, dynamic, and distinct. Central to this definition is Robinson’s concept of creativity, something that thrives between the dynamism between different ways of thinking and being. That’s deep stuff.

Robinson’s knowledge of Dance United leads him to conclude with this, echoed in part, in the story he tells that was re-told by Mark Fernandes, just this past week in Goochland. And I quote: “We ned to treat these young people as people with potential. Anyone who has observed the sort of work that is being done here realizes the huge untapped resources that we need to develop.” — Professor Robert Morgan.

Developing human potential, that’s the Luck Companies’ mission.

As a creative person myself (in other words, I recognize my own creativity), the opening of Chapter 6 spoke to me like shouting from atop a mountain. “Helping people to connect with their personal creative capacities is the surest way to release the best they have to offer.”

What is innovation? Robinson tells us it is “the process of putting new ideas into practice. Innovation is applied creativity.” I know my counterpart in Newport News has the title “Supervisor of Instructional Technology & Innovation.” I like that title.

In further defining creativity, Robinson says he defines it as a “process of having original ideas that have value.” This process has two pieces, one that generates content, and another that evaluates it. As an educator, the natural question is how do we allow the development of creativity to flourish? Robinson says:

Facilitating creative development is a sophisticated process that must find a balance between learning skills and stimulating the imagination to explore new ideas.

It seems to me, in schools we’re good at practicing the development of some skills. But how do we get better at stimulating the imagination? I think from my own experience, and in reading between Robinson’s lines, one sure method is to ask a lot of questions. In fact, spending our time asking questions is sometimes paramount to getting answers. Different questions lead us to different paths of thought.

I now have four remaining chapters, one of which is centered on developing creativity. I look forward to these, and will have one final blog post to sum up my reading.