ReCreating America: Creativity and Learning
For much of its history, the word “America” has stood for the brightest ideas, the most resourceful solutions and the most provocative insights. Is this still true today? Americans are waking up to a newly globalized world, where they no longer have special rights to great creative “aha’s.”
Today, the best ideas in software, technology, management, manufacturing, lifestyle, education or music are just as likely to be coming from Bangalore, Shanghai, Osaka, Dublin or Helsinki as they are from Chicago or San Jose. And what of tomorrow? To maintain their originality and competitiveness in the future, what will Americans have to do, to re-think, and re-engineer as they re-create their priorities?
The first film explores the importance of creativity in education: how can parents and teachers assist the creative growth of children, and what do they often do to stifle it? “When we’re six or seven years old,” Picasso once said in old age, “we’re all artists. It’s what happens in school and at home that determines who remains an artist.”
The film takes the State of Oklahoma as a test-bed, and visits four schools (across the age range) to assess the ways in which they are attempting to teach and promote creativity:
The Educare Preschool in Tulsa, OK: a low-income, at-risk community
The “A+ Schools” initiative at Flower Mound elementary school, Lawton, OK
The “Odyssey of the Mind” competition, as taught in Middle School at Piedmont, OK
The Santa Fe South Charter High School in Oklahoma, OK: desperate measures?
The program asks teachers, parents and national experts: what appear to be the most effective ways to promote creativity, while still teaching the three Rs and even improving test scores?
Partnering with InCA Productions, OETA and the National Educational Television Association, the second film in the series: Reinventing Yourself was produced and aired nationally in 2012. This one-hour film focused on individuals who decided to start life all over again in middle-age – re-shaping their work, their sense of purpose, their relationships, even their world-view. Why and how did they take this step? In the final story, creativity and mentoring helped the Chickasaw nation to redefine its future.