A major 21st century global shift is occurring based on a new ‘ideas economy’ that challenges the 19th century structure of schools and the 20th century structure of major corporations. We are on a mission to make Oklahoma an ideas lab for the rest of the world to consider.
“What we’re really talking about is cultivating human ability and human capacity. All of our kids and all of us have tremendous abilities. Whether they flourish depends on how they’re nourished.”
– Sir Ken Robinson
Why is creative education important?
Once an international leader in high school graduation rates, the US is now ranked 18th out of 25 industrialized countries (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2009.)
Innovation is crucial to competition and creativity is integral to innovation. US employers rate creativity/innovation among the top five skills that will increase in importance in the years to come. (Ready to Innovate) We must develop the creative capacities of our future workforce in order to compete in the creative economy.
What are we doing to further education?
-Building a dialogue and coalition between government, business, education, culture, and civic leadership on the importance of creativity and innovation.
-Collaborating with the DaVinci Institute, Oklahoma’s higher education creativity think-tank, to emphasize creativity at the higher education level through their lecture program, speakers’ bureau, and annual awards for creativity in teaching DaVinci Fellows (at the college/university level) and DaVinci Scholars (for first year teachers).
-Partnering with Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores to encourage creative ideas in students with awards through the Love’s Creative SPARKS! Award program.
In the past…
-Conducted education symposiums for Oklahoma educators on creativity with over 500 attendees at the Fall 2009 symposium The New Renaissance.
-Built a new cross-disciplinary dialogue and coalition between government, business, education, culture, and civic leadership on the importance of creativity and innovation that did not previously exist.
-After partnering with the DaVinci Institute, Oklahoma’s higher education creativity think-tank, creativity was heightened at the higher education level through the Institute’s lecture program, speakers’ bureau and annual awards in creativity in teaching at the college/university level, the DaVinci Fellows, and for first year teachers, the DaVinci Scholars.
-Conducted education symposiums for Oklahoma educators on creativity with over 500 attendees at the Fall 2009 symposium, The New Renaissance.
“Creativity and Play”
cSchool Program Director
Learning is more than merely accumulating knowledge; it is also the understanding of how that knowledge can be used. Everything we learn, we learn through our senses. Therefore sensory exploration is essential for developing creative thinking. Play is a basic form of learning by doing and a natural form of stimulation. Play is a medium for self-expression and creative expression. Play is a creative process and a safe way to try out, explore, experiment and fumble about with ways of learning. Creative play provides opportunities:
- to develop the imagination
- for independent thinking
- for cooperation and communication
- for a healthy release of emotions
- to experience freedom of choice
- for health-engendering recreation
Play involves the imagination, active participation and freedom to invent and imitate. Play is a bonding force that satisfies the needs of the individual as well as the group. Imaginative play develops a variety of skills and benefits the following psychosocial areas:
- personal/emotional – enhancing vitality and mental health
- social – strengthening involvements and reducing alienation
- educational – developing the capacity to learn more effectively and to learn in the broadest sense of the word
- cultural – stimulating the kind of creativity required to meet the challenges of a changing world
True play creates order; it is teamwork in which people work loosely together. Examples of play can be found in all cultures of the world and on every age level. The impulse to play can become a continuing way of learning, a medium of expression and eventually an art form.
Play is special freedom from stress and the serious nature of life. Even though the form of play may be physically strenuous or mentally demanding, the process of play is refreshing and revitalizing. The fact that play is enjoyed is one of the main reasons why it is conducive to health. Play is a recognized quality of mental health and has the potential for maintaining it. There must be a balance of play and work for a healthy life.
Some adults have an unusual definition of play and only allow themselves to “play” when they are under the influence of some mind-altering substance, drugs, food or alcohol. For some reason these adults are afraid of their inner child and need some excuse, such as “I was high,” or “I was drunk,” or “I have to eat” to justify their creative expressions. This is a dangerous situation because it leads to lower and lower self-esteem. Adults, as well as children and youth, must be able to find healthy ways to play in order to have rich, full, joyful, productive lives. Playfulness is a healthy means of expressing ourselves creatively and enjoying life at all ages.