Opening up thinking about education today for tomorrow - Imagining possibilities and solutions

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A more creative society

There seems to be a convergence of thinking around creativity, learning and schools. More and more it seems that creativity is a key feature of the "next age" in society.

Conceptual Age, creativity, creative minds

Dan Pink puts forward an argument that we are moving from the knowledge and information age and are now entering the Conceptual Age. The Conceptual Age is characterised by empathy and creativity.

The emergence of the Creative Class is a concept explored by Richard Florida, where he recognises a central role for talent and creativity in economic development.

The Creative Class is a class of workers whose job is to create meaningful new forms (2002). The Creative Class is composed of scientists and engineers, university professors, poets and architects. The Creative Class also “includes people in design, education, arts, music and entertainment, whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and/or creative content” (Florida, 2006, p. 8). Their designs are widely transferable and useful on a broad scale, as with products that are sold and used on a wide scale. Another sector of the Creative Class includes those positions which are knowledge intensive, these careers usually require a high degree of formal education (2002). Examples of this sector are health professionals and business management, who are considered to be a part of the sub-group called Creative Professionals. Their main job is to think and to create new standard approaches for fixing the problem at hand. Creativity is becoming more valued in today’s global society. (accessed 5th July 2009)

The importance of creativity is a theme that Sir Ken Robinson picks up on in his interviews, presentations and writings.

Sowing the seeds for a more creative society

I recently stumbled upon this clip of Mitch Resnick presenting at MIT Museum SOAP Box. His topic was Sowing the seeds for a More Creative Society.

The video is interesting in exploring themes of learning, collaboration and creativity. Mitch talks for about 30 minutes. The remainder of the time is facilitation and exploration of issues by participants with Mitch.

There are opportunities for schools to move from delivering information and ensuring good command of facts to spaces that allow students to work collaboratively to think and act creatively.

Working collaboratively to think and act creatively should be a central focus of what happens in learning - for students, teachers and leaders. In many schools this is starting to happen.


Resnick directs the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the Media Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He has developed new technologies designed to engage people (particularly children) in creative learning experiences. These technologies include a program called SCRATCH, as well as LEGO Mindstorms.

Picture from: minezone/120962030/

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