A Crushing Creativity

Create Blooms

I’m the proud father of three of the most creative young people on the planet.  My elementary-aged daughter can draw a chalk tiger on the driveway like nobody’s business.  Her illustrations literally jump of the pavement.  And you should see the butterflies that my preschooler can create with crayons; amazing and magical creatures.  Love. Them.  My youngest child can imitate an elephant’s roar (do elephant’s roar?!) perfectly…it’s uncanny.  My kids are downright creative…and so are yours!  Kids can do amazing things and have an amazing capacity to take risks and create.

So the question you might be asking yourself is, “At what point do people become less inclined to let their creativity shine?”  Think about it….when is the last time you observed a four-year-old bring you a drawing and profess, “This is really terrible…I can’t draw?”  It doesn’t happen!  Now think about the last time an adult claimed to being a terrible artist or only capable of constructing rudimentary stick figures.  Happens all the time.

So what changes from the time a child is four to the time they reach…well….that anti-creative abyss free from all things abstract?!  What can we do about this stifling mindset and fallacy?  All people are creative, but it takes intentionality and time to foster our unique and hidden talents…talents we once strutted as students!

Schools are in an increasingly good position to foster creativity using technology, the integration of the arts and cooperative learning experiences.  The fundamental challenge is providing each child a content-rich, rigorous and personalized education AND one that also fosters creativity.  Last year I fell in love with the book above, and would encourage everyone with kids to pick up a copy!  Last month I had the chance to hear Sir Ken Robinson speak in person and picked up a new edition of his book, Out of Our Minds: Learning How to Be Creative.  I’m only a few chapters in…and already consider that a must read.

Still wondering how this creativity thing fits into a school principal’s blog?  I’d encourage everyone to check out the new Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy of Educational Objectives; do a quick Google search.  I’m ecstatic to report that “creating” made the highest order thinking skill!  Love that!  A visual representation of the taxonomy is above.  The question every school should be asking is, “How can we instill a CRUSHING creativity in each and every student–a creativity so bold and inspiring that it crushes doubt and perseveres in all environments?!”

Originally posted July 31, 2013

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About Dr. Brad Gustafson

I am an elementary principal and author in Minnesota. You can connect with me at www.BradGustafson.com or on Twitter via @GustafsonBrad

Posted on July 9, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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