Ambassador I. Rhonda King, Permanent Representative to the United Nations from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, delivered a speech to the General Assembly in support for World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21. This resolution was voted to become a UN Day of Observance.
It is so decided . . .
World Creativity and Innovation Day is proclaimed by the UN! “Few attributes of human performance have as much impact on our lives and our world as creativity. Outstanding achievements in the Arts and Sciences depends on creativity. Creativity has been linked to the development of new social institutions and the leadership of . . . Ambassador Kings’s speech at the UN April 21, 2017.
As educators, we are thrilled this has happened in our lifetimes. Creativity is the essence of human potential. Waiting to be realized in every student! This proclamation will open many classroom doorways and pave the way for creativity to be seen as essential mindsets, toolsets, and skillsets for all students.
Let’s Reflect and Remember . . .
Creativity changes children’s lives.
Creativity changes the world.
Creativity . . . for every student, every teacher, every, every parent, every school . . . Every Day!
“Life isn’t about finding yourself or finding anything. Life is about creating yourself and creating things.” ~ Bob Dylan
“I’m not much of a math and science guy. I spent most of my time in school daydreaming and managed to turn it into a living.”~ George Lucas
George Lucas has always gone rogue. It started with his “lack of enthusiasm” for traditional school experiences. He describes himself as a “consummate underachieving student” of the worst kind. Allowing his first passion for race cars to override any interest in learning the prescribed reading, writing, and arithmetic. Dreaming of and drawing pictures of race cars were his favorite classroom pastimes – no matter the subject matter. Fate intervened in a life-changing way when he survived a near fatal car accident a few weeks before his high school graduation. Listen to George’s life-changing story and advice on how to live a passionate, joyful life.
What is Rogue?
As a noun, rogue can be defined as “somebody who is mischievous.” As an adjective, it is someone who is “unorthodox and unpredictable.” At first glance, these definitions seem negative. But we are guessing someone or several someones in your life come to mind. Perhaps you teach highly creative learners and have noticed some of their “rogue” behaviors. They often dress, speak, think, write . . . differently. And oh, the varied responses these behaviors elicit: joy, giggles, frustration, anger . . . and most often some version of being gobsmacked – our favorite British term for being blown away. And if and when they become successful that’s exactly what they do! They blow us away with their creative solutions and innovations – voila, George Lucas movies!
“The secret is to not give up hope. It’s very hard not to because if you’re really doing something worthwhile I think you will be pushed to the brink of hopelessness before you come through the other side.”~ George Lucas
Sad But True
So now you know the sad but true story of how George, like many other famous creatives, came to the brink of financial doom before being discovered. This is a timeline you might be able to change by intervening in students’ lives. Teaching young learners how to think creatively and critically gives them the confidence needed to pursue creative interests that may someday become professional passions. Early exposure and working creatively in a variety of content areas may lead to better career decisions and pathways. What if George had opportunities to explore his race car, art, and photography passions while in school?
The Universe Expands
George Lucas created the space opera franchise, depicting the adventure stories of a bevy of creatively different characters. Rogue One is the firstin what is known as the Star Wars Anthology series. These “spin-off” movies exist within the vast, ever expanding, universe George Lucas created. These films are “stand-alone” productions, but are definitely off-shoots of the original saga. And isn’t it cool that they named this first spinoff from George’s work – Rogue One? Challenging students to create new storylines, connected to but different from the original ones, is a great opportunity for practicing creative thinking skills.
“Education is the foundation of our democracy – the stepping-stones for our youth to reach their full potential.” ~ George Lucas
What a marvelous word ! Because of his belief in education, George Lucas established a foundation dedicated to transforming K-12 education so that all students can acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives. He believes creativity is one of the 5 key principles of how people learn. To find out more and discover more about the educational resources, go to Edutopia.
For Your Classroom
Go “rogue!” Break away from traditional curricular practices. Expose your students to a wide variety of interest and passion areas. Plan for in-depth study and product development opportunities so they can “test out” their likes and dislikes early in their education.
“Students learning in “educational closets” may not find their passions in time to lead a successful and productive life.” ~ Patti Garrett Shade
Let’s Reflect and Remember . . .
Creative skills are important for professional success and happiness.
Creative interests and talents should be uncovered early in education.
Product development is key to practicing the skills of creativity.
Have you ever pondered, “Are the curious and creative born or made?” Do you subscribe to the myth that creativity is “done” by “creative types?” Perhaps over the years you have said, “I am not that sort of person” or “Well, I’m really not that creative.” These comments rank right up there with “I can’t dance” or “I can’t draw.”
When you were two years old, we guarantee you were very creative! Infants and toddlers are relentless in their quest to discover their world. They love to explore, ask questions, and are incredibly imaginative. Their continuous inquisitions in “try and try again” scenarios and their constant “Why?” questions lead to an explosion of creative possibilities.
By the time you went to school, you had your own “playbook.” It was the way you learned best. But then you then went to school and joined a classroom collection of 25 other children. Do you realize now that they each had his or her own “playbook?” And if that wasn’t confusing enough, you soon realized the teacher had her own “playbook!” And, oh yes, everyone was expected to conform.
Sadly, by the age of seven, children are using only 10% of their creative ability. Even more discouraging is that by the age of 40, adults are only 3% as creative as they were at age seven.
Dr. Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America – from kindergarten through sixth grade – for whom the decline is most serious.
This loss of a belief in personal creativity is so common in adults that we think this is a natural developmental process. The question we should be asking is, “What can we do to prevent this loss?” Or better yet, “How can we safeguard and nurture the development of our student’s natural creativity?”
For Your Classroom
You can begin by re-discovering your own creativity. Take a few moments and think about your creativity. Do you enjoy taking interesting photographs? Do you doodle or sketch? Do you like to write or draw? Do you love decorating or designing? You can start by noticing the creativity you come in contact with in the world around you and sharing it with your students.
So today, you can begin your own personal creativity trek! Look in the mirror each morning and begin by thinking . . . ?
Let’s Reflect and Remember . . .
Creativity scores have consistently inched downward.
We can prevent the downward spiral of this loss.
You were born creative! You are creative! Share your creativity!
“No amount of training will create a da Vinci or Edison. But it is also true that everyone’s capacity for creative livingand creative thinking can be increased.”