Many beliefs and commonly held ideas are revealed as untruths over time. Through cycles of personal evolution, individually and collectively, we come to realize these “untruths” were indeed based on inaccurate or limited available information. Our modern, rapidly expanding technological database of facts and figures allow us to quickly move these “untruths” into the myths category.
The more resilient versions of these myths spring from cultural stories passed down through generations. For instance, it’s hard to imagine a time when people believed the earth was flat. This “reality” was based on what they could observe and the tales of travelers. The world actually started to become “un-flat” in 330 B.C. when scientific observations led to discovering its curvature and spherical shape. Yet the most prevalent myth held by the majority of the population of the middle ages – the world was flat!
Five Creativity Myths
Creativity can be a confusing topic and at times a somewhat elusive concept. On-going creativity myths and misconceptions may color individual perceptions. So, let’s start by dispelling five classical myths associated with creativity.
- Mysterious: Creativity is a rare form of genius possessed by only a few people. It comes from some outside source and you cannot control it. We know so little about it.
- Mystical: Creativity is an elusive phenomenon that evaporates or vanishes if you try to look at it too closely or study it in depth. It is believed it to be ethereal or a gift bestowed on a few.
- Madness: Creative behavior is bizarre, bordering on mental illness. Creative individuals are strange, odd, and weird. It is viewed as an anti-social or unhealthy behavior.
- Magical: Creativity involves trickery, not substance. It’s like watching a magician performing and being in the audience trying to figure out the “trick.” Many think they cannot work the “magic.”
- Merriment: Creativity involves behavior that is totally spontaneous and undisciplined. It doesn’t happen with any forethought or planning. It is used to entertain and surprise us.
If you subscribe to all or parts of any of these myths, you probably will have some initial difficulty believing creativity can be developed and nurtured in all individuals. You may also be apprehensive about discussing your personal creativity with others. And worst of all you may even believe you are not creative! Let’s change that together!
Perhaps the biggest myth of all is the belief that creativity cannot be taught. At Curiosita Teaching, we counter this by adhering to the following formula (and a few other things):
Creativity = creative thinking + critical thinking + creative productivity!
Even now in the 21st century, myths and misconceptions prevail in the fields of medicine and science. These are fodder for great debates, family discussions, and fun and challenging investigations. A good place to start is debunking the 5 classic myths of creativity!
For Your Classroom
We invite you to take the challenge of teaching creative and critical thinking tools to your students. As you do so, you will see levels of creative abilities begin to evolve . . . as you do with any other learning concept introduced into the classroom.
Another myth we’d like to dispel is the belief that creativity is housed in the Arts. Our world exists as it is today due to the creativity in the Sciences, as well in all fields of endeavor.
What more worthwhile exposure could you offer your students? Prepare them with the mindsets, toolsets, and skillsets that will set their creativity free!
Let’s Reflect and Remember . . .
- Creativity can be a confusing topic.
- On-going creativity myths and misconceptions may color our perceptions.
- Creativity exists in the Sciences as well as the Arts.
- Creativity can be taught!
“No amount of training will create a da Vinci or Edison. But it is also true that everyone’s capacity for creative living and creative thinking can be increased.”
Live, learn, and lead creatively.
Rick and Patti