Which came first? LO20270

Bruce Jones (brucej@nwths.com)
Wed, 23 Dec 1998 16:00:04 -0600

Replying to LO20253 --

> Perhaps it is time to stop discussing precedence and start talking about
> mutual causation -- and how to enhance both learning and creativity, what
> do you think?

Good point!
As an educator in training and practice, I have found you must foster the
one to enhance the other.
If you teach your class the how and then expect creativity you may be
disappointed with the results.
If you teach creatively and expect learning, you may again be disappointed
with the results. You must combine the two and hope for the best. As an
example: You can lecture on the theory of supply and demand in economics
well enough for your students to pass a test but they may be lacking in the
ability (creative) to start and run their own business successfully. They
will be able to discuss cash flow and profit margin and overhead and tell
you WHY a business is doing poorly or succeeding but not be able to do it
themselves. Or you can teach the same course creatively by having them
form their own company and keep the books and all the other things that a
business entails, yet they can not read the books and see where they may
have gone astray. The art of education is the combining of the two styles
to get the maximum results.

The enhancement of both is a product of effective teaching. To obtain
this level of education the teachers must be taught, then allowed, to use
creative means to teach. Most schools of education teach the theory and
the control of teaching. Most school districts allow for only the "tried
and true" methods of teaching. Until the teachers are taught you will not
find the student being taught.

In the corporate setting the current and prospective employee must be
given an incentive to be ethically creative. An atmosphere of creativity
has to be fostered for this to occur. Most positions do not require or
allow for creative endeavors. The atmosphere (culture) has to be such
that all expressions of originality and creativity are welcomed. Often
times an employee devises a new process or pattern of flow within the
group, department or corporation and is thanked for their contribution
then the project is scraped for "economic" or "management" or "other"
reasons. After a few cycles of this type of creativity and rejection the
employee stops being innovative and becomes another robot in the corporate
mill. The theories and experiments of Pavlov and Skinner are proven.

For these reasons I feel that we MUST ask the question which comes first.
I realize it is a circular argument and there is ...possibly ... no
correct and true answer, but to understand the hows and whys of both
creative thinking and teaching, the relationship between the two must be

Bruce W. Jones
Organizational Development Specialist
Northwest Texas Healthcare System
Amarillo, Texas


"Bruce Jones" <brucej@nwths.com>

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