Relationship between creativity and learning? LO20277

babsron (
Sat, 26 Dec 1998 09:47:35 -0500

Replying to: LO20219

It has been months since I last wrote anything. My name is Babs
Ausherman. My work is as the director of Staff Development in a small
hospital in Florida.

AT wrote:
I have observed in courses on these
> two subjects how the suppression (by the lecturer and the system) of
> the student's innate creativity made these courses an ethical hell. I
> have had to help many a student to escape from this hell by showing
> them how to respect their own creativity while avoid confrontation
> with the lecturer's demands.

I would venture to say these two subjects are not the only ones with
professors who attempt to dictate what exact knowledge students will leave
the leacture hall with. During my college days, I often would say that I
was learning in spite of the professor. My meaning is that I would often
dialogue with myself and some classmates. I certainly was careful how I
responded in testing situations; I learned how to feed back the desired
information, while keeping my personal thoughts to myself.

Years later, I still find myself trying to find my voice to speak my
thoughts about I feel/think to others, yet I know now that I want my
classrooms to be safe for people. I have come to understand that teaching
is a learning experience for me.

Returning to the question of which came first, creativity or learning?
Without knowledge gained through learning of certain basic things, I am
often unable to act creatively. Example:

Approximately 5 years ago, I decided I wanted to do waterpainting. I had
( and still have had) no formal training. I purposely did not want to
have lessons or take classes as I did not want the teacher's style and
preferences to influence me. I gathered supplies, brushes, papers,
colors, pens, and so on. I started "playing" with all of these supplies.
I could say that the playing was creative, but I was building knowledge
and learning the basics of how each brush acted, what colors went together
and so on. In the process of learning, I created a number of pictures -
some framed, some stacked away, some tossed.

I find that I need to understand some fundamentals before I am able to
become creative, whether it is with watercolors, words, or talking about
communication and leadership with employees at the hospital where I work.
But upon gaining some knowledge I am able to experiment and expand.

My best wishes to all as we come to the New Year and a fresh start,

Babs Ausherman

-- (babsron)

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