Creativity is a skill you can learn
It’s often treated as a lucky predisposition, but the truth is, creativity can be taught just like any other skill. And Robo Wunderkind can help.
For a long time, creativity was understood as something you either have, or you don’t; something that was bestowed upon you by the gods, fairy godmothers, or any other higher power you believe in. Well, it turns out, that might just be false.
What science says
Most of the research on creativity was conducted in the 1960s and 1970s, and it seems there is not much new to add to it. As was then concluded by Prof. Donald McKinnon of Berkeley, creativity takes place on a subconscious level and it can be trained. How?
According to John Cleese, British actor and popular scientist, creativity is the ability to switch between the two modes that your brain operates in: open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, exploratory, playful. The closed mode is more rigid and tunnel-visioned.
The closed mode allows us to make quick decisions in critical situations, whereas the open mode allows us to gather feedback and explore new options for future scenarios. In the closed mode, we’re able to deal with stress and mundane situations. In the open mode, we’re able to create art. The open mode is also called the playful mode – which is where our play-based learning comes in.
Robo Wunderkind x Creativity
When working on a Robo Wunderkind task, children need both modes to achieve the best results. And not only that, they need to switch between them pretty quickly. Firstly, the closed mode allows our pupils to receive and critically assess the information they are given on their task.
What do they need to build? What is the point of the task? How can they achieve it? What tools should they use?
Then, it’s time to broaden their minds in the open mode and let the ideas flow freely. It’s no coincidence that we built our lessons around play, since a child playing is as close as you can get to the open mode. It is receptive to new ideas, new inspiration, novelty, and more open towards exploration and trying new things. We let children explore their ideas and then implement them to see if they worked. We offer feedback, and if the task is not yet completed, we let them try again. And on and on – until we reach the set goal.
Our lessons are one unique way to engage both modes of thinking. We train children to switch swiftly between both modes and thus give them the best conditions for the magic of creativity to take place. Naturally, since it is a skill, everyone is a bit different when learning it. Someone might need quiet down to allow their mind the kind of free exploration we’re aiming for. Others might work better in groups, throwing ideas around and discussing them together. Whatever it is, we allow it and observe.
A playful environment that channels reflection and exploration is a great place to start with training creativity. And who knows, with the right foundation, one day your child might just create an artistic masterpiece.
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