Creativity is thinking in a way that is different in order to solve problems and to create new things. In a study, kindergartners were asked the number of uses of for a paperclip. 98% of the children responded at the genius level coming up with 200 or more uses; they did not limit themselves to what we think of as a paper clip (small and made of metal). As these children grew older, sadly though they did more and more poorly on this same assignment each time they were tested. What the researchers concluded was that as the children were exposed to more education, their creativity dropped. (Here is part of the video that speaks about this study https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzBa-frc2JA).
When I first heard about this study, I was distraught to think that our education today is slowly stifling a part of ourselves, thinking creatively, that God allowed us to have to better understand Him and His ultimate and complete creativity. God showed us His creativity in creating the world and all the small details (like the smallest bone in the human body allowing us to hear) and the big details (the stars that He knows by name) by creating them out of nothing. And yet, despite of all the details that he created, He still shows us His love for us, for you personally. I am amazed as I think about how God reveals Himself through His creation. He gave us a small small portion of this within our own thinking so we could use this to worship Him.
As you may already have realized, I firmly believe that as a teacher I should do all that I can to foster this creativity, not to stifle it. That is why so often we are creating something or trying to solve a problem or wondering why. This week was no exception. Practically every lesson involved new thinking or creating something to showcase our learning.
Through the morning, we have been applying our medieval research to creating the set, costumes, and script for our movie. As I looked out at the children working, I saw them use the limited materials that they had in new ways to create the needed things. They shared ideas together and discussed problems or difficulties. They showed faithfulness.
At one point as the children were working on their trebuchets, I was planning on starting something new. However, as I was about to have them to clean up to move on, I kept hearing, “Oh I have a perfect idea!” or “I know! We could do this!” and other such phrases. I could not bring myself to stop them as I saw their brains whirring rapidly in excitement.
During our math test, we used fraction circles to create fraction art to practice adding uncommon denominators. Some children chose a specific picture; others chose a more abstract piece. All were unique and beautiful.
Today, we also spent a good portion doing art. We are working on our tile art to go on display for next year. We talked about drawing, and then I allowed the children to explore on their own before they used their drawings to create a stamp.
This week was very busy. However, if anything though, we certainly practiced using the creativity that God has given to us. Perhaps, we can use this to learn even more about who God is.