Many things in school are taught as a process, with sequential steps that may or may not be linear, but can be branched, looping, repeating in sets, etc. The scientific method is a process with clearly defined steps, as is the writing process, both highly stressed in education. Most American classrooms have posters and diagrams that illustrate these processes prominently displayed. However, a totally essential process for the 21st Century Learner is frequently not displayed, or even taught, for that matter...CREATIVITY!
Many educators may still believe the myth that creativity cannot be taught. You are either born with it or you are not. Up-to-date research on the brain and creativity proves that is just not true!
So I am challenging all classroom teachers that are focusing on creative thought and creative processes in their teaching, to decide how to illustrate the process by which you create. Many students do much better in application and analysis situations with an illustration or concrete representation of a concept to refer to and follow.
For the better part of fifteen years I have refined a visualization of the creative process and displayed it in my classroom. Originally I had a linear display, because that was how I saw it in my head. In order to create something you had to think first…then observe…then plan, etc. I was originally a language arts/writing specialist and transferred what I knew of that process to parallel the creative process in art.
Only after researching, analyzing, and synthesizing other information from other teachers, experts and sources, did I start to change my visual idea of what the creative process looked like.
Now I have a creative process that is multi-lobed and circular, that can be displayed along with the writing and scientific process models. I like to layer as many concepts in each lesson and in each graphic, so they can serve multiple purposes. You will notice that the light bulbs are the primary and secondary colors in the color wheel, complements are across from each other, and each lobe lists the many characteristics of that part of the process.
You can look in any search engine for graphics for the writing and scientific processes that can be used for free. Many school supply stores will have pre-printed, full-color posters for these, but very rarely will you find the creative process already produced.
After years of refining my concept of the creative process I believe that everyone, students and teachers alike, are on their own “creative continuum” that morphs and changes as experience grows. These more complex displays of the processes were the ones I incorporated into my teaching.
So, before school starts, I encourage you to think through the process of creativity you build your curriculum around. You can use graphic focal points that fit your school theme, or mascot, or anthem. Thinking through the steps and how they interrelate is essential to you being able to model and teach that process to your new students in the fall.
Great minds love to be stimulated by others' ideas, so please upload any photos of your newly created process posters in your comment or response.