Posted by marshafamilaroenright 5 years, 6 months ago to Education
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How to nurture creativity at the university level - I would enjoy hearing members' experiences and thoughts about this, especially as Objectivists value creativity highly.

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  • Posted by dbhalling 5 years, 6 months ago
    Very interesting. I remember the Feynmann demonstration on TV. Of course the engineers had pointed out this problem to NASA for years and they were over ruled by managers more concerned with politics.
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  • Posted by 5 years, 6 months ago
    William, unfortunately the stress on "information" and tests often beats the life out of young people. And it's unfortunate because we find in Montessori schools that they learn the information easily as a part of learning the bigger picture. Yet they keep their enthusiasm and unique outlook.

    I think you touched on a key issues with self-confidence: I've seen numerous students who struggle academically in Montessori, but they keep their self-confidence because they're not being endlessly compared to others and to some arbitrary standard of development.

    What happens is that they go on, in higher education, to find their niche, while keeping a tremendous work ethic. This allows them to succeed spectacularly despite academic difficulties.

    I've seen kids who I wasn't sure were getting the arithmetic or grammar lessons AT ALL in grade school, yet they went on to do well in high school and ended up as designers at Google or illustrators for movie companies. Or dancers or musicians. Or engineers.
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  • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 5 years, 6 months ago
    This dovetails with a TEDx talk at UCSB that I recently attended where the professor tracked, via video, kindergartners losing their creativity as they encountered the school system in the first year and learned that there was only one right answer, the teacher knew it, and only the first one to get it got called on. Most became passive observers waiting for the answer.

    If you want to encourage creativity, it isn't enough to fill the students with facts and answers, they need questions -- and preferably ones where there are no answers, or many answers.

    On the other hand you don't want to play the 'everyone gets a trophy' game where there is no critique of creativity either.

    Nurturing creativity is something I struggle with. My son went to a high quality technical school and came back with a much higher skill set and less confidence in his ability to do original work.
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  • Posted by khalling 5 years, 6 months ago
    excellent article,marsha. Very interesting examples. This in particular struck me:
    "Discussing the place that a fact, idea, or theory has in human life should be a constant aim. Faculty should consistently require—and offer–—proof for statements and beliefs, and explicit logical arguments. Everyone should examine the premises from which they draw their conclusions. Facts and truth, however unpleasant, should be the standard. By modeling and emphasizing these practices, faculty can encourage students to have excellent observational skills."
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