Monday, February 12, 2007

Learning from Leonardo

If creative thought is the new capital of the21stC it is important to develop and capture it!

Our creative thinking often comes to us at odd times making it hard for us to record our thoughts. There are nights when I can't get to sleep for thinking - just can't turn my mind off!

And when we become involved in thinking we become so absorbed that we lose our sense of time, entering into what one writer calls 'flow'. The ideas generated at such times are to valuable to lose

If, at such times when ideas are 'streaming', you can tune into thoughts you can create something of real value. It is important to take advantage of such times because you can't force creative thinking.

It seems we need to think like Leonardo da Vinci who always carried a notebook at all times. I find myself writing notes to myself , sometimes late in the night, in attempt to capture ideas my mind throw ups at such inconvenient times.

Great minds like Leonardo's go on asking questions with an intensity that continues throughout their lives. If we want to develop this faculty in our students we need to retain their sense of wonder and their inborn curiosity. Unfortunately, as a result of an education system based on transmission of knowledge, this sense of wonder is all too often lost.

Not only ought we encouraging students to value their own thinking but we need to assist them to reflect on their thoughts and capture them by jotting them down in 'thinking journals'. We need to encourage them to question accepted knowledge. Curiosity is the wellspring of all learning. We can encourage this creative thought by encouraging and using students question, by allowing students to explore what attracts their attention, and by allowing them to follow their trains of thought.

Very little of this creative teaching is to be found in our schools - even in the best of primary classes where the teachers' agendas, no matter how liberal, holds centre stage. We need to develop an 'emergent' curriculum based on what attracts our students' curiosity.

As we enter, what some are calling a 'creative era', it is important that schools change with the times - or better still lead the change by creating environments for students to develop creative thought.

Schools have a great opportunity to become focused on creative thinking - talk of personalising learning would seem to be start.

Schools in the 21stC ought to be championing those who challenge he status quo.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bruce,
Jody here. Thanks for another great entry. It is always comforting to read of others who cannot switch their brain over to snooze mode in the middle of the night! I think that the whole idea of time to ponder is very important to try and get into my classroom. A constant battle to not be taken over by the 'busy school day'. Small steps... even just a couple of minutes a day is an improvement on what I used to manage!

Bruce Hammonds said...

Great to hear from you Jody - hope the year is going well. Hope also to see you at school later this term.

Just for fun 'google' TEDTalk and search out Sir Ken Robinson. Great little video clip.

Tim said...

That TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson is excellent Bruce.

I watched it early last year - in fact any of the TED talks are inspiring on many levels.

Not sure if this is the place for it - but wanted to recommend this blog, if I may:

The current lead article about what teachers could learn from marketers is very interesting - and I had to laugh at the image.



Bruce Hammonds said...

Thank you for that Tim. I have had Sir Ken's book for quite a while but just discovered the video clip - and TEDTalk. Will loook up that blog you mention.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bruce,
the year is going well ... how could it not with all the lovely little people in my class? Looking forward to seeing you later (I heard it was term 2 but anytime is good!)

Bruce Hammonds said...

Thanks anon!!!