Hey, it’s ICGCreate week! We’re creating videos on the theme “Create!” As a lover of leadership images and mind mapping ideas, I’m going to talk a little bit about creativity in my life and how creativity goes into my self-improvement and just my habits. One of the things I’ve been focusing on is Bloom’s taxonomy and how creativity involves every single process below it and that’s what makes it so challenging but also so rewarding. I’ve been thinking a lot about education and learning in my life and how I remained creative while going to school and while going through the educational system in America. Over time, we’re actually educated out of creativity and being a human artist, being somebody that creates things constantly and uses time and energy to do that – in some form or another – that is a challenge. Because of the way the educational system is linear and how it’s structured in the image of industrialization, creativity and the capacity of that, and the subjects that are deeply related to it, are actually hurt. Like the humanities and arts, which now could be seen as important as literacy. The capacity of creativity. Those are actually hurt because of how we view intelligence. Ken Robinson defines creativity as the capacity to have original ideas that also have value. It’s very difficult for us to disenthrall ourselves from the ways that we think things should be done and education has in itself a lot of perspectives and mindsets about intelligence that we have yet to disenthrall ourselves from. That we’ve yet to abandon and change our minds about because we’re still learning about the human brain. You can look at human intelligence as the three things Ken Robinson mentions. He mentions it’s diverse; people are all different. We intersect different disciplines with others in terms of perspectives. It’s very dynamic. The world’s very interactive. The regions of the brain also interact with each other very differently. No two people are ever the sam. That’s what makes us so different and it’s also organic. Our creativity comes out of multiple factors and the environment that we’re also in, It’s very tied to that. Though it’s complicated. Because of certain ways that we see things and get caught up in particular mindsets, there are creative opportunities that we often take for granted. Some of the best opportunities that I learned from creativity-wise throughout my life so far have not been the tests I took. They’ve not been things in school that were in those lower levels on Bloom’s taxonomy. They were really in-depth, creative, core experiences where I got to create things and I got to create the conditions in which my own learning would prosper. I always go back to school and call this the big four, but this goes along with all the club experiences I had: book club and philosophy club, and mostly the awesome experiences I had through school, and not just at school. These were more active and dynamic experiences in school, instead of me just sitting and listening in class. The experiences where we are using divergent thinking. We are thinking of multiple solutions. We are intersecting disciplines and subjects we learn and problems we solve in a much more diverse and dynamic and organic ways than simply getting information. The first of the big four was a two-year kids TV show I did called “Move It” where I actually created a TV show. I was the co-host in it, but we talked about health and wellness and I met people and I traveled places in New York, and I did these challenges. That experience is a lot more interactive and integrated and dynamic and that’s why I remember it because I physically created a thing. The DVD is right down there through that door. I could sit there and watch it. I found that opportunity through school and not just because of school. The other one was a program through school which I designed my own science research project and then carried it out. And I got a hypothesis and then I went to competitions at universities through the program through Albany. That again is through school. It was an experience that I created. It was something that provided structure for me to challenge myself and create and along with that I had youth leadership and FCCLA, which I’m still involved in, even seventh grade. That went all the way through middle school and high school and I did singing in music. And that’s another full portion of creativity in the arts, is singing in groups of people. That’s a very core organic thing that happened. Those are more long-term creative experiences that I had structure for and that I created, plus everything else, plus all the other stuff that happened more short term in the school environment. Because of FCCLA and my love of leadership images, I really got into the idea of taking ideas and making them more concrete and understandable and analogous through using real life things to understand them. Regarding education, Ken Robinson talks about them as well in hish changing education paradigms video. Creativity as a teacher is not a delivery system. Creativity for yourself and when you’re teaching others is creating the conditions at which learning – you can facilitate learning and make that happen – instead of an industrialized, linear process where kids are brought out in batches, it’s more like being a farmer and growing things organically. This is one of my favorite analogies. Teachers are responsible for facilitating learning, so it’s more of a climate control responsibility in terms of creativity. That makes teaching a very creative profession. If teaching is a creative profession and as a teacher you’re removing barriers to learning and getting students to engage with ideas and create and learn how to see things with fresh perspective, how can you do that in your own life? Like how can you create environments or structure for yourself in order to facilitate learning for yourself? How do you do that well? Well, let’s see, if a teacher can do it for a classroom students very well, then it is very possible to take your life into your own hands, and get behind the whee, and do this for yourself in a myriad of ways. Human communities depend on diverse talent and not some singular idea of ability and intelligence in order to flourish. Of course, this is easier said than done, but through the big four and other opportunities that I’ve had in my life since I was little, I’ve always challenged myself to be creative. I think I’ll always be facilitating learning for myself if I’m committed to creating things and doing things I enjoy that relate to my skills and talents and growing those things. Creating YouTube videos is the perfect example. All the leadership image ideas that I’ve had and that people have helped grow by watching. The 15 or so journals that I have each with a different topic, all the slack communities, working on the road to nerdfighteria project, doing things outside of the house, traveling to youth leadership conferences, still involved with FCCLA and their communities, and what they’re doing. Continuing to read books, continuing to have book club conversations on Goodreads or in different slack communities, participating in important discussions in the project for awesome, donating to charity through donorschoose.org, traveling – it is this essential creativity that you have for yourself and what you experience that will keep facilitating learning in your life. It’s just as easy for me to completely give up and not be committed and curious and chase opportunities like this for learning for myself. When you aren’t in school or you aren’t in close to environment that can facilitate learning for yourself, you almost have to create environments for yourself or seek them out in order to continue to facilitate learning in your life to grow. It’s definitely challenging, but it is definitely worth it to seek out opportunities to challenge yourself in many creative ways. I sing music. I journal. I make youtube videos. I take photographs for fun. I blog sometimes. I collaborate with YouTube communities and I’m on slack. You have the power to take the endeavors that you have and make them creative. It also goes along with this whole idea that you don’t only have to do one thing. You can do many things. You can have long-term creative projects, collaborative one’s, a core central thing that you do as well, there are plenty of ways be creative and all it takes is starting and trying it out and seeing what sticks. So keep creating and making good stuff. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride when you create the conditions in your life necessary for yourself to flourish in many ways, as well as guiding other people too. If you don’t know that it’s impossible, it’s a lot harder to fail. The value that you create and you put out into the world, long term, consistently, and creatively, will find the people that want to value it.