A Personal Learning Framework

Doug Johnson, Feb 18, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm one of those people who tests off-the-chart for creativity (it doesn't mean I'm good, it just means that, if there's a box, my thinking can be found not only outside that box, but down the road, hitchhiking to some other city). Yet I don't think educators "fear" creativity as suggested in this post. I think creativity is actually valued! But it's true that people don't really know how to deal with it.

  • Johnson says educators fear change, and that creativity changes relationships. I think they crave change, but fear the changes proposed will never work, and that no change will result.
  • Johnson says creativity offends sensibilities. But what offends, I find, are the efforts of people trying to be creative but lacking the vocabulary (see my thoughts on offensive language, below)
  • Johnson says it makes people feel inferior and pressures them to be creative themselves. But I think that that creativity undermines the ability of people to make others feel inferior
  • Johnson says it undermines our efforts. But what creativity does is make clear where our efforts are actually leading, and suggests unsettling alternatives.
  • Johnson says it's hard to measure. But most things are hard to measure (see 'counting', below). What creativity shows is that the things we value aren't the things we're measuring.
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