Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ What Creativity Isn't

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This article is a response to Ken Robinson's now 17-year-old argument that schools kill creativity. The response: "Creativity only occurs with a firm understanding of a specific domain of knowledge and schools should situate that foundation of knowledge as a central pillar." Blake Harvard uses car engines as an example. "To truly design a creative and more fuel efficient car engine, I need an incredibly vast foundation of knowledge on car engines and fueling." Maybe - or, on the other hand, you could design an electric engine with no knowledge of fueling whatsoever. And that is the truism widely observed: the deeper one is immersed into one approach to things, the harder it becomes to imagine a creative alternative. What's most useful - to my mind - is partial knowledge. Enough to trigger pattern recognition, but not so much to cause overfitting to one specific approach.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 19, 2024 7:58 p.m.

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