I have all this work I need to download off my camera and the cord is missing. So is my daughter. She might be missing permanently if I get my hands on her!!!
When I have practical cookery exams I photograph all the students work. It is great for marking, because there are so many things going on in class having a photographic record is wonderful to mark from. It is great for kids, because they can reflect on their work after all the stress of the exam is out of the way and its a great way to show parents what they did at school. This is a meal prepared by one of my students who is only 13 years old. Many adults would have problems reaching this standard. She creatively designed, prepared, cooked and served a meal that would satisfy the nutritional needs of a young athlete.
I also use the camera to record progress of students who are developing a product. At the moment we a preparing for a cookery competition and having those records to reflect on and evaluate opens up the creative processes for students. The other thing I do, is to get students to use their phones to photograph their own work. They are not dependent on me for a hard copy and they get into the habit of evaluation and reflection of their own work.
This leads me to the lecture I attended on Friday night called "Creativity and Education" by Professor Anna Craft at Exeter University and the Open University. I'm not sure what I was expecting but I think it was more than what was given.
The things she was talking about I have been doing in my class room for over 20 years and I know that I am only one of many teachers. I also know that there are just as many, if not more teachers, who haven't embraced creativity and innovation. But this, of course, is only anecdotal evidence, not quantitative or qualitative research and as such of little if no value. The other thing I found difficult was that 'The Arts' ' somehow have a license on creativity. There is a TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson that discusses "Do schools kill creativity". He is an eloquent speaker and very entertaining but it was all the negatives and non of the positives. Yes, some schools do limit creativity but many teachers at the coal face do not. Where are the researchers documenting best practice that is already going on?
I see people from all walks of life being creative all the time. The mother who prepares food for that toddler who is a fussy eater, the tradesman who develops a better way of doing the job. Some people are born with a better set of genetic tools to apply creativity in their lives while others need to be nurtured, like a garden, to allow their natural abilities to flower. What I was looking for from the lecture was other tools to nurture these abilities in my students.
Also, I didn't see any cross disciplinary work yet this is often where break throughs are found. The work at Stanford University Entrepreneurship is equally fascinating and could inform the work being done in education and there must be other work that I don't know about. Teachers who are interested in this are so engrossed in teaching and interacting with their students there just isn't time to engage in research. The present just overwhelms.