The reading, All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking) I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) in Kindergarten by Mitch Resnick argued that a hands-on exploratory kindergarten approach to learning needs to be extended throughout school and throughout life. He described a spiral of activity around imagination, creativity, play, sharing and reflection. Children move fluidly through these activities when engaged with open-ended materials. The MIT Media Lab works to develop learning tools to help extend this kindergarten style of learning to learners of all ages.
One idea that really stood out for me in the article was the fact that the root of creative thinking is create. Create is a verb, an action word; to develop creative thinking, we need opportunities to create, to engage with materials and make something. I look forward to additional readings and speakers related to the Maker Movement in future lectures.
Another thing that stood out for me was a list of tips put together by students learning and creating with a programming language. They offered these suggestions for future students:
Work on things that you like
If you have no clue what to do, fiddle around
Don't be afraid to experiment
Find a friend to work with, share ideas!
It’s OK to copy stuff (to give you an idea)
Keep your ideas in a sketch book
Build, take apart, rebuild
Lots of things can go wrong, stick with it
(Resnick, M, 2007)
I was struck by how much these tips apply equally well in our studio setting at Art at the Center. I plan to post the list and invite young artists to add their own tips and suggestions.