This dialogue between initial conception and final realisation can be delicate. It can be halted or inhibited by trying to do too much too soon or at the same time. For example, asking children to write a poem right away in their best handwriting can destroy the spontaneity they need in the initial phase of generating ideas. They need to be helped to understand that creativity often develops in phases; and to have some sense of where they are in the process and what to expect of themselves there. We have identified two modes of thought: generative and evaluative. The balance between these must be right. In most situations, trying to produce a finished version in one move is for most people an improbable task. Not understanding this can make young people and adults alike conclude that they are not really creative after all.
We said earlier that creativity is possible in all areas of human activity and not only in the arts. This is clearly true. Creative insights and advances have driven forward human culture in the sciences, in technology, in philosophy, the arts and the humanities. The history of science, indeed the essential process, is one of continuous conjectures and of reevaluations of established ideas: of new insights or information, challenging and building on existing knowledge. This is the source of the intellectual excitement and creative impulse of science: that it is concerned not only with facts, but with what count as facts; not only with observation but with explanation Ă‘ with interpretation and with meaning. The processes of scientific analysis and investigation can involve the highest levels of creativity and insight. Discovery in science is not always strictly logical. It often results from unexpected leaps of imagination: from sudden moments of illumination in which the scientist grasps the answer to a problem and then sets out to verify it by calculation. This can be as true for children setting out as for experienced scientists.
Published on Mar 30, 2012
All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education Report to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment the Secretary of State for...