"According to Csikszentmihalya, creativity occurs when--and only when--an individual or group product generated in a particular domain is recognized by the relevant field as innovative..." (page 51, Five Minds for the Future)

"Indeed, the acid test for creativity is simply stated: has the domain in which you operate been significantly altered by your contribution? The good news : because there is no statute of limitations, you can never know for sure that you have not been creative!"

Ideas for examples?

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on the main forum postings,

Ginger Lewman wrote:
"I'm not sure what you're saying here, but I LOVE the work of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced "Smith," according to one book I read a few years ago). :)

HIs notion of "flow" in the creative mind and environment is very natural and pervasive throughout my own life (a fairly creative person) and in my observations of my students. For me, this "flow" is particularly noticeable in the gifted and in those with learning disabilities; when the flow is occurring, good luck breaking in!!"

And I wrote back to her:

Creativity is natural and pervasive to me, too. I'm not saying I've done any masterworks, unless living daily life fully would count for this, with a good amount of playfulness amidst life's tasks. (From the quote at the start of the forum, you'd think you could point to something and say assuredly, "Yes, that's a creative work. Meets every definition of the term." ) This is something in the book that is bugging me, this tendency to think a state of mind could be captured and frozen in time as a "this" or a "that." It's all flux and flow and interblendings of various states. But I digress...

I think creativity is process. It isn't finished, ever. Maybe there are good reflections of the creative process along the way, but mostly it's a "how" sort of thing, not a "what." Gail Godwin wrote in one of her novels " ...work of art is not the object but the reflection of its path..." or something like that.

There's a wonderful description of The Creating Mind on page 83 in Five Minds for the Future. "The creator stands out in terms of temperament, personality, and stance. she is perennially dissatisfied with current work, current standards, current questions, current answers. She strikes out in unfamiliar directions and enjoys--or at least accepts--being different from the pack. When an anomaly arises (an unfamiliar musical chord, an unexpected experimental result, a spike or dip in the sale of goods in an unfamiliar territory), she does not shrink from that unexpected wrinkle: indeed, she wants to understand it and to determine whether it constitutes a trivial error, an unrepeatable fluke, or an important but hitherto unknown truth..."

Later on the page: "Creative activity harbors more than its share of heartaches; but the "flow" that accompanies a fresh insight, a breakthrough work, or a genuine invention can be addictive." Gardner has it down, on this one. Must be a state he's familiar with, too.

That concept of flow rings true to me: flow, the expression of it, and moving on with more flow. Opinion: the best state of mind! (By the way, often especially prominent in SUMMER, wouldn't you say?!)

Ginger, I do see it strongly in the two groups of kids you mentioned. And perhaps strongest of all in the the ones who are both gifted and learning disabled. Creativity is my best tool for reaching them.

Does anyone else have comments on creativity, the state of mind, the "flow", or our job as teachers in this department?



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