Creativity is something I think a lot of people think of as a bit of a holy grail in Art and Design (A&D) terms.
‘Originals’, innovators, the artist who did it first… these are the milestones on the road of art history, the individuals who open up genres and sub genres by creating something ‘new’. The type of artists that other burgeoning artists aspire to become.
So if it is so desirable surely we as A&D teachers should be rewarding (or at least able to reward) creativity in our students where it is demonstrated.
The problem seems to be that the product of a creative process is not always a ‘good’ product. I might take a ‘fresh’ approach to making an egg sandwich, I might crack the egg on the grill. Creative? Perhaps. Good egg sandwich. No.
So if I submit my sandwich I’m pretty much guaranteed a fail if the submission (the product) is the only element of the exersise that receives a mark. Lets say that another way… if the assessment is all summative then the process is omitted from the criteria. If I am to get credit for my ‘crazy’ egg cooking approach then there needs to be some formative assessment or at least the process I have undertaken needs to be reviewed and graded / factored into the grade / feedback too. (There’s a good explanation of this here : http://www.ukcle.ac.uk/resources/assessment-and-feedback/formative/ )
This is what Lars Lindstrom is talking about in his Creativity paper. Looking at PRODUCT without taking into account PROCESS is insufficient to assess creativity.
So if we have the means built into courses to assess the process (over time)(as well as the product) then what are we looking for? Lars suggests :
- Emulation of models
- Capacity for self assessment
I guess if I were to boil it off in my mind I’d say this…
Creativity is an approach where the artist does not just follow an established path / series of steps but instead / additionally steps out off the beaten track, adopts a fresh perspective or approach and experiments with the technical and theoretical concerns of their (and / or other) disciplines. Although this cannot be ‘taught’ per say in a traditional sense it can be stimulated through discourse and encouraged self assessment and reflection.
I’ll be awarding marks for the most creative comment on the this blog so y’all better get busy…