Leading for Innovation and Creativity
Dr. Douglas Reeves
Creative Leadership Solutions
Dr. Douglas Reeves is the founder o...
Leading
 for
 Crea-vity
 
 
 
Douglas
 Reeves,
 PhD
 
Crea-veLeadership.net
 
Douglas.Reeves@Crea-veLead...
Enormous
 Gap
 Between
 
 
Inten3ons
 and
 Reality
 
Student
 grading
 systems
 deliberately
 
under...
Crea3vity
 is
 some3mes
 associated
 with
 
anxiety,
 an3-­‐social
 behavior,
 and
 
substance
 abuse....
How
 to
 Assess
 Crea3vity?
 
•  Torrance
 Tests
 of
 Crea3ve
 Thinking
 –
 the
 most
 
widely
 ...
What’s
 New
 for
 2015?
 
 
 The
 Seven
 Virtues
 Of
 Crea2vity
 
•  “Crea3vity
 is
 not
 jus...
The
 False
 Dichotomy
 Between
 
 
“Big
 C”
 and
 “Likle
 c
 ”
 Crea3vity
 
Big
 C:
 
–  The
...
Dimensions
 of
 Crea3vity
 
 
Assessment
 ‒
 Exemplary
 
• 
 Research
 basis
 –
 0
 
• 
 Mul3d...
Overall
 Rubric
 Scores
 
0
 
10
 
20
 
30
 
40
 
50
 
60
 
70
 
80
 
25-­‐32
  17-­‐24
 
 ...
Everybody
 Knows
 Crea3vity
 
 
Is
 Important,
 but
 …
 
 
• 
 We’ll
 get
 to
 it
 afer
 st...
Crea3vity
 can
 and
 must
 be
 
assessed.
 
“Crea3on
 is
 unlikely
 to
 emerge
 in
 the
 absence...
The
 “good
 girl”
 effect—we
 effec3vely
 
undermine
 the
 crea3vity
 of
 half
 the
 planet.
 
 
(...
Decision
 Discipline
 –
 Mutually
 
Exclusive
 Alterna3ves
 
Non-­‐Linear
 Gains
 –
 Beware
 of
 
th...
Encourage
 Risk
 –
 “Evalua3on-­‐
Free
 Zones”
 for
 50%
 of
 
Observa3ons
 
Costs
 and
 Benefits
 ...
Suppor3ng
 Curiosity
 
•  Confidence
 in
 the
 value
 of
 failure,
 including
 public
 
displays
 of	...
“The
 playground
 hasn’t
 been
 updated
 for
 six
 
years
 and
 some
 of
 it
 is
 dangerous.
 ...
Versa3lity:
 Applying
 New
 Perspec3ves
 
• 
 The
 “ab
 ini2o”
 fallacy
 
•  Unless
 you
 observed	...
There
 is
 no
 contradic3on
 
between
 crea3vity
 and
 
academic
 discipline.
 
•  In
 fact,
 discip...
Professional
 Prac3ce
 and
 the
 
“What
 the
 Heck?”
 Effect
 
•  “If
 I
 miss
 a
 prac2ce
 day,	...
Miss
 Every
 Third
 Day
 of
 Prac3ce
 
98
 
100
 
102
 
104
 
106
 
108
 
110
 
112
 
114
 
...
Some
 Prac3cal
 Steps
 
 
for
 Crea3ve
 Collabora3on
 
• 
 Splizng
 the
 cake
 
• 
 “Yes,
 …,	...
• 
 Experiment
 with
 games:
 
o 
 Rock,
 paper,
 scissors
 …
 water
 
o  Replace
 the
 Monopoly	...
•  How
 have
 “class
 rules”
 changed
 in
 the
 
last
 20
 years?
 
•  How
 does
 your
 evalua3o...
How
 We
 Discourage
 Crea3vity
 Among
 
Teachers
 
• 
 Discourage
 taking
 risks
 and
 failure.
 ...
You
 cannot
 expect
 cri3cal
 thinking
 in
 
the
 classroom
 or
 faculty
 room
 if
 there
 
is
...
VERSATILITY
 
DISCIPLINE
 
COLLABORATION
 
© 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions
All rights reserved. Copy only wi...
EXPERIMENTATION
 
TENACITY
 
Synthesis
 
© 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions
All rights reserved. Copy only with...
I
 Used
 to
 Think
 …
 and
 
Now
 I
 Think
 ….
 
 
For
 a
 complete
 set
 of
 crea3vity
...
Creativity, Risk, the Classroom, and the Economy:
Three Ideas to Get Creativity Back on Track
Douglas Reeves, PhD
Thanks t...
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) and Howard Gardner note that exceptional degrees of creativity can take
place within the boundari...
Creativity and Assessments: Mortal Enemies or Potential Allies?
Douglas Reeves, PhD
Professor Yong Zhao’s latest shot acro...
Let’s replace some of the rhetorical heat about the worst practices in standards and assessment with
some light, acknowled...
of 32

Presentetion Creativity

ASCD Conference
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: Education      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Presentetion Creativity

  • 1. Leading for Innovation and Creativity Dr. Douglas Reeves Creative Leadership Solutions Dr. Douglas Reeves is the founder of Creative Leadership Solutions. He has worked with education, business, nonprofit, and government organizations throughout the world. The author of more than 30 books and more than 80 articles on leadership and organizational effectiveness, he has twice been named to the Harvard University Distinguished Authors Series. Dr. Reeves was named the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Parent’s Choice Award for his writing for children and parents, and the Contribution to the Field Award from the National Staff Development Council. His keynotes speeches have reached live audiences of more than 8,000 people and many times that size through television and internet broadcasts. His presentations are highly interactive, with audience members providing live Tweets, Texts, and E-mails throughout the presentation. Reeves also provides proprietary research and assessment projects for clients, assessing organizational climate, communication, and the “implementation gap” – the difference between organizational strategies and reality. In addition, he works with leadership teams and provides confidential one-to-one executive coaching. Dr. Reeves can be reached at Douglas.Reeves@CreativeLeadership.net or 1.781.710 9633. He lives with his wife and family in Boston, Massachusetts. © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 1
  • 2. Leading  for  Crea-vity       Douglas  Reeves,  PhD   Crea-veLeadership.net   Douglas.Reeves@Crea-veLeadership.net   @DouglasReeves   (781)  710-­‐9633     Fundamental  Research  Findings   •  Crea3vity  is  essen3al  for  society  and  the   planet   •  Crea3vity  is  valued  by  businesses,   schools,  and  governments   •   Unfortunately,  …   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 2
  • 3. Enormous  Gap  Between     Inten3ons  and  Reality   Student  grading  systems  deliberately   undermine  the  essen3als  of  crea3vity:  trial,   error,  feedback,  and  improvement.     The  “average”  punishes  every   experimental  error.       Teacher  evalua3on  systems  undermine   experimental  approaches  to  teaching,   learning,  and  engagement  because  they   punish  failure.       Enormous  Gap  Between     Inten3ons  and  Reality   Crea3vity  Is  Systema3cally  Devalued   The  most  crea3ve  students  were  the  least   popular  with  students  and  teachers;  the   least  crea3ve  students  were  the  most   popular.     (Research  results  from  Union  College  and  Skidmore  College   study  of  Albany,  NY     elementary  school  teachers,  2012)   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 3
  • 4. Crea3vity  is  some3mes  associated  with   anxiety,  an3-­‐social  behavior,  and   substance  abuse.     1.  Personal  beliefs   2.  Personal  experiences   3.  Collec3ve  experiences   4.  Systema3c  comparisons   5.  Preponderance  of  evidence   Levels  of  Evidence   More  Bad  News   •  Emula3ng  crea3vity  (such  as  Google’s   20%  of  free  3me)  is  incredibly  difficult   when  people  already  have  full-­‐3me   jobs.       •  Evalua3on  systems  punish  the  errors   that  are  an  inherent  part  of  crea3vity   and  risk  taking.   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 4
  • 5. How  to  Assess  Crea3vity?   •  Torrance  Tests  of  Crea3ve  Thinking  –  the  most   widely  used  crea3vity  test  in  the  world   •   40  languages   •  Systema3c  assessment  of  validity  –  the   rela3onship    between  student  scores  and  later   adult  crea3ve  produc3on,  over  four  decades   Crea3vity  Is  Declining  for  Individuals   •  Crea3vity  among  students  has  declined   significantly  in  the  past  20  years.   •  The  biggest  decline  is  in  “crea3ve  elabora3on”   –  the  ability  to  develop  and  elaborate  on  ideas   with  detailed  and  reflec3ve  thinking.   (Kyung  Hee  Kim,  College  of  William  and  Mary,  afer   analysis  of  nearly  300,000  American  adults  and   children  based  on  the  Torrance  Tests  of  Crea3ng   Thinking  (TTCT),  October  2010.)   Crea3vity  Is  Declining  for  Organiza3ons   •  Fewer  than  half  of  companies  surveyed  said   their  corporate  culture  robustly  supports  their   innova3on  strategy.   •  But  most  organiza3ons  make  decisions  based   on  avoiding  mistakes  rather  than  embracing   risk  and  innova3on.   (Booz  &  Co.,  Global  Innova3on  1000,   InnoCen3ve,  2013)   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 5
  • 6. What’s  New  for  2015?      The  Seven  Virtues  Of  Crea2vity   •  “Crea3vity  is  not  just  the  way  that  the  great   geniuses  of  the  past  have  used  to  enrich   and  give  meaning  to  our  culture,  but  it  is  an   obliga3on  we  all  have  to  enrich  and  give   meaning  to  our  own  lives  and  the  lives  of   our  community.”       —Reeves  &  Reeves,  The  Seven  Virtues  of  Crea2vity     (Solu3on  Tree,  2015)   A  Working  Defini3on  of  Crea2vity   •  The  process  of  experimenta-on,   evalua-on,  and  follow  through,  which   leads  to  a  significant  discovery,  insight,   or  contribu-on   •  Note  what  it  doesn’t  say:  original,  novel,   superstar,  ….     © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 6
  • 7. The  False  Dichotomy  Between     “Big  C”  and  “Likle  c  ”  Crea3vity   Big  C:   –  The  creator  as   rock  star,  or  at   least  a  Nobel   Prize  winner   –  Social,  ar3s3c,  or   scien3fic   recogni3on   LiNle  c:   –  Insights  that  are   func3onal,  ofen   based  on  previous   major  insights   Assessing  Crea3vity  Assessments   •  100+  crea3vity  assessments,  including  K–12   and  college,  evaluated  on  8-­‐dimension  scale,   with  four  points  on  each,  for  >3,200  data   points   •   >95%  inter-­‐rater  reliability   •  Maximum  score  of  32  (Level  4  on  all  eight   dimensions)   •   The  results  …   Dimensions  of  Crea3vity     Assessment  ‒  %  Proficient  +   •   Research  basis  –  42%   •   Mul3disciplinary  perspec3ve  –  49%   •   Source  material  –  34%   •   Clarity  of  guidelines  –  52%   •   Product  –  17%   •   Process  –  41%   •   Collabora3on  –  9%     •   Prac3ce  and  error  –  20%     © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 7
  • 8. Dimensions  of  Crea3vity     Assessment  ‒  Exemplary   •   Research  basis  –  0   •   Mul3disciplinary  perspec3ve  –  9   •   Source  material  –  2   •   Clarity  of  guidelines  –  3   •   Product  –  8   •   Process  –  3   •   Collabora3on  –  0   •   Prac3ce  and  error  –  0   Unpacking  the  Dimensions   of  Crea3vity   Applying  the  Research   Workshop  on  “Assessing  Crea3vity”   applies  the  meta-­‐rubric  used  in  today’s   research  to  three  anonymous  crea3vity   rubrics.  You  are  welcome  to  apply  this   meta-­‐rubric  to  crea3vity  rubrics  within   your  schools.   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 8
  • 9. Overall  Rubric  Scores   0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   25-­‐32   17-­‐24    9-­‐16      1-­‐9   Elementary   Secondary   K-­‐12   Strengths  and  Weaknesses   Strengths:   •  Mul3disciplinary   orienta3on   •  Product   requirements   Weaknesses:   •   Research  basis   •   Collabora3on   •   Trial  and  error   A  Few  Research  Footnotes   •  Posi3vely  biased  sample  ‒  These  were  publicly  available  and   willingly  shared.  Don’t  be  disappointed  if  your  ini3al  results   are  lower.   •  Don’t  try  this  alone.  Checks  for  inter-­‐rater  reliability  are   essen3al  for  meaningful  results.   •  Use  this  meta-­‐rubric  as  a  star3ng  point—not  the  ending   point.  When  there  is  disagreement  in  applying  a  rubric,  the   rule  is,  “The  enemy  is  not  one  another;  the  enemy  is   ambiguity.”  Rework  the  rubric  un3l  you  achieve  80%   agreement.   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 9
  • 10. Everybody  Knows  Crea3vity     Is  Important,  but  …     •   We’ll  get  to  it  afer  standardized  tests  are  done.   •  It’s  really  the  responsibility  of  the  art  and  music  teachers.   •  Crea2vity  is  just  a  code  word  for  poor  discipline,  and  if   you  ask  me,  kids  need  a  lot  more  discipline  than  they   need  crea3vity.       •  I’ll  wait  un3l  I  see  the  evidence  that  crea3vity  helps   achievement.   •   Great,  just  what  we  need—one  more  ini3a3ve.   A  Working  Defini3on  of  Crea2vity   •  The  process  of  experimenta-on,   evalua-on,  and  follow  through,  which   leads  to  a  significant  discovery,  insight,  or   contribu-on   •  Note  what  it  doesn’t  say:  original,  novel,   superstar  ….     Big  Ideas   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 10
  • 11. Crea3vity  can  and  must  be   assessed.   “Crea3on  is  unlikely  to  emerge  in  the  absence  of   some  disciplinary  mastery  and,  perhaps,  some   capacity  to  synthesize;       it's  not  possible  to  think   outside  the  box  unless  you   have  a  box.”       —Howard  Gardner,     Five  Minds  for  the  Future,  2007   Crea3vity  is  some3mes  associated  with   anxiety,  an3-­‐social  behavior,  and   substance  abuse.     © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 11
  • 12. The  “good  girl”  effect—we  effec3vely   undermine  the  crea3vity  of  half  the  planet.     (Reeves  &  Reeves,  The  Seven  Virtues     of  Crea2vity,  2015)   Prac3cal  Guidelines     for  School  Leaders   Time  for  Assessment  and   Scoring   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 12
  • 13. Decision  Discipline  –  Mutually   Exclusive  Alterna3ves   Non-­‐Linear  Gains  –  Beware  of   the  “Likle  Bit  Beker”  Impulse.   Ban  the  Average  –     for  Students  and  Teachers.   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 13
  • 14. Encourage  Risk  –  “Evalua3on-­‐ Free  Zones”  for  50%  of   Observa3ons   Costs  and  Benefits  of  Change   Q1.     Change   Costs   Q4.     Change   Benefits   Q2.      No   Change     Costs   Q3.      No   Change   Benefits   CURIOSITY   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 14
  • 15. Suppor3ng  Curiosity   •  Confidence  in  the  value  of  failure,  including  public   displays  of  “I  used  to  think  …,  and  now  I  think  ….   (Elmore,  2011)   •  Replacing  supreme  self-­‐regard  with  rigorous  self-­‐ examina3on   •   Social  media  as  an  echo  chamber   •   Ques3on  assump3ons   •   Making  guesses  before  heading  to  Google   •   Being  aware  of  punishing  curiosity   The  “Good  Girl”  Effect  –     Na3onal  Honor  Society  Membership   0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   Women   Men   Kristof,  “The  Boys  Have  Fallen  Behind,”     New  York  Times,  March  27,  2010)   From  2014  Interviews     With  Successful  Girls  and  Women   “There  were  many  2mes  I  knew  that  a   colleague  was  wrong,  but  I  didn’t  speak  up   because  it  was  inappropriate  to  challenge   someone  else.”   —Helen,  an  Ivy  League  graduate     (Reeves  &  Reeves,  The  Seven  Virtues  of  Crea2vity     (Solu3on  Tree,  2015)   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 15
  • 16. “The  playground  hasn’t  been  updated  for  six   years  and  some  of  it  is  dangerous.  I’d  like  to   write  a  story  for  the  school  newspaper,  but  I   don’t  want  to  cri2cize  the  teachers  or  school   leaders.”   —Jessica,  an  excep3onal  student   (Reeves  &  Reeves,  The  Seven  Virtues  of  Crea2vity     (Solu3on  Tree,  2015)   “Being  a  good  girl  got  me  good  grades  in  high   school  and  college,  but  when  I  went  to  an  elite   MBA  program  as  one  of  two  women  in  the   class,  it  took  more  than  a  semester  for  me  to   have  elbows  as  sharp  as  the  guys.”   (Reeves  &  Reeves,  The  Seven  Virtues  of  Crea2vity     (Solu3on  Tree,  2015)   VERSATILITY   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 16
  • 17. Versa3lity:  Applying  New  Perspec3ves   •   The  “ab  ini2o”  fallacy   •  Unless  you  observed  the  Big  Bang,  stop   claiming  originality.   •  Examples:  From  plane  geometry  to   mul3dimensional  sta3s3cal  modeling   Building  Blocks  Vs.  Plagiarism   •   Same  tools,  different  applica3on   •   Illegal  copying  requires  instruc3on  and   reassessment  ‒     o   First,  let  me  break  into  your  locker  and  steal   your  stuff.   o   Second,  write  another  paper  and  credit   everyone  from  whom  you  stole.   DISCIPLINE   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 17
  • 18. There  is  no  contradic3on   between  crea3vity  and   academic  discipline.   •  In  fact,  disciplinary  knowledge  is  essen3al  for   crea3vity.   “Crea3on  is  unlikely  to  emerge  in  the   absence  of  some  disciplinary  mastery  and,   perhaps,  some  capacity  to  synthesize;  it's   not  possible  to  think  outside  the  box   unless  you  have  a  box.”     —Howard  Gardner,     Five  Minds  for  the  Future,  2007   The  Elements  of  Discipline   •   Focus   •   “Beginner’s  mind”   •   Deliberate  prac3ce   •   Incremental  prac3ce   •   Recording  progress   o  From  the  basketball  court  to  cogni3ve   behavioral  therapy   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 18
  • 19. Professional  Prac3ce  and  the   “What  the  Heck?”  Effect   •  “If  I  miss  a  prac2ce  day,  then  I  might  as   well  give  up.”   •  But  what  does  the  evidence  say?   Performance  With  Daily  Prac3ce   100   105   110   115   120   125   130   135   140   0   5   10   15   20   25   30   35   Miss  Two  Days  of  Prac3ce   100.00   105.00   110.00   115.00   120.00   125.00   130.00   135.00   0   5   10   15   20   25   30   35   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 19
  • 20. Miss  Every  Third  Day  of  Prac3ce   98   100   102   104   106   108   110   112   114   116   118   120   0   5   10   15   20   25   30   35   Stop  and  Process:     Enhancing  Crea3vity  With  Discipline   •  Measure  crea3vity  goals  ‒  number  of  ideas   generated,  number  of  experiments  conducted,  or   other  meaningful  metric   •  How  can  you  prac3ce  ac3vi3es  related  to  the  goal?   For  example,  for  at  least  one  of  the  next  three  Board   decisions,  consider  mutually  exclusive  alterna3ves   with  “construc3ve  conten3on.”       •  What  is  the  recovery  plan  if  or  when  you  miss  goals?   COLLABORATION   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 20
  • 21. Some  Prac3cal  Steps     for  Crea3ve  Collabora3on   •   Splizng  the  cake   •   “Yes,  …,  and?”   •  Challenging  the  illusion  of  collabora3on   in  the  classroom   EXPERIMENTATION   Encouraging  Experimenta3on   •  If  you  already  know  the  answer,  then  it’s   not  an  experiment.   •  Disconfirming  hypotheses  is  as  important —ofen  more  important  —than   confirming  hypotheses.     © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 21
  • 22. •   Experiment  with  games:   o   Rock,  paper,  scissors  …  water   o  Replace  the  Monopoly  B&O  Railroad   with  the  TGV.   •  Experiment  with  media  ‒  every   adver3sing  and  poli3cal  claim  is  a   hypothesis  to  be  tested.   Tenacity   Assessing  Tenacity   •  How  has  your  governing  board  agenda   changed  in  the  past  20  years?   •  What  is  the  ra3o  of  board-­‐  and  cabinet-­‐ level  3me  from  presenta3ons  to   delibera3on?    How  has  that  ra3o   changed?   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 22
  • 23. •  How  have  “class  rules”  changed  in  the   last  20  years?   •  How  does  your  evalua3on  system   reward  tenacity  and  perseverance  in  the   face  of  failure?   •  What  happened  with  a  recent  failure  in   your  school—was  it  rewarded  or   punished?   Encouraging  Crea3ve  Tenacity   •  Culture  of  mul3ple  akempts  before  a  final   product  is  accepted   •  Require  construc3ve  conten3on,  debate,  and   dissent.   •  Ban  the  use  of  the  average  for  evalua3ng   students,  teachers,  and  administrators.   •   Celebrate  the  right  kind  of  failure.   Guaranteed  Ways  to  Ensure  Zero  Crea3ve   Opportuni3es  for  Students   •  Have  them  drop  out  of  school  because  they   lack  sufficient  literacy  skills  to  survive  high   school.   •  Have  them  repeat  courses,  so  that  they  have   no  room  in  their  schedules  for  visual  and   performing  arts.   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 23
  • 24. How  We  Discourage  Crea3vity  Among   Teachers   •   Discourage  taking  risks  and  failure.   •   Punish  feedback  and  dissent.   •  Use  the  “average”  in  mul3ple  teacher   observa3ons.   How  We  Discourage  Crea3vity  Among   Leaders   •  Annual  (or  end  of  contract)  performance   reviews   •  Strategic  plans  that  elevate  execu3on   over  crea3vity   •   Micromanagement   •   Unclear  job  descrip3ons   How  We  Discourage  Crea3vity  Among   Policy  Makers  and  Board  Members   •   Standardized  agendas   •  One  administra3ve  recommenda3on   submiked  for  up-­‐or-­‐down  votes   •  A  culture  of  congeniality  over  discussion  and   debate   •  Discussion  and  debate  is  more  than  cri3cism   and  contradic3on.   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 24
  • 25. You  cannot  expect  cri3cal  thinking  in   the  classroom  or  faculty  room  if  there   is  not  cri3cal  thinking  in  the  board   room.   The  Seven  Virtues  of  Crea2vity   CURIOSITY   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 25
  • 26. VERSATILITY   DISCIPLINE   COLLABORATION   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 26
  • 27. EXPERIMENTATION   TENACITY   Synthesis   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 27
  • 28. I  Used  to  Think  …  and   Now  I  Think  ….     For  a  complete  set  of  crea3vity   resources,  please  email:       Douglas.Reeves@Crea-veLeadership.net   Crea-ve  Leadership  Solu-ons   © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 28
  • 29. Creativity, Risk, the Classroom, and the Economy: Three Ideas to Get Creativity Back on Track Douglas Reeves, PhD Thanks to Ken Robinson’s work (most recently, Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, 2013) and 30.5 million YouTube hits for his presentation “How Schools Kill Creativity,” many educators have heard the argument that creativity can be nurtured or destroyed, particularly based on the willingness of people to take risks and learn from failure. The ways in which we evaluate students, teachers, and administrators actively discourage risk-taking and hence reduce the opportunity for creative output. I find relentless teacher bashing, cheap laugh lines, and broad generalizations in the video a bit tiresome. Moreover, encouraging students and teachers to be more creative is unhelpful without some very specific support. Nevertheless, I must take note of recent evidence that supports Robinson’s basic thesis—that creativity among young people is declining. This downward trend was well documented by Professor Kyung Hee Kim of the College of William and Mary after she examined data from more than 300,000 students over twenty years. Most recently, this trend was directly reflected in a stark reduction in the entrepreneurial ambitions of people under thirty. Ruth Simon and Caelainn Barr reported in The Wall Street Journal on January 2, 2015, that “The share of people under age 30 who own private businesses has reached a 24- year low, according to new data, underscoring financial challenges and a low tolerance for risk among young Americans.” It’s not entirely clear that schools are to blame for this. Rather, one must recognize that the shock of the biggest economic decline since the Great Depression caused today’s students and recent graduates to witness their parents’ retirement funds lose half their value in 2008–2009, with many families occupying homes that have lost significant value. While the economy surely has improved since then, with unemployment at the lowest levels in more than a decade, the economic crisis left an indelible mark on a generation and probably reduced its tolerance for risk and failure—essential ingredients in creativity and entrepreneurship. So, what do we do now to restore an environment of appropriate risk-taking and creativity in schools and among young entrepreneurs? First, actively encourage “learning failures” in which teachers and students experiment with new ideas, such as innovative student engagement practices and alternative grading policies. “What do we do if an experiment fails?” a client asked me recently. The answer is that unexpected results are not failures if those results are shared widely and used for continuous improvement. Failure comes from concealing results and penalizing risk taking. One method for promoting “learning failures” is the instructional science fair (see Reframing Teacher Leadership, ASCD, 2008, for examples). Teams of teachers present simple three-panel displays that show the challenge, the intervention, and the results. Second, celebrate disciplinary learning. Too much of the rhetoric surrounding creativity creates a divide between disciplinary learning (the proverbial box) and creativity (outside the box). But scholars, including R. Keith Sawyer (Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation, 2nd ed., 2012— one of the most comprehensive summaries of creativity research since the groundbreaking work of © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 29
  • 30. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) and Howard Gardner note that exceptional degrees of creativity can take place within the boundaries of academic disciplines. Indeed, math, science, history, and engineering are fields that have clear rules, but also celebrate creative breakthroughs. They do not belong at the opposite end of the creative continuum from music, art, and literature. Third, require collaboration—both modeling by teachers and active practice by students. The words “require” and “creativity” rarely appear in the same sentence. Consider the idea that creativity is not a mysterious gift of the muses but a skill, like dancing and playing the piano. Both include elements of artistic interpretation, but also include disciplinary fundamentals of steps and notes. Similarly, an essential fundamental for creativity is collaboration. The “lone genius” myth has been widely dispelled, but we have failed to replace it with a conscientious effort to help students learn to collaborate. Small wonder, as students rarely have the opportunity to observe collaboration among their teachers and administrators. In a recent Marshall Memo summary (www.MarshallMemo.com), Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher, writing in the January 2015 issue of Principal Leadership, quoted a high school student as saying, “I feel like my teachers don’t ever talk to each other. Do they even know what I do when I’m not right in front of them?” It’s a fair question, and one that deserves an answer from every educator and administrator who values collaboration and creativity among students. If we expect students to collaborate effectively, then we must require it, practice it, assess it, and systematically improve the collaborative efforts of students and adults. It won’t take another thirty million YouTube hits to convince us that creativity and risk taking are important. The hard part is putting specific ideas into action. Stay tuned for more of these ideas in the weeks ahead on the ChangeLeaders.com blog. --------- Douglas Reeves, PhD, is the author of more than thirty books and eighty articles on education and leadership effectiveness. He was named the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education and received the Contribution to the Field Award from the National Staff Development Council (now Learning Forward). He can be reached at Dreeves@ChangeLeaders.com or at (781) 710-9633. He is a founding partner of Creative Leadership Solutions. © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 30
  • 31. Creativity and Assessments: Mortal Enemies or Potential Allies? Douglas Reeves, PhD Professor Yong Zhao’s latest shot across the bow, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World (Jossey-Bass, 2014) received a rave review from Professor Diane Ravitch in The New York Review of Books and a laudatory blog post from creativity expert and author R. Keith Sawyer. These are three people I respect and admire, even if I don’t always agree with them. When we met a few months ago in Minnesota, I asked Professor Young Zhao, “Do you mean that even literacy should not be a priority?” His response was emphatic: “What if a student prefers music or athletics—who are we to say that literacy is more valuable?” Then I asked, “But what about students in the inner city who might lose future opportunities if we fail to have literacy standards and assessments?” His riposte was, “You don’t want to make the rest of the nation like Detroit; you want to make Detroit like the best schools in the nation.” The twin evils of standards and assessments, he claims, are the mortal enemies of creativity. Ravitch, well known for her attacks on the corporate testing complex that has benefitted economically from state-mandated testing, and Sawyer, a thoughtful advocate of creativity, echo Yong Zhao’s position. I believe that the truth about creativity, standards, and assessment is a bit more nuanced. First, distinguished creativity advocates such as Howard Gardner and Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi have documented impressively the connection between creativity and discipline. As Gardner said in Five Minds for the Future (Harvard Business Review Press, 2009): “Creation is unlikely to emerge in the absence of some disciplinary mastery and, perhaps, some capacity to synthesize; it's not possible to think outside the box unless you have a box.” Grant Wiggins’ article in wordpress.com addresses the question directly: “On Assessing for Creativity: Yes You Can, and Yes You Should.” Second, creativity is not merely loosening the chains of external authority, but the result of trial, evaluation, error, and resilience. Creative geniuses—from the Ming Dynasty to Michelangelo to Mozart to Mark Twain—have thrived in an environment in which their work was judged, often mercilessly, and often discarded. When we only study the greatest work of the greatest masters, we lose sight of the fact that many great artists discarded most of their work. If we aspire to help our students be more creative, we would do well to have them study not only the greatest works of the greatest masters, but also the failures of the masters. The execrable writing of some of Twain’s books are preserved, but most of the failures of other great artists are lost to history. Half of the original manuscripts of Bach’s cantatas were used to wrap bacon in a butcher shop, so convinced was he that they had less value as musical masterpieces than pork preservatives. Third, almost all creative people must have literacy skills in order for the artists and their art to survive. If our societies truly valued creativity, then we would subsidize artists, much as the Medici’s did in Florence, the United States did during the Great Depression, and the McArthur Foundation does today. But the reality for the vast majority of working artists is that they must work at least part of the time earning a living in order to engage in their creative pursuits. If we fail to give our creative artists the survival skills necessary to put food on the table and pay the rent, then we will have failed as educators and advocates for creativity. Tomorrow’s great creative artists depend on today’s educators—not just those in the arts, but educators who teach them to read, communicate, and collaborate. © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 31
  • 32. Let’s replace some of the rhetorical heat about the worst practices in standards and assessment with some light, acknowledging that the antidote to bad practice and policy is not the absence of leadership for creativity, but a dedication by leaders and educators to establishing creative and collaborative learning environments. --------- Douglas Reeves, PhD, is the author of more than thirty books and eighty articles on education and leadership effectiveness. He was named the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education and received the Contribution to the Field Award from the National Staff Development Council (now Learning Forward). He can be reached at Dreeves@ChangeLeaders.com or at (781) 710-9633. He is a founding partner of Creative Leadership Solutions. © 2015 by Creative Leadership Solutions All rights reserved. Copy only with permission. Page 32