Which one is more important — Creativity or Knowledge? how to cultivate children’s creativity
Regarding human creativity, Einstein said one of the most famous and powerful words: creativity is more important than knowledge. If we don’t know that this is Einstein’s famous quote, we can easily mistake it for an early art class slogan. I have been thinking about this for a long time, and the more I think about it, the more I feel that this sentence contains profound philosophy.
Gene Roddenberry, the screenwriter of Hollywood’s most famous science fiction film series “Star Trek”, is neither a scientist nor a product designer, but has created two products that affect the world, one is a sci-fi blockbuster that has been popular for decades, and the other is the prototype of the world’s first foldable mobile phone.
Rodden Berry’s legend goes like this: He once worked as a bomber pilot in the US Army Air Force, and after retiring, he went to an airline as a passenger plane pilot. Out of his interest in aviation and the imagination of the unknown of the universe, he began to write sci-fi TV series scripts in the 1950s, and finally wrote the masterpiece “Star Trek”.
Many times, Rodden Berry makes us confused about what is imagination and what is science. For example, he once came up with many weird props for “Star Trek”, which were used by humans in the unknown world, but he did not expect that these golden ideas would actually start human scientific inventions one after another.
The most famous of these is a flip communicator he imagined for “Star Trek” in 1966. Unexpectedly, 30 years after the passing of time, Motorola really produced the first human flip phone in 1996 based on his imagined prototype — the first-generation portable phone that can be closed and integrated.
At this point, we should understand why Einstein put creativity above knowledge.
Because knowledge is inherent, and creativity is the source of discovery and generation of knowledge. The revolutions of science and technology all started from the seemingly “absurd” imagination, just as Rodden Berry imagined the appearance of the future mobile phone from scratch, turning the exploration of the future into the creation of the future.
High-level problem-solving skills: Why do many children hide when they encounter difficulties?
You might think: How can children shrink when they encounter problems, and how can it have anything to do with creativity?
Now let me introduce Bloom’s “Educational Goal Taxonomy”, which once had a profound impact on global education. From the establishment and evolution of this system, we can see that creativity has a major impact on comprehensive problem-solving in the field of cognition.
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In other words, when a child lacks creativity, he will feel caught off guard when encountering new problems, so he is more likely to adopt an attitude of avoidance or even evasion.
1. Comprehensive problem solving needs creativity most
Benjamin Bloom is a well-known educational psychologist in the United States. In 1956, he pioneered the “Broom’s Taxonomy” (Broom’s Taxonomy), which divided educational goals into cognitive, emotional, and motor skills. In the field of cognition, he divided the educational goals from low to high into six levels, which are knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
Let’s take a look at what capabilities are included in “synthesis”. Bloom closely connects comprehensive ability and creativity. He believes that this is the most difficult type of complex thinking to control and requires all other cognitive skills.
Creativity is to comprehensively understand the problem on the basis of analysis and to re-integrate various elements related to the problem in order to solve the problem comprehensively and creatively. Therefore, this kind of “comprehensive” ability particularly emphasizes its uniqueness and initiative and belongs to high-level problem-solving ability.
In 1995, more than forty years after Bloom established the “Classification of Educational Objectives”1, one of the original authors, David Krathwohl, proposed an initiative and collaborated with Lorin Anderson. Anderson) revised Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Goals, and officially published the revised results in 2001, titled “The Taxonomy of Learning,
Teaching, and Evaluation: The Revised Edition of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Goals” ( A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives). The biggest difference between the 2001 version and the 1956 version is that the revised version puts “creation” directly at the top of the pyramid, and regards it as the highest-level goal of learning.
This identifies the highest level of knowledge learning and education from the cognitive domain, which is to cultivate students’ creativity and use new methods to solve “old” problems.
Today, in the field of education in Europe and America, this taxonomy of educational objectives has been widely used, mainly to help teachers think about the follow-up effects of teaching on students’ learning, that is, what we want to teach children to do. What results do they bring and what abilities they cultivate.
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Therefore, teachers often design teaching courses and class assignments according to this educational goal, assess the difficulty of students’ assignments and the intensity of teaching content, plan “experiential learning” theme projects, and formulate group discussion-style learning content and directions, etc. . This shows that creativity at the top of the teaching goal pyramid plays an important role in teaching.
2. Creativity is not born
Bloom and many experts in psychology and education recognized as early as the 1950s that creativity can trigger the highest level of thinking because once a child starts to imagine for creation, he begins to think.
However, even so, most schools and parents do not pay enough attention to the cultivation of creativity. Why? I think it may be because most people think that creativity is innate and therefore does not need to be cultivated. However, science has proven that creativity can be acquired through acquired influence and environment.
The American philosopher and writer James Clear described creativity in his book Mastering Creativity: Creativity is a process that uses old ideas or concepts that already exist. A new way to connect, in other words, is to create something unprecedented in the old thing or system.
This reminds me of my husband Tan Dun, who once created a symphony work called “Water Music-Tears of Nature”. In this symphony work, he puts the water that everyone is accustomed to in daily life into a transparent plexiglass water tank. The performer uses various utensils and hand movements to “fiddle” in the water tank. The sound of similar water, so we hear and see the water that is made into musical instruments.
The medium of water is old, but the sound combination of water created by percussionists is a brand new visual and auditory experience. Through this work, Mr. also draws everyone’s attention to the protection of natural water resources, making the water that flows past us every day with warning signs. This music project used to be a creative practice project for some elementary and middle schools in New York, attracting students to come
Listen to and participate in the performance of water music to open up their new understanding and imagination of the world. When they return to the classroom and their homes, they will look at ordinary water with different eyes. The thoughts that arise from this cannot be measured by grades, because this experiential experience will permeate the children’s thinking mode and become subtle. To construct children’s creativity.
3. Insufficient creativity, it is difficult to learn comprehensively
I don’t know if you have noticed such a phenomenon: some children are very sluggish when they brush up on questions, but when the teacher integrates the A question type with the B question type to develop a brand new C question type, the children can’t perform well.
Imagination has done further thinking, and therefore always loses points on the core one or two questions. And those children who are usually flexible and good at thinking, even if they miss some basic questions, can do core questions with a high percentage of such scores, and use this to offset the scores of many basic questions.
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Three years ago, I led 16 elementary school students in a 6-day summer camp for financial business. I divided the children into 4 groups and designed a donation project to protect water resources for public welfare. Let the children introduce this public welfare project to tourists in groups on the streets of the water town, and strive to get everyone’s public welfare donations.
The main purpose of my design of this activity, in addition to charity, is to stimulate children’s creativity and see which group can raise the most donations through innovation and action strategies.
I remember that it was a Saturday in early July. I distributed the same amount of handmade candies and chocolates to the members of each group. These souvenirs will be given in return or given or sold to donors. After the event, I found that the group that raised the most donations among the four groups was indeed the most creative group.
Since it is difficult to explain this public welfare project to passers-by in a short time, the children in this group decided to make a piggy bank marked with love flowers and a hand card with the word “Thanksgiving” written on them.
The actions of the children moved many passers-by, and the group was not limited by the number of candies, and this group received the highest amount of donations. Let’s take a look at the group with the lowest amount of funds raised. After discussion, the children in this group decided to sell sugar per package.
In the end, although all the sugar and chocolate were sold, they could raise money. The amount of money is the least in the event. I remember that all the members of this team were full of confidence and felt that they must have won a big victory.
Unexpectedly, after the announcement of the donation amount, the four children of this team were dumbfounded. They don’t understand why they have received strong support from many tourists, but they have not won the top spot.
In fact, it is not difficult to find out the mystery, that is, they used the most convenient model to solve the problem, while the other group of students used unique ideas to maximize the results. As the designer and headteacher of the summer camp, through this activity, I let the children realize that innovation is the greatest wealth and that doing charity requires creativity.
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Creativity 4C model: the foundation of creativity that every child
After understanding the importance of creativity, let’s take a look at the external manifestations of creativity.
American educational psychology professors James C. Kaufman, Max Helfand, and Ronald A. Beghetto created a model of creativity, and people put It is called the “4C model”.
The first one is the Mini-C model (Mini-C)
I call it “lonely creativity”, just some strange thoughts or ideas that pop up in the mind of any ordinary person. They are very individual, if you don’t tell them, others will not know. For example, the ten minutes after waking up every morning is the most active moment of my thoughts. I often want to repaint the walls of the bedroom and wear a piece of old clothes that I haven’t worn for a long time with a newly bought sweater.