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Computational Thinking in SoundTeaching the Art and Science of Music and Technology$
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Gena R. Greher and Jesse M. Heines

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199826179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199826179.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 February 2021

Imagination and Creativity: The School Based Paradox

Imagination and Creativity: The School Based Paradox

Chapter:
Chapter 2 Imagination and Creativity: The School Based Paradox
Source:
Title Pages
Author(s):

Gena R. Greher

Jesse M. Heines

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199826179.003.0007

People who are considered “creative”are generally respected and sought after in our society, both in the professional and social realms. Yet among the many paradoxes of our educational system is the strange fact that it does little to encourage a child’s imaginative and subsequent creative potential. As discussed by Judith Groch in her book The Right to Create, one reason might be a strongly held belief that creativity is innate and something one is born with. You either have it or you don’t. Another reason might be the difficulty in assessing creativity objectively. Unlike questions and problems with only one right answer, how can you make an objective value judgment on a student’s creative output? But imagine a young Pablo Picasso growing up in 21st-century America and attending a public school dominated by high-stakes testing. According to a case study by Howard Gardner in Creating Minds, our young Picasso had great difficulty mastering his numbers. Other than his artistic inclinations, which were nurtured by his family, he was an unremarkable student. In most of today’s public schools, Picasso would be force-fed a fairly prescribed curriculum that would ensure mastery of test-taking techniques but would be mostly devoid of opportunities for personal self-expression. In fact, in a climate focused on high-stakes testing, little attention would even be given to the arts. Picasso’s unique and imaginative vision of the world would probably be squelched for not conforming to the accepted adult views of how one draws the sun, trees, or sky. According to Feldman, Csikszentmihlayi, and Gardner, in Changing the World: A Framework for the Study of Creativity, creative people are shaped as much by their early experiences as by the natural abilities they are born with. Absent a home life where artistic insights are valued and nurtured, how many future Picassos are walking around America’s schools right now who will never know their potential because they will never come into contact with those experiences? Consider the following scenario. If Gena and Jesse walked into a cocktail party, who would be considered the more “creative” of the two? Why, certainly you would pick Gena.

Keywords:   Creating Minds (Gardner), Found Objects project, IQ (intelligence quotient) tests, Music Methods class, audio editing, brainstorming, cognitive psychology, curiosity, group dynamics, low pressure environments, mash-up projects, mistakes, motivation, trial and error

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