Definition: Based on novel connections of ideas, artifacts and insights, creativity is a process of generating ideas, expressions and forms that can amplify knowledge, lead to new ways of using the knowledge, and often challenges established conventions and norms.
Description: Creativity, in an educational context, can be considered to be learning that enhances creative and innovative capacity. It can also be argued that teachers require an awareness of when creativity is potentially inhibited through pedagogical interventions.1
Benefits: A creative and knowledge intensive society can, through learning, address economic and social issues and enhance growth through new ways of seeing and thinking. A creative mind can spot and respond to opportunities, navigate complex and ever changing scenarios and be resilient in the face of perceived failure (they view a failed attempt as successful learning).
Challenges: Most teaching is measured by a) The content that a teacher delivers and how many hours are timetabled into class work, b) Learning outcomes that clearly articulate pre-considered solutions which are used as the benchmark for higher grades, however creative output is dependent of divergence and breadth of thought, hence it crosses boundaries and can be difficult to pre define.
Applied to entrepreneurial teaching: Focuses on learning rather than teaching – whilst learning environments and learning scenarios can facilitate learning, traditional teacher-led ‘transmission teaching’ of ‘content’ can only reinforce, not lead the process. Theory follows experience, not vice-versa. Creativity is assessed as part of a divergent thinking process prior to a convergent thinking process; where ideas are evaluated, excluded and refined. In many teaching activities such as ‘brainstorming’, short-lived interventions do not enhance long-term capacity development or encourage sufficiently divergent thinking.
|Implementation examples||Innovation examples|
|Can the student write and follow a business plan?||Can the student respond positively to short-term and ever changing venture environments? Do they come up with new ideas in response?|
|Does the student respond to the problem identified by the educator?||Does the student identify new problems and opportunities for…|
Creative people can be evaluated by how well they adapt to changing scenarios, how many ideas they can generate to poorly defined problems, how well they can articulate / justify (communication skills) and adapt the logic behind their future facing solutions, how broadly their harvested knowledge can be evidenced, and how diverse and different their (multiple) proposed solutions are to one another. Less creative people will have fewer ideas and demonstrate a tendency to rush to solutions, take fewer cognitive risks and present a number of similar solutions when pressed to provide more than one answer. The question, will my learning environment support innovation (producing multiple and varied solutions that respond to change and often surprise) as opposed to the more traditional implementation tasks (doing things that are determined by others and matching against their expectations) assists an educator to design appropriate tasks that align with the ‘Two I’ Evaluation approach.2