The OCDSB sent  a group to Oklahoma last week for a three day conference on Creativity – the Creativity World Forum. I was lucky enough to be included in that group, as a parent and PIC Chair, along with a trustee and 8 employees – a superintendent, a principal, 2 vice principals, a custodian, an admin assistant, an instructional coach, and a manager with our Learning Support team.

Wow, what an experience! Great speakers and amazing opportunities for our team to have really forward thinking and energizing conversations.

According to Sir Ken Robinson everyone has “profound creative abilities”.  And as our world changes, we will need those creative minds to find creative solutions.

But what exactly do we mean by creativity? Here’s the definition (and more) that I got from the conference. It starts with imagination. Imagination is the the capacity to conceive what is not yet present. Creativity is “applied imagination” or the capacity to do or make something that flows from the imagination. An important point – creativity is not just in the arts, in is in all aspects of life, of education.

Two ideas to share, for now (there’s lots more!):

A study was done that showed that artists’ non-commissioned works were “better” than their commissioned works. The technical quality between the two groups of paintings was similar. The creative quality was not. This as judged by their peers, in a scientific study.

Some organizations practice what one calls “20% time”.   20% of the employees’ time is spent NOT on their regular work, but on whatever creative idea they wish to pursue. Let the creative juices flow!  Google’s gmail, apparently is a results of 20% time.

Can we create some “non-commissioned work” in our schools?  Can we find ways to allow time for creativity?  What might we produce?