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Theories of Creativity...

I've been given the go-ahead to get started on my exegesis for the Master of Arts (Creative Writing) degree I'm attempting to complete this year.  Thankfully, the university has provided a nice little one page outline of the kinds of topics that should probably be covered in the 8-10 000 word paper.  One point indicated that the student (me) should consider the theories of creativity with regard to the novel they have written for the thesis.  I have to admit, I haven't actually read a lot about the theories of creativity (was that in one of our coursework units, I don't think it was!).  So, last night I found myself Googling and acquainting myself with the various theories, of which there seem to be quite a few!

One article led to another and then I came across a really interesting (to me) article by one Robert J. Sternberg titled, "The Nature of Creativity", where he writes, amongst other things,

Personality. Numerous research investigations
(summarized in Lubart, 1994, and Sternberg & Lubart,
1991, 1995) have supported the importance of certain
personality attributes for creative functioning. These
attributes include, but are not limited to, willingness to
overcome obstacles, willingness to take sensible risks,
willingness to tolerate ambiguity, and self-efficacy. In
particular, buying low and selling high typically means
defying the crowd, so that one has to be willing to stand
up to conventions if one wants to think and act in creative
ways (Sternberg, 2003a; Sternberg & Lubart,
1995). Often creative people seek opposition; that is,
they decide to think in ways that countervail how others
think. Note that none of the attributes of creative
thinking is fixed. One can decide to overcome obstacles,
take sensible risks, and so forth.

This certainly seems to ring true for me!  I seem to be constantly "seek[ing] opposition"!

This morning I ran into a dad from our school.  His older son goes to one of the highschools we're considering, so I asked him about it because Erik will be starting highschool in a couple of years time, and apparently everyone starts seriously looking into highschool when their child transitions into grade 5 (which is this coming February for Erik).

We'd pretty much decided on one highschool in our area but then heard a few things about it that made us think it might not suit Erik at all.  Erik is very artist - creative - and like a lot of creative people, he tends to view life differently to his peers.  He's not academically motivated.  He is not sporty.  The other highschool in our area apparently has quite a good art focus, but it seems they also have two streams of education; accelerated and regular, and according to the dad I talked to this morning, the accelerated stream might get all the funds, attention and so on.  Erik would not be in the accelerated stream, so would that mean he'd left to fend for himself?

Honestly, I wish Erik would choose NOT to go to highschool.  At this point, that seems very unlikely.

This morning Dave and I came to the same conclusion; we want Erik to enjoy his secondary education, not to loathe it.  So, we're thinking of staying with our current first choice of highschools, but only for years 7, 8 and 9, and then he can choose from the local Tech or Tafe, or seek out some other option such as an art apprenticeship...There is certainly no reason for him to be restricted by what highschools have to offer.  By the end of year 9, he'll be 16 and eligible to do excelerate yr10 certificate through Tafe and VCE, he could finish those by the time he turns 18 if he wants and go to Uni, or whatever.  I'd much rather that than he feel imprisoned by the school system for grade 10, 11 and 12...

So, yeah, I guess it's good our creative child has creative parents who seem to seek opposition!


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