Monday, January 2, 2012

Creativity Fuels Innovation

I am a firm believer that creativity fuels innovation.  The problem though is the the majority of schools all over the world work as hard as they can to get learners to conform to a curriculum and standards while preparing them to perform at a level on standardized tests.  This is as uncreative as it gets. In the age of misguided reform the challenge becomes transforming institutions of learning and steering away from irrelevant pedagogical techniques in a way that not only meets the needs of society, but most importantly that of our students.

At New Milford we have taken a big step in placing creativity at the forefront with the creation of our Academies at NMHS as well as the introduction of new courses such as Digital Journalism, Digital Photography, Business Practice Firm, Engineering, and Biotechnology.  Teachers are also beginning to embrace a variety of Web 2.0 tools and integrate them in a way that allow students to unleash their creativity (see this Glogster example).  The PLC I am a part of with the rest of my administrative team focuses on a classroom walk-through process targeting student-centered instruction.  This is a small snapshot of what we are doing to promote creativity.

I am hoping the video above can become a catalyst for a more detailed discussion on the following: How can we nurture creativity in educational contexts?  What has to be done to transform schools in a way that embraces creative instructional strategies and thought amongst learners?  


  1. Comment via Ray Harrison (former NMHS teacher): I wanted to post on your blog about this excellent video but I could not log in as anonymous. I do not belong to any of the listed categories. This post seems to mark a transition in your thinking from merely using technology in the classroom to centering education upon the creative potentialities of students. If one compares a child to a tree, the goal is to nourish the innate capacities so that the tree/student grows into who she/he is meant to be. Too often education dictates a template and asks all trees/children to grow into one shape without attention to individual gifts and talents. If technology helps to nourish the tree/student, then of course utilize it. But just technology for the sake of supposed innovation, without centering the educational experience upon the creative potentialities and innate abilities of the student, is just another form of empty standardization. Students may graduate knowing how to utilize technology, but may have forgotten what to use it for. The entire premise of the Gifted Program at NMHS was to discover and nourish the innate creative capacities of each individual student. Education should be the opening of a space where learning can occur. Technology is a tool that can help to open such a space, but the space being opened is like the limbs and leaves of the tree. All growth begins from within. The problem with most standardized educational paradigms is that they begin from without. Great video!

  2. Thanks for supporting all of us out there that are making creativity a main focus of our daily work with students. I'm going to place a link to this blog on my recent description of our Fourth Grade "Creativity Days" Project ( ) as a way of building understanding and investment in the creative process. As always, I appreciate your inspiration and action towards making schools engaging, meaningful, student-centered experiences.