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creative education - University of Salford

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Understanding creative processes

Posted: Oct 18, 2011

 Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.

The online task is to focus on your own creative processes and investigate the strategies you employ in order to achieve this state of ‘Flow’ or heightened sense of creativity? Can it be summed up in a descriptive paragraph or as a set of actions you carry out? Do you have a routine that you employ in order to ‘be creative’ Is there a way of increasing your creative outputs.

As this is a group task we would like you all to post your responses on this blog – please remember to add your name at the end of the post. We would then like you to respond to each others’ posts – this may be for example… identifying commonalities between creative methods or acknowledgement that another persons routine would not work for you. Please post your comments and responses by Mon 24th of October

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Oct 19, 2011 : creative-education Says:

For me surrounding myself with old books is a must for me to start any new development of work. Being submerged in the books characteristics helps me transform and manipulate them. I use to find a trip to the old book shop in the morning before heading into the studio so rewarding, new day, new books, new ideas. Kate

Oct 20, 2011 : creative-education Says:

I'd have to say that having as much as possible to hand is an essential for me. As my practise involves a lot of experimenting, as soon as i think of using a particular material i need it to be easily accessible otherwise my creative juices tend to get interupted - and they don't like that. Though my studio space always seems to be a complete mess to outsiders, 99% of the time i know where to find what i want. Also covering the walls with previous work or work in progress means that even whilst i am 'having a break' i'm still critiquing my work and exploring new ways of developing it (or basically just making it better). Essentially every trip to the studio means immersing myself in my work and once my mind starts to drift off i know that i'm done and it's time to go home for the day. I also tend to have music playing and have food and drink available so i don't subconsciously give myself any excuses to leave the studio either until i've exhausted my ideas. All in all i want the experience of creating work to be fun rather than a pain (ie, trying to find a certain material or dreading a trip to the shop for a butty). Mark

Oct 20, 2011 : creative-education Says:

Building on my previous post: 'It is easier to enhance creativity by changing conditions in the environment than by trying to make people think more creatively. And a genuinely creative accomplishment is almost never the result of a sudden insight, a lightbulb flashing on in the dark, but comes after years of hard work.' (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) 'The second reason creativity is so fascinating is that when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.' (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) These two quotes have come from a small amount of research i have done. From my own experiences i feel that i have 'lightbulb flashing on in the dark' moments so i don't entirely agree with that point, though i do understand that i am probably more succeptible due to the environment and my experience of art. I'm also not sure that i agree with the second point as there are plenty of aspects of my life that give me fullfillment without being creative, though I feel lucky that i enjoy art and have the time and skills to pursue my interests. Also, i think to say that 'we are living more fully' could lead to alienating some people that have not had the resources to pursue their personal interests or had the time to build up the experience as much as others so much so they feel that they would then be incapable of being creative? I might be going off the point of the group task a little but think they are important points. Mark

Oct 23, 2011 : creative-education Says:

I really like and agree with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's; 'FLOW', as I think without my flow through creativity my job would just be.....a job!! Without the 'flow' as a teacher I would not experience deep enjoyment, and toatal involvement: obviously not ALL of the time. It was really intersting to read the other three blogs as creativity comes to me by being surrounded by people: not on my own in my own space (not sure if this is because of situation of being a full time working mum)! However, I guess this comes from being a physical person; always loved the way in which people move, the aesthetic, whether this be in dance or sport. I get my creativity through watching 'what works' what makes someone smile, what was it that engaged them on a certain activity, what starts off their passion for something, how people interact, how they care and teach/guide each other. From this then my own personal creativity will develop in my head (and now thanks to Sam and Jo in my reflective log)! what can i change to make this happen, to take them further, to add more interest, to include different art forms, different and not so obvious subject areas???? Bring on the 'Flow'! Jenny

Oct 23, 2011 : creative-education Says:

Oct 22, 2011 : mark_pbg Says: I agree with you in the sense that working whilst surrounded by other people is extremely helpful in terms of gaining feedback about the work you have produced and what they think of the work and whether you get the desired reactions from them etc BUT, personally, i also like to be able to have time alone whilst working through my ideas so that i know i have gotten down what i wanted before perhaps being influenced by others. I like to get my ideas down and then discuss them with others, at the studio or at home (both of which come up with varying viewpoints on the work) to find ways of developing it, otherwise i tend to get distracted and go off on tangents before i've finished exploring the last tangent! Also in terms of you developing new ideas ( obviously i have no idea what work it is you do but...) i am always biased towards experimenting... it doesn't matter whether you have any idea what you are doing or what you want to acheive, just play around and have fun... use materials you are unfamiliar with and try out different ways of using them, forget what people have told you about how they SHOULD be used and try it for yourself. And if you have any advice on what to do (or what not to do for that matter) when teaching in the classroom that would be great!? Oct 22, 2011 : mark_pbg Says: oops... forgot to put my name down. It's Mark by the way :)

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5 min play for nurses

Posted: Oct 13, 2011

This week I would like you all to respond to this problem raised by a lecturer working with first year nurses specializing in working with children. As children's wards have playworkers employed to play/ interact with the children admitted to wards, it has become less of a priority for nurses to play with their patients and nurses time is increasingly taken up with other responsibilities.

However the nursing team would like to work with MA creative education to see if we can come up with play resources or practical ideas for activities that that nurses can use when working on the wards.

To start this off I would like both cohort one and two to post ideas on how to engage bed bound patients ( under 16 ) on short play activities,  this may be practical games or resources nurses can use, for example hand puppets! I am interested in inventive solutions!

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Oct 14, 2011 : creative-education Says:

How about games that you might play with a child on a long car journey (ie when they are confined to a small space) 1. Playdough/salt dough animal competitions 2. A hospital version of collecting different coloured cars - so everyone is given a different colour and you have to count the blue things you can see in the room including the blue things/clothes that people bring into a room 3. Eyespy 4. Memory game 1. I went to hospital and I took a .....teddy (next person) I went to hospital and I took a .....teddy and some red pyjamas 5. Memory game 2. Objects on a tray

Oct 14, 2011 : Annaglipter Says:

A starting point could be the interests of both nursing staff and children. TV/Sport/Food/Music, etc. Things that make connections between people and could stimulate ideas for the next bit. For example: make something, share something, teach/learn something - appropriate to needs/interests of each person or group. People could take turns to work on short or longer term projects. As Sam said, puppets are lovely. Story-making and telling: for or by a particular group. Fantasy games - based on super powers? Transformer beds.....with drawings. Observation exercises - to make being confined to bed more interesting.... World of Ward craft..... Exercise/dance/acting - in bed. They could have contributions to a ward magazine, making up quizzes, info about favourite place.... Lots of things. It would be good to visit the ward and chat to staff. Annie

Oct 31, 2011 : creative-education Says:

I have left this blog until the last minute because as Csikszentmihalyi states: 'A major constraint on people enjoying what they are doing is always being conscious of a fear of how they appear to others and what others might think' I'm finding it hard to sum up in a descriptive paragraph how my creative processes work - it's as though somewhere between my thoughts and writing it down for others to see an inner filter takes out what I think sounds stupid. That 'flow' is interrupted. A state of flow for me, is achieved in a more physical, spontateous way - whether this be talking as an individual which allows me to express the creative process as it happens or has happened in a more 'unedited' way, or in group situations. i.e. With work colleagues, pupils or university peers, when through discussion a 'collective' state of flow is created. This collective flow is particularly valuable obviously in teaching situations right across the curriculum, where I find encouraging children to share ideas and thoughts triggers and inspires them to express themselves and to 'have a go' - they then experience a state of flow as individuals. I personally achieve a sense a heightened sense of creativity when engaged in a practical activity, whether it be for pleasure or as part of work - I'm less inhibited to experiment, make mistakes and amend - drawing on past experiences, exploring new ideas and being inspired by others - and time flies! Again I find applying this approach in the classroom, allowing the children 'optimal experiences' tends to make them less self-conscious to try out and share ideas - and possibly make mistakes! - from which they can learn. Alison

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29 Ways to Stay Creative

Posted: Sep 08, 2011


 Thanks to Jo Greenhalgh for finding this video. Get Creative!

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Sep 08, 2011 : alexf Says:

That's brilliant - very inspiring, thanks for sharing. Reminds me a bit of some of the Behance stuff, which echoes some similar themes and I find inspires me.

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Welcome to Creative Education

Welcome to Creative Education

Posted: Sep 02, 2011

 This is a blog space for discussions arising from the MA Creative Education and will be primarily used by students on the course. However hive members are welcome to contribute to the discussions. Sam 

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