By GONZALO FORTUN BERDECIO – IVLP Bolivia
Creativity has been understood in many different ways throughout the history of human kind, and the word creativity itself was used for the first time by Wertheimer back in the 1940s. In 1958, the first studies on creativity were carried out by Flamagan, who was the pioneer in investigating this issue which had been considered a taboo until then. In 1960, after Dr. Roger Sperry, along with Gazzaniga and Bogen, investigated on open brain surgeries, first on animals and then on war injured soldiers, it was discovered that both lobules of the brain worked in different ways. Nowadays, Machado (1983) talks about the revolution of the Intelligence and Buzan (1998) talks about the Mental Alphabetization or Mentally Alphabetized Societies, and after the United States Senate declared the 1990s as “The Brain Decade”, which has had considerable effects stimulating new investigations about the brain, and the creation of new enterprises that look for new ways of understanding the brain’s capabilities to learn to think better and to have resources and tools to empower creativity. Even the University of Harvard has been dedicated to elaborating programs to develop Creative or Inventive Thinking, among others Edward De Bono (1990) with his “Lateral Thinking” and Howard Gardner with his Multiple Intelligence Theory should be highlighted.
However, the big question will always arise. What is creativity? Nonetheless, as many other things in life, creativity has many definitions and it is a frequent mistake to think that there is a unique concept. Many people have made attempts in defining it, such as Gonzales, 1999; Drevdahl, 1964; Taylor, 1964; Guilford, 1967; de la Torre, 1997 considering people’s capabilities, others focusing on processes or products, and some other ones taking into account people’s emotional factors, values, and beliefs in the moment of the creative act. Nevertheless, creativity always indicates the new, the newness, the originality, the value or usefulness, and the capability of expression. Creativity, in fact, it is intimately related to a divergent capability of solving problems, which now is considered as Creative Thinking. However, a conceptualization of creativity should be a holistic synthesis of the cognitive and the affective, a reunion of person, environment, process, and results. There is a considerable evolution from the concept of creativity related to the cognitive potentialities to the nowadays one, loaded with attitude and affective connotations. A concept open to knowledge and life.
Creatica has not invented anything. It simply has systematized a creative teaching-learning process that had been used asystematically for years and years, in a way in which it could be carried out spending less time and energy. Creatica is a movement that started in the 1970s that has been trying to develop intelligence as an experience and to reform the educational system focusing it on a creative learner with a creative guide.
CREATICA IS THE SYSTEMATIZATION AND JERARQUIZATION OF THE creativity’s STIMULI, SUCH AS MODELS, SYSTEMS, PROCEDURES, TECHNIQUES, AND ACTIVITIES OR TASKS. Creatica allows to work creativity in a deliberated and systematic way. MORE THAN A MERE TERM, IT IS A NEW CONCEPTION ABOUT THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CREATIVITY because CREATICA BECOMES CREATIVITY’S BODY OF KNOWLEDGE AND APPLICATIONS.
Its main characteristic is that it compiles all fundamental ideas from different psychological and pedagogical currents related to the issue and allows to develop creativity from a processual and systematical point of view. Creatica’s pedagogic methods and educational systems are those whose structures are dynamic, the ones which are characterized by its coherence, openness to the environment, working autonomy, self-regulation, and flexibility to adapt to the new. Regarding their finalities, they take into account personal necessities, develop cognitive strategies and social abilities, emphasize creative attitudes and abilities, and have an optimizing and innovative sense.
Just imagining having all of these tools next to us for us to extend our hands and take them into our ELT classrooms is a very thrilling experience and many people have been working on it, helping us disover the real existence of creativity in all of us, educators and learners.
It has been found that creativity exists in many different forms, from having it, as Philogenetical Creativity; to being creative, Potential Creativity; to be creating, Kinetic Creativity; to, finally, be a creator, Factual Creativity, all of which rather than different ways of being creative, denote stages in an Evolution of Creativity.
Guilford (1967) talks about THINKING STYLES and distinguishes two types of cognitive activities: divergent and convergent. De la Torre, Marin, Rodríguez, agree with Guilford when they say that creativity is a form of Divergent Thinking, which means, thinking about several possible answers for a problem. Divergence implies fluency, flexibility, originality, and finally, ELABORATION, which are the four basic indicators of creativity.
Taking into account all of the above mentioned aspects, and taking into consideration a real in-classroom need of improving teaching forms, manners, is that now we can count on Creative Methods, such as the Analogical, Antithetical, and Random Method.
Creative Methods make us think about creative general procedures which will be used to organize our actions. These are Creative Strategies, which – among other characteristics – promote knowledge building, develop cognitive and affective capabilities, motivate and invite imagination, combine ideas and materials, favor teacher-learner relationship, cares for processes without leaving results aside, connect experience with knowledge application.
If methods and strategies are general. Techniques are specific. Techniques are abilities and skills that allow us to carry out an specific activity. Techniques are specifically operative and their success in the classroom depends on its accurate choice and their correct application. There is a nearly infinite world of ideas that could be easily applied in the ELT classroom in order to empower students and us teachers to start this race of using our creative potential a little more everyday.
CREATICA opens for us a universe of alternatives so that ideas such as, “I can’t”, “I don’t know what to…”, “I don’t know how to…” will be erased permanently from our vocabulary.
GONZALO FORTUN BERDECIO – IVLP Bolivia
-Manual de la Creatividad. Ricardo Marín Ibáñez, Saturnino de La Torre
-Dinamización Curricular. Formación Docente. José Bedoya, David Portillo
-Expresión y Creatividad. Instituto Normal Superior Católico “Sedes Sapientiae”
-Creative Minds. The Anatomy of Creativity. Howard Gardner
-Creativity. Project “TAC”
-Learning with the Whole Brain. Linda VerLee Williams
-About Creativity. David Bohm