Creating Creatives, Part 4

Higher-Level Thinking

by Linda Stanek

Next up on Bloom’s Taxonomy is the first of the “higher-order thinking” tiers—Analysis. Here, students can finally appraise, compare, contrast—and here’s what’s really important—criticize and question their work. Which gets us back to creativity and how we as a society deal with it.

Pablo Picasso reportedly said, “Everyone is born an artist. The trouble is remaining one as we become an adult.” We all know what he’s referring to. Many of us have come to see work, practice and learning as black and white—an answer is right, or it is wrong.

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, says, “In order to become an artist, you must first be willing to do art badly.” I would add, you must also be willing to try over and over again.

Indeed, if every painter were to judge his ability after his first painting, we would have no more painters. So while this skill and analysis is important to the creative process—to creating Creatives—we need to temper it with affirmation and patience. And we must remember (and remind students) that life allows do-overs. In fact, it is in the do-overs, and the willingness to keep trying, that real creativity gains ground.

Let’s imagine the future again—the world that today’s kindergarteners will be working in. It will be those who can try new things, perhaps unsuccessfully, adjust, and try again in a different way, who will be the innovators and achievers. Learning to try, not be satisfied with the result, and try again is key to future success.

Reflect on your own creativity. Can you think of a project that you first felt disappointed with, but later, after reworking it, loved?

Linda Stanek was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and has always loved visiting the zoo. She spends her time taming stray cats and corralling words into stories and books—both fiction and nonfiction. She also writes for magazines, e-zines, and non-profit organizations and writes teacher’s guides for award-winning children’s books.

Linda has a B.S. degree in elementary education from The Ohio State University. She lives in Columbus with her three cats, Frankie (named after a Columbus Crew soccer player), Chloe (just because she likes the name), and Cubby (named after the Chicago Cubs baseball team). Beco’s Big Year is her second book.

Categories: Crafting, Needlework