by Linda Stanek
Next up on Bloom’s model is Synthesis. This is where the ability to arrange, collect, compose, design, develop, organize, and plan takes place. (It’s also the place where writing takes place—important to me as a children’s author and someone who teaches writing in schools.) This is where creativity really takes hold. Now a student can create his or her own designs or alter one to suit his or her own needs.
As these higher-order thinking skills are put to use, there is also a higher likelihood of a poor outcome. After all, creativity means trying something new—it means being uncertain of the outcome. It’s an inspiration, or a hunch, but it’s not tried and true. There isn’t a rote right and wrong in this realm, and that scares many students. (It scares a lot of adults too!) This is where you expose yourself to being not-so-good—maybe even bad at something.
Instead of viewing a poor outcome as a bad thing, we need to encourage students to see every non-success as a learning experience. Creatives have the confidence to do it their way. We need to encourage students to bravely persist, knowing that this try is not their last shot at something—they can always go back and do it over again, differently, or scrap it entirely for a new and better project. We need to strip the shame from our unsuccesses and celebrate the attempts. It is in attempting something new—something untested and unknown, that we are Creatives.
Can you remember a time when you tried something new and it was a disaster? Maybe you changed the color scheme on a stitching pattern or used a different fiber. Or was it a new twist on an old recipe you were cooking? What were those experiences like? How did you feel about them? How did you handle them?
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.