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Guilford Creativity 1950 Article
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Is It Possible That Creativity Can Be Learned!from: Jim Holden - Staff Writer
Many people say that creativity is a trait which only a selected few are born with, that it isn't something that can be taught, because like physical beauty, it is a gift or a privilege.
They would maintain that is something influenced by circumstances and other factors in someone's heritage, instead of something that could be introduced after a person is born. Therefore the conclusion of some is reached that creativity is not something that can be taught.
However there are different schools of thought in this matter, especially as the world advances and we begin to see many people start to develop their creative faculties, and begin to excel only later in life. It is usually the case that these people have not shown any sign of much creativity in their earlier days.
Those proponents of the idea that creativity is something that can be taught and learned, assert that a person's environment or their orientation and background, are the factors which are responsible for enhancing or diminishing one's creativity
On the other hand advocates of the traditional idea that creativity is inherited, say that those factors such as orientation and a person's environment, are merely tools to enhance creativity, and that their presence would amount to nothing if there was no creativity to hone in to in the first place.
This issue has long been the topic of debate among many scientific and social experts all over the world and some people say that perhaps the differences lie in the fact that creativity is an all too general concept. This can therefore encompass a variety of ideas and occurrences that people have varying definitions for, and so what might be an indication of creativity for one, may not be so for another.
Within this article however, for the sake of uniformity we will be tackling the idea of creativity as being a factor of imagination and innovation.
If creativity is genuinely a component of innovation therefore, then perhaps it is actually something that could be taught and learned in schools and also at home. This is because it is seen both as an ability to adapt to changes and also to adjust to them as necessary.
When we were born, although we would have been equipped with rational faculties, none of these would have been of any use to us, had we not been taught how to use them properly. Therefore while we were born with certain traits that might make us creative, they would be of no benefit to us if no form of education or teaching had been given in the process of their development.
At birth we were unaware of what the future held for us, so because of this lack of knowledge about future occurences, all our parents and schools could do was to teach us to be resilient, and how to think for ourselves. In order to have the ability to make unique decisions when the need arose, we were not taught early on how to specifically respond to changes, but we were taught how to be creative and innovative amid behavioral and environment shifts.
So that having been said, perhaps creativity can actually be taught after all.
Today's trend of using standardized tests to determine a person's creativity is not only very innacurate, but actually very limiting and stifling. This is because nobody can really measure how creative a person can be, because this faculty only surfaces when particular situations arise, and because incidents do not happen to everyone, creativity is difficult to measure. In the light of this therefore, who is to say who is creative and who is not!
So the argument on whether creativity can or cannot be taught is a bottomless pit. For some education has been successful, while for others, education is seen as merely a tool.
However whichever way you choose to see it, you should appreciate that you were born human and given the ability to understand and engage in such debates. They can go on forever,and may not even eventually find a consensus, but ironically that is exactly where your creativity comes in, namely in your response to the issue and your decision on how to deal with it.
Confusing isn't it, but then life itself is very often confusing.