Creativity: “Involve Me and I Will Understand.”

Education GeekMom
Image By Rebecca Angel

“Tell me and I will forget.
Show me and I will remember.
Involve me and I will understand.
Step back and I will act.”

~Chinese Proverb

The third line is part of the process and understanding of creativity. How can anyone be engaged in creative action without active involvement? Squishing the clay allows your hands to shape it. The science of creativity can help everyone in their everyday lives. I started this series to explore that claim and ignite the spark for all us geeky families.

Active involvement in education has been proven a successful model. A study in the Netherlands showed that students preferred “learning by doing” over other teaching methods. A 2014 meta-analysis study looked at over 200 other studies that evaluated performance in STEM classroom learning methods. The results were clear: “the average examination scores improved by about 6% in active learning sections, and that students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more likely to fail than were students in classes with active learning.”

Creativity can be defined as both novel and useful. When we look at creativity in our everyday lives, how can you be actively involved? Let’s look at an example challenge: limited family time. Back when I was a kid (rocking chair squeak), school was the main or only activity. Some friends had ONE other activity that defined them: my sister and I took piano lessons, my best friend was on the basketball team, another friend was always babysitting. But now it is common for every child in the family to have several different extra-curricular activities, both parents working and taking turns driving kids around, family dinner a rare occurrence, and kids in the youngest grades completing homework into the late hours of the evening. Family bonds should last a lifetime. But without regular, positive family interaction, how can those bonds form?

An answer to this problem needs to be something that hasn’t been tried before and is appropriate to the situation. Plus, how can every member of the family be actively involved in the solution? First, you need to be creative in how to present the issue to your family. Answer this question with as many possibilities as you can think of: How can all the members of my family be involved in a discussion about family time? (Email or group text? Family meeting at home? On a drive? Over weekend brunch out?) Then try the one that you think will work best.

Next, it’s time to hear everyone’s thoughts and ideas. Let them know ahead what the discussion is about so they can think at their own pace. In what ways can we find more time as a family? After everyone gets a say, look over the list: Which ideas are both new and useful? Then start trying them.

Being actively involved in the solution to any challenge is effective and stimulating. So be creative yourself and bring your children along. Let me know how it works out!

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