Encouraging Creative Confidence & Courage
by Cultivating Curiosity
The increased requirements and emphasis placed on standardized testing and grading scales leave most educators with little room to promote the creative confidence it takes to create new ideas. Children need to be able to have a vision of what the future could look like. They need to be able to paint the picture of what this looks like in their own minds in order to create better and more innovative ways of doing things.
Creativity is most commonly defined as the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work, or as the ability to make new things or think of new ideas. Facts and the how to’s can be taught in every area of study, even technology, but knowing all of the facts does not encourage the imagination and the visions of what all can be done with this knowledge. In this way, the thought process and thinking may be more important than the knowledge.
Creativity is not what you know; it’s what you do with what you know. It’s a way of thinking that allows the brain to see new possibilities. You can ask the question, what color does red + blue produce? The answer can always be purple, but if you ask instead, what is purple? The though process is completely different. While the answer could be a color made my combining red and blue, it can also be countless other things. It could be grapes, flowers, clothing, jewelry, tropical fish, part of the rainbow; and the list goes on forever.
It is believed that this limitless form of thought and expression exists in every child. The neuroplasticity of the brain in childhood offers the opportunity to wire it in ways that maximize the ability to think laterally. This is not always related directly to academic achievement. While it’s open, this window of opportunity needs to be capitalized on by developing creativity as early as possible.
There are theories that creative skills solve the world’s problems and power its economic advancement, and can be seen as the ultimate expression of educational achievement. By not encouraging different forms of creative expression, we are ultimately hindering the innovative capacity. In theory, if creative thinking can be applied to any subject and serve to strengthen trans-disciplinary links, then it’s logical to think that human creativity is the ultimate economic resource.
About Me and My Curriculum
My dream and purpose is to encourage the creative confidence needed to empower others to never give up on making their own dreams come true; to hold onto the spirit of a child, where anything is possible.
I’m a 34 year old interactive children’s book author from Central Pennsylvania, publishing in collaboration with the children who will in turn become published illustrators through their participation in The Great Learny Journey, the first of my Climbing CuriosiTrees curriculum. I developed the workshop as a means to the beginning of really achieving my goals. It is designed to be an extracurricular program in which I work with elementary school aged children in a creative collaboration to illustrate my first written work, Rhymings & Ramblings of The Great Learny Journey. It is a book written for kids, and illustrated by kids.
The program is not to be confused with a drawing class, as I focus on encouraging creative courage and confidence by cultivating curiosity. In order to really spark the pursuit of knowledge, the atmosphere must lend to question asking. The more that is questioned, the further they pursue. I provide an atmosphere where questions can be answered by questions to further the curiosity and keep the mind and imagination going further and further with a concept. This encourages a vision that then encourages creation and innovation.
The Great Learny Journey has been very well received and will remain active and continue to expand. I have several more books accompanied by interactive curriculum designed to engage and really involve the participants in my books. All are thought provoking and have different valuable takeaways, while remaining fun in nature.
To make my curriculum as widespread as possible to revitalize creative thinking as a natural process in youth. This in addition to exercising the collaborative process will lead to innovation, and in the very grand scheme will encourage entrepreneurship and self-building, leading to overall more fulfilling, successful and happy life outcomes.
“Our imaginations are the tools we use to turn our dreams into jewels.”