The question, ‘is it possible to learn what it takes to be creative?’ is one that has not gotten an outright answer since it’s been asked for decades. In fact, it has only led to more questions like ‘Is creativity magical?’, or ‘Are there really secrets to unlocking one’s imaginations?’
Looking at great entrepreneurs, musicians, and artists, it may seem that creativity is a gift that can only be possessed by a lucky bunch, while the rest of us just admire and applaud. However, over the years, science has proved otherwise, and schools are now nurturing and teaching creativity from an early age.
Although the major recipe for unlocking creative genius remains elusive (or lies with the CREATOR), research and studies have shown that it is completely possible to prepare the mind for creative ideas to emerge. In fact, creativity is now being taught as an academic discipline in numerous places.
Scientists today believe that there are ways through which creative spark can be drawn out of individuals, and that these techniques should be taught more in schools.
A psychologist at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio named Sandra Russ, has committed over 23 years researching and studying the way US children play when they are given three building blocks and two puppets. She discovered that the scenarios acted out with the toys by the children were more imaginative today than they were in the 1980s. She explained this enhanced imagination as the result of improved creative learning in schools.
There is also the International Center for Studies in Creativity (the world’s first university department of such) chaired by Buffalo State College’s Gerard Puccio, which owes its roots to Alex Osborn. Puccio argues that it is imperative to arm individuals with the skills for creative thinking, while Osborn, who was an advertising executive at New York’s Madison Avenue, experimented with methods to provoke creative thinking to get better ideas from his staff.
One of the most popular methods Osborne used was brainstorming. And, upon retirement, he realized that it made better sense to boost the creative aspect of individuals while they were still in school, leading to the founding of the creativity department at Buffalo State College. Today, various universities across the globe have introduced creative studies courses, further proving that creativity can be taught, and learned.
At Buffalo State College’s department of creative studies, Puccio teaches his students the four stages of mastering creativity. According to him, they are: clarifying, ideating, developing, and implementing.
Puccio believes that by clarifying, one would ensure that the right questions are being asked. Then, he explains ideating as being about an exploration of the best solutions available. Finally, he says developing and implementing are steps necessary to make sure that an idea is practical and convincing to others. He believes that every human has an active imagination and is wired to be creative, but that, of course, not everyone would attain Einstein’s status.