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where is the creativity in science

Discussion in 'Science' started by mickymilan, May 9, 2011.

  1. mickymilan

    mickymilan New commenter

    Any ideas?
  2. It is going on in universities and industry across the land, without creativity then science or mathematics wouldn't move forward. Where science is moving forward, ie, through cutting edge research then there is plenty of creativity!
  3. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    In the first instance, I would suggest that creativity stems from a consideration of how science works, one of the strands of the NC strategies. My post is not intended to open up a discussion on HSW, as threads already exist here about that, but to indicate in a small way, perhaps, how creativity should be seen to be an essential component of any science teaching, and not confined to the upper echelons of the science professions, as seems to be suggested so far.

    To be anecdotal, consider a primary science lesson where the children are enjoying a snail race. Once it is over, the teacher can ask of the children why they thought a particular snail won the race. Note that even the teacher does not know the answer.

    Now if anyone would care to suggest that there would be no element of creativity in the children's ideas, then I suggest they have little understanding of how children think.

    The next step, of course, would be to ask the children how they think they could test their ideas. Again, lots of room for creativity there, I think.

    I am sure all science teachers worth their salt can apply this approach to all of their science teaching, and with a little encouragement and support most primary teachers can do it as well. Creativity is a vital part of anyone's science education, whether they become professional scientists or not, and I am sure most science teachers are well able to allow room for it in their teaching. For me, this was why I became a science teacher.
  4. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    There is no such thing as creativity in any sphere of human endeavour.
    All there is is copying.
  5. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    T34, I cannot make up my mind whether or not you are being seriously critical, for instance you may be offering a legitimate philosophical stance, or cynical, or funny (humorous), or deliberately trying to close down this thread. Given time I might be even more creative in trying to think up reasons why you have posted thus.

    For the benefit of the OP, I suggest a look at the works and writings of Sir Ken Robinson to gain a sound purchase on the importance of creativity in the education of our children, which are not solely confined to science. Interestingly, however, the philosophy of science features prominantly in any serious discussion of creativity in human endeavours.

    I proferred my small example from primary science, not because I thought I was saying something profound, but rather to invite a discussion. For instance, some may claim that to be creative the product or solution not only has to be new, but also it has to have some kind of value. (see Wiki entry on creativity). In my work with children, I have to disagree, because even though there may never be an answer to the question why that particular snail won the race, the stimulus which the question provides in the minds of all of us is the beginnings of the creative process. As Ken Robinson says, most schools stifle this sort of creativity.

    I trust, T34, you are not one who stifles creativity, perhaps by trying to emphasise the traditional Eastern view which suggests mimicry, rather than the traditional Western view which leans towards inspiration by God. (Wiki, again).

    Apparently John Cleese said: "Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored in Western culture and especially in our educational systems."
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Creativity can be overrated by some. Observation and knowledge of the world is needed first, before you can you can do anything creative to make sense of it.
    Imagination is needed when we get to model some of the big scientific ideas, but its different to the creativity in the arts.
  7. Agreed. 'Creativity' is at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy.
    But there are two parts to creativity in science and teaching as a whole.
    There is our, as teachers, creativity in teaching a subject. How can we come up with the best way for the students to learn?
    And the creativity we want the students to engage in to get them to the top of their learning possibilities.
  8. Sigma Primary Science LLP have developed a whole scheme of science resources that have been designed to put creativity and enquiry back into the heart of Primary Science education - check out our site and free resources at www.sigmascience.co.uk .

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