Science, Education, and Science Education

classroom applications
February 15th, 2013 by Luann

Creativity and Science, Part 2


I’m starting to form a more clear picture of how I see creativity as a part of science.

I don’t care if it’s considered to be right or wrong by brain scientists or by educators.  It’s my synthesis at this time in my learning. If you’d like to help me with it, please do.

I’m still having issues with those who are of the school that creativity must be done in collaboration.  I have the same issue with those who state that true creativity takes place in total solitude. Maybe this is because I’m a Libra.  Maybe it’s because each learner processes, synthesizes, and constructs knowledge in his own way.

It would seem some types of creativity are best done with others – playing jazz, for example. Sometimes, though, the brain needs quiet, reflective, processing time. The challenge for me will be to learn to understand when a learner or a process or a process for a learner needs one or the other.

Whether you’re a member of the loner camp or the collaborative camp, it seems to be agreed-upon that creativity takes time. Again, the trick will be showing students how to make the time to process and synthesize on their own. How can we best help them set up the environment that lets their thinking flow? How can we help them learn to put their brains in this state? How can we help them learn when they need quiet time, or when they need collaboration? And most importantly, how can we provide the space in our classes for these processes to take place?

Divergent thinking captured my interest. I’m considering how to make divergent thinking part of projects.Perhaps, as Suzie Boss suggested at dinner, we look at authentic questions a scientist might ask. I’m working on a list. I can see that it might be used to consider new uses for products, a new way to do a process, a new means of comparison.  That’s all I can think of right now.

It would seem the same brain processes that are used to “create” might also be used to synthesize information.  The difference would be, as I postulated yesterday, that to be creative in science you have to know something, and you need to work within parameters of valid research.

My mission on Friday is to find ways to do all these things. Stay tuned.

Science and Creativity, Part 1
Science and Creativity, Part 3



5 Responses to “Creativity and Science, Part 2”
  1. The key to me is in the giving students time. Part of our Science classes should be giving students time to process, reflect, synthesize, and create. Some students need ideas and will follow our examples in the exact same way we show them. Some students will use our example as a springboard to create something different. The hard part is having a quiet environment for those who need solitude to create. What I think is that if the product they are working engages them enough then they’ll maybe work on it at home. While I don’t give homework I totally support kids who want to work on something they really like at home and take it to the next level. So I think our part as teachers is to provide enough time and space in class to help them get started.

    • I love this perspective. I need to learn to model this habit. My concern is that if we assume students will work at home, we may squelch the momentum they may feel in class. I know that so many times, I’m all excited about something (like writing a blog post) and then when i sit down to write it, the moment is past and so is the passion. Maybe it’s all about helping them sustain the passion?

      • That is the problem with scheduled periods, we,sometimes have to stop the momentum. If they are truly passionate about it, they will continue to work on it because they won’t be able to stop thinking about it.

  2. […] Creativity and Science, Part 1 Creativity and Science, Part 2 […]

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