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The Dialogic Learning Weekly #173

Today I want to focus on creativity. I hope in this issue there are some useful provocations to ponde
The Dialogic Learning Weekly
The Dialogic Learning Weekly #173
By Tom Barrett • Issue #173 • View online
Today I want to focus on creativity. I hope in this issue there are some useful provocations to ponder on. I spent half of my week with the amazing crew at Casey Fields Primary School.
We have been grappling with the big issues that have come from extended isolation and now the imminent return. Design thinking methods have helped us chart a course through these complex problems.
My work with the team today caused me to reflect on what it takes to participate fully in creative endeavours. How can we invest in the right conditions for creativity?

Mine Your Knowledge
Bruce Nussbaum’s quote below has long been a source of inspiration for me. In order for us to think in more creative (original) ways we have to draw from a broad range of experiences.
Creativity is relational. Its practice is mostly about casting widely and connecting disparate dots of existing knowledge in new, meaningful ways. To be creative, you’ve got to mine your knowledge. You have to know your dots. – Bruce Nussbaum
A key method I use is to be interested and curious about an eclectic mix of topics. I also capture notes and ideas, web links and readings, as much as I can. That way I can return to that resource and dig for ideas, mine my knowledge.
Here are a couple of other ideas to help you invest in creativity:
Cast Widely – commit to a period of time where you are learning broadly about a topic and the ideas it connects with.
Time for Tangents - take time to meander and explore new paths that you were not expecting. Sometimes the rabbit hole might lead somewhere.
Developmental Learning Space - with a burgeoning amount of information make use of a space to keep those elements of interest and study within our eyeline.
How do you invest in the conditions for creativity?
Creative Learning is Relational
What are the Common Traits of Creative People?
With a better sense of the characteristics of creative people we form clearer perspectives about what makes up ‘being creative”.
  • Tenacity – grit, determination, resilience, call it what you like but some people don’t allow bumps in the road to get in the way of the journey.
  • Courage – it is not just bumps in the road but sometimes the traffic is against you. Creative people are often risk takers and go against the common paradigm.
  • Inventiveness – to be able to explore new connections and combinations, to continually push what is possible.
  • Leadership – some people are moths, others are flames.
  • Impact – some individuals, either through their established position or their authority, have had greater impact in their fields than others.
  • Vision – not just being able to project what is ahead, but to bring that horizon closer much quicker than others.
  • Passion – an unquenchable fuel.
This list is something I wrote five years ago - what do you think? Which description resonates with you?
What creative strengths do you recognise in yourself? Which characteristics do you notice in other people we would call creative?
Characteristics of highly creative people - The Second Principle
Dear Mr Judgy Pants,
Thanks for squashing my idea. You cut me off as I was sharing it and threw it on the ground. You trampled on my idea. You made me watch as you extinguished that precious little spark and yeah, you squashed it.
We obviously approached the chat from different places. You see, I thought we were there to share some ideas. You know, like new things we hadn’t considered yet. It seemed you had just brought your pre-loaded high calibre idea sniper rifle. Those ideas didn’t stand a chance; I mean they barely had a moment to breathe.
But did you hear that other sound? No? Well, you were busy dropping and squashing ideas, so how could you. That was the sound of a crack in my creative confidence. It’ll be a while before that gets fixed. I hope it gets fixed.
(Use the link below to read the rest of my open letter to the judgy ones)
Dear Mr Judgy Pants,
Thanks for being here this week. Welcome to all the new subscribers, over 120 across the last fortnight. We extend a warm welcome to you all!
Hit reply and let me know what resonates.
In dialogue we trust.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Tom Barrett

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