The Act of Creation.

The following ideas include a summary of those introduced in the opening chapter of a book called Creative and Mental Growth, written over half a century ago by V. Lowenfeld and W. Lambert Brittain and published by MacMillan. I have added references to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. I have also liberally extended the authors’ ideas to include some of my own.

The act of creation involves:

1. Inspiration.

2. Observation and analysis: recognition of available components, including those that are not obvious.

3. Abstraction: the removal of these components from their original context and possibly manipulating or transforming them.

4. Synthesis: arranging or organising these components or their variants, into a new context with new relationships.

Creative activity encourages the development of:

1. Fluency: the ability to think rapidly and freely.

2. Flexibility: the ability to adjust to new situations and to take advantage of the unexpected.

3. Sensitivity: to problems, to the attitudes and the feelings of other people and different cultural contexts.

4. Originality: the discovery of new ways of looking and new solutions to old problems.

5. Powers of observation: increase in one’s capacity to recognise difference and increase awareness of detail.

6. Understanding of process: developing an understanding of creative process - analyse, organise, synthesise.

7. Divergent thinking: developing an openness about outcomes, there is no correct answer just different possibilities.

8. An understanding of relationships: between people, objects or concepts.

9. Confidence: as creative activity involves the expression of a unique perspective, one’s own.

Creative activity should:

1. Engage as many of the senses as possible and employ a diversity of media such as dance, drama, music, visual arts, video, writing, sculpture &&& as individuals perceive and receive the world in individual ways.

2. Take into account the fact that individuals process input in different ways as outlined in Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Visual Spatial, Musical, Body-Kinaesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal and Existential.

3. Be fun, be exploratory and be free from pressure to achieve.