Friday, June 20, 2014

Week 2 - How Can My Creativity Be Used For Others?

Week 2 of our negotiated learning topic started well, but then slowed in momentum during the week.  From our Immersion week (which I shared in an earlier post) the students showed an interest in the concept of creativity for giving.  So this is what we will continue to explore.

We began the week talking about guerrilla knitting and what we had done, why it was important and what it meant.  As a class we started listing things we knew of that fit under the term 'creativity of giving' - this was something students found more difficult than I had imagined and if I went back to this point I would do this differently.  I had imagined students would link to things like flashmobs, Caine's Arcade etc - but students mainly identified more traditional forms of creativity for giving such as statues, murals, graffiti... which was a small list.  We then explored using a venn diagram what of these things were for money, for giving or both.  The students found that only a small number of the things they had listed fit into the 'for giving' category - that being the concept of teddy bears for hospitals which one of our students' nanas organises.  From this venn diagram we pulled out one of our big concepts to explore - is creativity for money less important than creativity for giving?

From here we began to create our happy list - what were the things that we did that made us really happy as people.  We had a huge range of concepts come up - everything from shopping to family to making things for others.  I'm hoping that this list will start to form the core of our next step in investigating our own creative avenues.  While we were going through the list one of my boys came to me stating that 'fun was a really hard concept to place' - which was very true.  Another boy joined the conversation and all of a sudden we were talking about the value of concepts and which concepts are more valuable to us than others.  Time vs Money - which is more valuable.  Immediately this turned into a whole class discussion, which the majority heading towards time for the obvious reasons - you can't get time back, you can't buy time etc.  Another student then queried about 'Knowledge' - how does this fit in amongst the 2 concepts?  Again this changed the conversation and we found some students shifting in their thinking.  As it was the end of the day I asked students to talk to family about which ones their parents felt were more valuable.

The following day as part of our roll question students fed back what their opinion or their family members' opinion was.  I was expecting some new concepts to come up from these discussions but most opinions seemed stuck around Knowledge and Time.  I then queried about the concept of 'Love' - e.g. are these things worth having if you don't have someone to share it with, spend it with, look after you etc.  A new shift started to happen in what students thought was the more valuable concept.

My next steps with the students is to get them to explore more about creativity - what does creativity actually mean, as I feel that there is a mixed understanding of what creativity is and can look like.  It might help students define some of the key ideas about whether one type of creativity can be better than another.  Or not.

I'm really excited about walking this path with the students.  I feel like new concepts are coming out and already they are changing from where I thought students may go with the big question.  I think we need to go back to the immersion stage again and really delve into finding examples of creativity for giving that the students can relate to.  Why do people do these things?  From talking to KW we also talked about the idea of students understanding the different levels of giving e.g. giving for givings sake, giving to make yourself feel better... - this may be out of the realm of some students developmentally but could be core to some shifts in thinking as well.

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