Creativity-Clubs

Creativity for jobs and leadership

Creativity Clubs

 

MASK developed a series of effective creativity-training programmes

for young people in Africa.

 

Establish a Creativity Club in your school. Contact us for more information.

 

 

1. Creativity Clubs

Description

 

2. Creativity Facilitators

Training

 

 

 

3. Creativity Learning Environment

4. Creativity Clubs

in primary

schools

5. Creativity for Entrepreneurship and Leadership Clubs

in secondary schools

6. Other Clubs

 

Creativity for Peacebuilding

Creativity Summer Camps

 

 

1. DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

MASK Creativity Club:

 

  • Normally last 3 years
  • Workshops are held once or twice a week
  • Duration of workshops is 1-1,5 hours
  • Training is non-formal: after-school and outside school curriculum.

 

 

 

Learning goals:

 

  • In PRIMARY SCHOOLS: Strengthening students' creativity
  • In SECONDARY SCHOOLS: Strengthening students' creativity and teaching them practical steps of applying creativity in real-life.

 

 

MASK concepts of Education for Creativity:

 

  • Creativity can and should be learned and taught
  • Creativity and knowledge learning should be central to education
  • Success of education for creativity is determined by societal high value of creativity
  • Creativity can be learned and taught 'directly'
  • Creativity is visual thinking, thus advancing visual skills is essential
  • Art practices is one of the main pedagogies of education for creativity
  • Creativity-learning activities should be 'relevant' to students
  • Creativity should be shared
  • Creativity-learning and training should be planned and structured.

 

 

Creativity description:

 

Creativity is creative problem solving, i.e. the ability to identify problems and generate new original solutions, that is rooted in the capacity to integrate/connect knowledge/information across a wide range of disciplines into new patterns and combinations. Creativity is a type of intelligence. Albert Einstein called creativity a 'true measure of intelligence', Edward De Bono - 'a highest form of intelligence'. Creativity can be also referred to as resourcefulness, inventiveness, ingenuity, imagination, outside-box thinking, and optimization.

 

 

 

At MASK Creativity Clubs students cultivate:

 

  1. Positive belief about creativity
  2. Creativity Skills
  3. Creative Character
  4. Practical application of creativity in daily life
  5. Team-creativity
  6. Creativity ethics

 

 

Positive beliefs about creativity:

  • Seeing creativity as change, a force for transformation of lives of individuals and societies
  • Enjoying seeing things in new ways and being different
  • Emotionally involved in the creative process
  • Willingness to take time to learn creativity

 

Creative Skills:

  • Visual and spatial thinking (observation, visualization/imagination and representing thinking visually)
  • Ability to generate new ideas (rooted in the capacity to connect knowledge across a wide range of disciplines)
  • Divergent thinking (multiple ideas to a problem)
  • Ability to evaluate, communicate, and implement ideas

 

Creative Character:

  • Openness to new experience
  • Courage to go against conventions
  • Independence of judgement
  • Willingness to take risks
  • Confidence in one's creativity, belief in one's own ideas
  • Strong sense of self-efficacy, resilience, and desire for self-realization
  • Emotional intelligence

 

Practical application of creativity in daily life for leadership and entrepreneurship (in secondary schools):

  • Five-step approach to solving real-life problems

 

Team-creativity, the ground-zero of creativity:

  • Students learn to be creative in a group
  • Students learn creativity from each other

 

Creativity ethics:

  • Moral principles of creative behaviour
  • Environmentalist principles

 

 

 

 

 

Learning and Teaching Activities:

 

  • Experimental art practices (creative writing, music, visual arts, performing, designing, etc.) with a range of ideas, materials and techniques
  • Creative-thinking exercises
  • Solving real-life problems
  • Assessments and self-assessments

 

 

Creative-thinking exercises thay unblock conventional ways of thinking

  • De-structuring imagination
  • Associative thinking
  • Forming analogies
  • Making connections and combinations
  • Reversing assumptions
  • Resemblance thinking
  • Serendipity thinking
  • Collective thinking
  • De Bono techniques, such as the ' Six hut technique'

 

 

 

Typical workshop's template:

 

  • Revision of the skills learned at previous workshops
  • Revision of Koinonia rules
  • Main activity, 45 min
  • Exhibition of learned outcomes, 10 min
  • Summary of the workshop and skills learned

 

 

 

2. TRAINING FACILITATORS

 

A skilled facilitator is essential to creativity learning.

 

Creativity facilitators learn:

 

  1. How to set up and sustain the 'Creativity Learning Environment' (Read below)

 

  1. Facilitators encouraged students to:

 

  • 'Own the workshops', i.e. choose their own creativity-learning activities
  • Carry out their own investigations and experimentations
  • Challenge their ideas and concepts
  • Learn from experience
  • Collaborate with each other and work in teams
  • Be actively involved in the workshops
  • Accumulate as much knowledge as possible
  • Use learning space freely

 

  1. Facilitators must avoid:

 

  • Being poor time-keepers and organiser
  • Workshops lacking discipline
  • Workshops lacking structure
  • Being distant and formal
  • Lacking humour and inability to see powerful skills learnt behind the fun
  • Political, religious or ideological bias
  • Students who are not committed to the workshops; they should be replaced
  • Reprimanding students; harsh criticism is not permitted.

 

 

  1. Facilitators assess:

 

  • How experimental students are
  • How original their ideas are
  • How creativity-confident they are
  • How creative they are in teams
  • as well as other indicators.

 

  • Facilitators give their feedback to students during the creativity progress
  • Facilitators evaluate both, individual students and teams
  • Facilitators facilitate students' self-assessments to encourages students taking responsibility for nurturing their creativity, through:
  • students questioners and self-assessment forms
  • students keeping diaries of their creative experiences, including video and photo diaries

 

 

  1. Facilitators record and report:

 

  • In a logbook: workshops' activities, students' attendance and feedback, facilitator's suggestions
  • Photo and video logs.

 

 

 

3. ESTABLISHING CREATIVITY-LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

 

Establishing the environment that is conducive to creativity-learning is critical.

 

Creativity-Learning Environment means:

 

1. Learning takes place in the atmosphere of·(Koinonia Rules):

  1. Friendship and collaboration
  2. Openness and honesty
  3. Total suspension of judgement (belittling) of new ideas; 'crazy' and 'half-baked' ideas are actively encouraged
  4. Curiosity.

 

2. Students are clear about the links between Learning Activities and Creative Skills and Creative Character

 

3. 'Learning Activities' are designed to be:

Simple but challenging

  • Highly visual
  • Dynamic and enjoyable
  • Relevant to students

 

4. Students' attention is stimulated by the open-ended questions such as 'what can be?' and 'what if?' and thought-provoking stories. Facilitators, if possible, demonstrate their inner dialogue during the creative process. They encourage students' 'half-baked' ideas (because ideas must be evolved quite far before its practical use is apparent).

 

5. Students are provided with opportunities for success early in creativity-training in order to motivate them, create satisfaction and build creativity- confidence. Cheers, praises, rewards, enthusiastic acknowledgment of efforts, and constructive feedback are necessary.

 

5. Discipline and structure are highly important: good attendance, focus, efficiently-used time and materials, and creativity-conducive work space.

 

 

 

 

 

4. CREATIVITY CLUBS IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS

 

 

Children learn creativity through making art and objects (paintings and collages, books and toys, performances and plays, etc) with a range of techniques and materials (including recycled and natural materials) in the atmosphere of play and both, individual and team-work.

 

Why arts?

 

Ceativity is visual thinking (orbervation and visualisation/imagination). Ideas are images. Visual thinking is instrumental to selecting and connecting information to generate new ideas. If we are adept at the visual thinking, creativity comes easier to us. Art practices develop the visual thinking.

 

  • More than 85 per cent of our thinking is mediated through vision, in children this percentage is higher
  • The brain neurones specialise against images
  • Humans evolved due to the development of vision

 

 

 

Values of the arts:

 

  • Arts develop creativity and thus key to economic prosperity. Creativity is one of the top skills sought by employers. More than 70% of employers say hiring creative employees is a priority. "98% of the world's economy revenue are driven by creativity and innovation" (World Economic Forum, 2016). "Innovation feeds the world" (Global Innovation Index 2017)
  • Arts improve academic intelligence. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher academic scores and lower school drop-out rates than students with little or no art education, regardless of socio-economic status
  • Art based creative industry is a valuable part of an economy. The sector represents 3.25 % of the nation’s GDP in the US (a larger share of the economy than tourism and agriculture) employing 3.1 million people (2.2% of all employees). In the UK, the creative industry employs 1,7 million people and generating £80 billion a year in tax revenues
  • Arts are fundamental to humanity and have strong social impact. High concentration of art in society leads to higher civic engagement, social cohesion and child welfare, and lower poverty rates (University of Pennsylvania). Arts refine values and build bridges between ethnicity, religions and age.

 

 

 

 

 

5. CREATIVITY FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

 

 

CREATIVITY FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND LEADERSHIP (CEL) clubs in secondary schools help students to:

 

  • Be more employable after they leave school
  • Become stronger leaders
  • See entrepreneurship as a possible career option for achieving economic sustainability
  • Understand practical framework for applying creativity in daily life .

 

 

MASK's CEL is a 5-Step process of applying creativity in daily life:

 

  1. Identifying a problem and stating it in ways that encourage creative problem-solving
  2. Generating multiple solutions (students learn various idea-generation approaches). Team creativity
  3. Evaluating solutions against a set of criteria. Forming visions. Decision-making skill
  4. Communicating ideas: visual communication. Principles of overcoming resistance to change.
  5. Implementing ideas. Getting organised and developing partnerships. Innovation culture. Principles of 'managing' creative people.

 

 

The CEL Creative Clubs' graduates receive 'Creativity Passports' of the 'Young People -The Creative Nation'.

 

 

 

 

 

6. OTHER PROGRAMMES

 

 

CREATIVITY FOR PEACE-BUILDING

 

 

Most African countries experience ethnic or political conflicts. Peacebuilding amongst young people is the foundation for a peaceful future.

 

MASK's 'Creativity for Peace-building' aims to build in students:

 

  • Empathy, the basis for education for peace. Through art activities students explore their own emotions and understand the emotions of others
  • Understanding and acceptance of multiculturalism to help them to mitigate the difficulties of inter-ethnical understanding
  • Social innovation and social leadership skills: students act as agents of peace in their communities, feel empowered and empower others.

 

MASK's 'Creativity for Peace-building' Clubs are either organised in a series/block of sessions to focus intensely on the topic of peacebuilding, or they are incorporated in a general Creativity Cubs programme.

 

What students say:

 

“Through peaceful pictures we promote peace. We exchange ideas and resolve the disagreements peacefully.”

PATRICK MWAURA, 15

 

“The workshops make me so happy. They enable us to maintain peace. I learnt to communicate ideas visually.”

NAFTARY MAINA, 15

 

“The workshops help me to express ideas, to promote peace between different tribes who are in conflict.”

BENSON KINYANTUI, 13

 

“Being creative can help me to educate communities and lead for them for peace.”

PETER KIMANI, 17

 

More here

 

 

 

CREATIVITY CAMPS

 

 

MASK's Residential Creativity Summer Camps are organised during school holidays for students aged 16-25 year old.

 

Students:

  • Participate in daily art and creative-thinking workshops that are run by professional artists, and business entrepreneurs and leaders
  • Organise debates and performances
  • Make art gallery visits
  • Organise their end-of-camp exhibition for friends and families

 

 

First Creativity camp was organised in May 2011 in Nairobi. See videos and pictures here including the participants meeting with the Kenyan Minister for Culture Mr Ole Ntimama and Director of Culture Mrs Gladys Gatheru .

 

 

What students say:

 

"I liked being creative since I was little. I liked experimenting and imagining new things. It was very hard for me because my family did not support this activity considering it being unworthy, 'idle' and 'lazy'. Participating in the MASK Creativity Summer Camp helped my family to support me and to be proud of my creativity." IRUNGU JAMES KUNGU, 19

 

 

 

Creativity is what separates those people who are prepared for the rapidly changing work and life environment in the 21st century and those who are not.

 

 

What the others say about creativity:

 

  • To succeed, young people need to be inventive, resourceful and imaginative. The best way to foster that creativity is through art education. The US Presidents Committee on the Arts and the Humanities report "Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools", 2011
  • Learning of arts and creativity is indispensable for the growth and sustainable development of societies and of individuals. UNESCO
  • Creative education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be leaders for tomorrow. Barack Obama
  • Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life, to enjoy the arts and to share its advancement and benefits. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 27
  • No nation can achieve a high quality of growth if creative elements of its human potential remain untapped or under-used. European Commission
  • A sustainable, balanced model of growth can only be ensured by integrating culture with economic and social development. The Commonwealth

 

 

Useful information: reports and surveys about 'creativity and innovation' and its impact on developement:

 

  • The World Economic Forum's reports. Competitiveness Reports, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • 'Ready to Work' survey. Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, The Partnership for the 21st Skills, and the Society for Human Resources Management, 2006
  • 'Ready to Innovate' report. Conference Board, Americans for the Arts, and the American Association for School Administrators, 2008
  • 'Are They Really To Work?'. The Conference Board, 2007
  • The Business Council for Africa, 2013
  • R.Marsh, I Mosca, Dr F Zuleeg, 'Arts and Employability', The Scottish Executive Social Research, 2006
  • 'Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools'. President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), 2012
  • 'Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving'. Bradford Books, 2008. Dr Robert Arp
  • University of California research
  • 'The Art of Scientific and Technological Innovations', 2011. R. S. Root-Bernstein
  • 'Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today'. Beth Jarman and George Land,Harper and Harper Perennial, 1998
  • 'Why so Stupid?' De Bono, Edward. Blackhall, 2003
  • 'Critical Links: Learning in the arts and students academic and social development'. Deasy,R., ed 2002. Washington, DC:Art Education Partnership
  • 'Living the Arts Through Language and Learning: a report on community based youth organisations'. Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University, and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, American for the Arts Monograph, 1998
  • '2012 College-Bound Seniours: Total Group Profile Report'. The College Board, 2012.

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"MASK developed my habit for innovating. Since I left school, while studying chemistry in college, I invented a new drug, and for my creative problem-solving skill I am enjoying now a real success in my big job in Nairobi." Hellen, MASK ex-student