Creativity-Clubs

Creativity Clubs

 

 

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. Creativity Clubs 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 are to strengthen students' creativity and teach them practical steps of applying creativity in real-life.

 

 

MASK believes in these key principles:

 

  • Creativity-learning should be central to education
  • Creativity-learning achieves real learning, better employability and stronger leadership
  • Creativity can be learned 'directly' as a 'subject'
  • Creativity is visual thinking. Advancing the visual processing skills is critical to creativity learning
  • Creativity-learning activities should be planned, structured, and relevant
  • Creativity should be shared to be learned
  • Creativity-learning depends on how society understands and values creativity.

 

 

Creativity and Innovation

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students learn MASK ‘Creatvity Skills Set’:

 

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

 

 

Positive beliefs about creativity:

  • See creativity as change, a powerful force for transformation of lives of individuals and societies
  • Enjoy to be different and see things in new way
  • Be emotionally involved in the creative process
  • Willing 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 (generating 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 and envoronmentalist principles of creative behaviour

 

 

 

 

MASK Creativity Learning and Teaching Activities include:

 

  • Experimental practices with the arts (creative writing, music, visual arts, performing, designing, etc.), ideas, materials, and techniques
  • Creative-thinking exercises (see the list of exercises below)
  • Solving problems in schools or communities that affect students in daily life
  • Assessments and self-assessments

 

 

Creative-thinking exercises that unblock conventional ways of thinking, such as:

  • 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'

 

 

 

MASK Typical Workshop 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. Creativity-Facilitators Training

 

 

A skilled facilitator is essential to creativity learning. MASK re-imagined what creativity-facilitator - and a new teacher of creativity-centered education - should be.

 

Creativity-facilitators must:

 

  1. Set up and sustain the 'Creativity Learning Environment' (Read below)

 

  1. Encourage 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

 

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.

 

 

Facilitators should assess students':

 

  • Creativity-learning progress
  • Creativity-confidence
  • Team-creativity
  • Other indicators

 

Facilitators also facilitate students' self-assessment (questioners, self-assessment forms, and video and photo diaries) to encourage their responsibility for their own creativity.

 

 

Facilitators record and report:

 

Facilitators keep:

  • Records of workshops' activities such as students' attendance, learning activities, and any feedback and suggestions in a logbook
  • Photo and video logs.

 

 

 

3. Creativity Learning Environment

 

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

 

MASK Creativity-Learning Environment means:

 

1. Learning takes place in the atmosphere of·Koinonia Rules. These are:

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

 

2. Students should see the connections between the Learning Activities and what Creative Skills and Creative Character elements they learned

 

3. Learning Activities should 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, should be able to demonstrate their inner dialogue during the creative process. They should encourage 'half-baked' ideas: ideas must be well-developed before thier practical use is apparent.

 

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

 

5. Discipline and structure are highly important. This means: good attendance, focus of the training, efficiently-used time and materials, and creativity-conducive workspace.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Creativity Clubs in primary schools

 

 

Children learn creativity through making 'art objects' (paintings, collages, books, toys, performances, etc) with a wide range of ideas, techniques , and materials.

 

Why art?

  • Art practices are the most effective way to strengthen creativity. Creativity is visual thinking (observation, visualisation, imagination). The brain neurones specialise against images. Ideas are images. According to latest research, humans evolved due to the development of vision. More than 85% of our thinking is mediated through vision. Visual processing is instrumental to selecting and connecting information to generate new ideas. Advanced visual thinking is paramount to strong creativity. Read more
  • Students with education that is rich in the arts have higher academic scores, as well as and lower school drop-out rates than students with little or no art education.
  • Beside creativity and academic success, art practices 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 Clubs (CEL)

 

 

CEL aims to develop in secondary school students the clear understanding of the practical framework of the real-life creative process in order to help them to:

 

  • Be more employable after they leave school
  • Become better leaders
  • See entrepreneurship as a possible career option for achieving economic sustainability

 

MASK teach its '5-Step Practical Application of Creativity in Real-life':

 

  1. Identifying a problem. Problem statements
  2. Generating solutions. Idea-generation approaches. Team-creativity
  3. Evaluating solutions. Decision-making skill
  4. Communicating ideas. Principles of overcoming resistance to change
  5. Implementing ideas. Building innovation culture. 'Managing' creative people.

 

 

The CEL graduates receive 'Creativity Passports' that say that they completed the course and now belong to the 'Young People -The Creative Nation'.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Other programmes

 

 

 

CREATIVITY FOR PEACE-BUILDING CLUBS

 

 

 

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

 

MASK Creativity for Peace-building Clubs work on the principle that empathy is the basis for education for peace. Empathy is learned through art practices where students:

  • Explore their own emotions and understand the emotions of others
  • Learn to understand and accept multiculturalism to help them to mitigate the difficulties of inter-ethnical understanding.

 

 

MASK Creativity for Peace-building Clubs are either organised in a series of sessions to focus intensely on the topic of peacebuilding, or the topic is incorporated in our general Creativity Cubs programme. Students are encouraged to become MASK Social Innovation Leaders by acting as 'agents of peace' in their communities to empower others.

 

What students said:

 

“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

“MASK helped me to express ideas, and 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 Camps are organised during school holidays for students aged 16-25.

 

Students:

  • Participate in daily workshops that are run by professional artists and business entrepreneurs and leaders
  • Organise debates and performances
  • Make art galleries visits
  • Organise their end-of-camp exhibition

 

First Creativity Camp was organised in May 2011 in Nairobi. See videos and pictures here. Participants met with the Kenyan Minister for Culture The Hon. Ole Ntimama and Director of Culture Mrs Gladys Gatheru.

 

What students said:

 

"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. Participating in the MASK Creativity 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 is a UK Charity Commission registered charity No 1128734