29 August, 2008


From: www.selfimprovementsguide.com

Creativity is not something that can be taught. Many individuals say that creativity is a trait only a selected few are born with, that it is not something taught because, like physical beauty, it is a gift, a privilege, something that is influence and born by circumstance and other positive preceding factors, instead of something that is introduced only after a person is born.

However, there are different schools of thought to this matter, especially as the world advances and we begin to see people develop their creative faculties and excel only later in life, when they haven't shown any tinge of creativity at all in their earlier days.

Some proponents of the idea that creativity is something that can be taught and learned assert that a person's environment, orientation and background are the ones responsible for diminishing or enhancing one's creativity.

On the other hand, fans of the conservative idea that creativity is innate say that such factors like orientation and environment are merely tools to enhance creativity and that their presence would amount to nothing if there is no creativity to hone in the first place.

This issue has long been the topic of debate among many scientific and social experts all over the world. Some people say perhaps the differences lie in the fact that creativity is an all too general concept that encompasses a variety of ideas and occurences that people have varying definitions for it. What may be an indication of creativity for one may not be so for another.

For this article, however, for the sake of uniformity, we will be tackling creativity as a factor of imagination and innovation.

If creativity, then, is a component of innovation, then perhaps it is something that can be taught and learned in schools and at home. This is because it is seen as an ability to adapt to changes and adjust to them.

When we were born, while we had been equipped with rational faculties, none of these would have been of any use had we not been taught how to use them properly. Therefore, while we were born with certain traits that would make us creative, they would be for naught if no form of education or teaching were involved in the process.

Upon birth, we were unaware of what the future held for us. Because of this lack of knowledge about future occurrences, all our parents and schools could do was to teach us to be resilient and how to think for ourselves, in order to have the ability to make unique decisions when the need arises. We were not taught early on how to respond to changes. What we taught then was how to be creative and innovative amid behavioural and environment shifts. That being said, yes, creativity can be taught after all.

Today's trend of using standardized tests to determine a person's creativity is not only very wrong, but actually very limiting and stifling. This is because nobody can really measure how creative a person can be, because this faculty only surfaces when particular situations come up. And because incidents do not happen to everyone, creativity is difficult to measure. So, given this, who is to say who is creative and who is not?

The argument on whether creativity can or cannot be taught is a bottomless pit. For some, education has worked. For others, education is seen as merely a tool.

However which way you choose to see it, you should appreciate that you were born human and given the ability to understand and engage in such debates. It can go on forever. It may not even eventually find a consensus. Ironically, that's where your creativity comes in – in your response to the issue and your decision on how to deal with it. Confusing, isn't it?

Christine P Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of creativity. Her website www.selfimprovementsguide.com provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about self improvement.