Voices of Creativity

A brief twitter discussion about maths, science and the humanities took me down a little garden path about the subjects we studied at school and the voice of creativity we develop.

It began with a discussion about the correlation between music and mathematics (explains my humanities/maths/music balance) then veered into the vagaries of the quality of the teacher in front of the room (caveat: I am an English teacher).

The quality of the teacher does have an impact on the learning of the student. A good teacher recognises the different learning styles of the students in the classroom and differentiates the curriculum. A good teacher also understands there is a world beyond the classroom and brings it into the dialogue of the classroom. A good teacher shows students the applicability of the curriculum and content to the wider world.

But it led to one person in the discussion recounting a statement that discounts a student’s aptitude: “You’re not mathematically inclined.”

You can substitute “mathematically” for any subject: You’re not artistically inclined. You’re not historically inclined. You’re not scientifically inclined.

We all have preferred learning styles and ways of expressing our learning and creativity. I refuse to believe students should be placed into categories regarding their learning. We need to expand our thinking beyond the boundaries and confines of subjects (English, Maths, Science etc) to learning skills and problem solving, to develop higher order thinking skills.

The modern approach to learning is to know a lot about a narrow field of enquiry. Rather, we need to know a little about a wider field of enquiry. Kind of like a talk back radio host, except with a higher IQ and a lot more common sense; a modern Renaissance Man. I want to be a modern Renaissance Man.

However, we have preferences and passions in our learning and our interests. For some it is the humanities (English and History) while for others it is the formulae of Maths and Sciences. I am securely in the former while I enjoyed Maths and Sciences in high school. And others find their passion in music and instruments or paints and pencils.

We have voices. We have different voices. Each subject is a different voice to express one’s creativity and passion.

I have found my voice in writing. I also another voice that dabbles in music and there is some correlation and cross over between the two.

Creativity is not limited to the “arts” i.e. writing, music, drama, art, dance, film making.

There is beauty in the mathematical language of the universe, a deeper understanding of the shape and form of the natural world in the patterns of the ecosystem.

Find your own voice.

3 responses to “Voices of Creativity

  1. Well said! I was very happy happy to load Twitter and see that conversation you were having. The beauty of mathematics is one mystery I wish more people shared.

  2. I’m forever having to tell graphics students that it’s not how well they draw that counts, it’s how well they communicate the message. That’s all we’re ever doing – communicating knowledge to one another. For me, I’m very much one of the “visual arts” people, all about the art history and film studies, but there are so many other subjects I wish I had time to study. But they all feedback into the same thing, and without them, I doubt I’d be as creative.

  3. So long as there are classes, I’m not opposed to segregating or differentiating on some levels, like creating an AP course, or pairing students who are grasping things quickly with those who aren’t so as to help the latter catch up. I believe in the theory of multiple intelligences enough to buy that some folks do just “get” algebra or grammar or physics faster than other folks, but I don’t buy that the latter group can’t grasp it. Lesser inclination doesn’t been incapability. That would be a terrible thing to brand a person.

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