Creativity can be taught and the ‘icedip’ process is the key to success, says Geoff Petty.
How can we teach students to be more creative? I use the term in the widest possible sense here. The creative process is not well understood and consists of six working phases, inspiration, clarification, distillation, perspiration, evaluation and incubation. During a particular piece of creative work each phase should be experienced many times, in no set order, sometimes for a very short time.
The ‘Icedip’ phases Inspiration - in which you generate a large number of ideas. This includes research. The process is uninhibited and characterised by spontaneity, experimentation, intuition and risk-taking. Creative people find their good ideas among a huge pile of bad ones. Creativity is like mining for diamonds, most of what you dig is thrown away, but that doesn’t make the digging a waste of time. If you ‘can’t think of anything’ you are having difficulty with this phase, perhaps because you are too self-critical or impatient. Let yourself off the leash. And if most of your ideas are workable, you didn’t take enough risks.
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