Archive for July, 2011

July 5, 2011

Can You Teach Creativity?

Last night, I was on the phone with my boyfriend when I brought up my concerns for my upcoming class, Engineering 115. My worries are that I may not have the creative mindset capable to translate my understanding of math and technology into a functioning machine.

To me, there are two kinds of creative people. The crafty, hands-on minds that can build functioning tools or machines and the artsy minds who can piece together items that are pleasing to the eye or mind. My dad is the perfect example of a crafty person. If you handed him a knife and threw him in the ocean, he would be able to create an underwater world without missing a meal. He can fix a car with duct tape, and make it last. I, on the other hand, identify as the artsy type. I can make jewelry, I can sketch quite well, and I recently knit my own purse only a day after learning to knit. I can even dance and act. My mind does not comprehend the same things my fathers does, however that is a skill I need in order to become an engineer.

Bass Guy attempted to console me by reminding me that, that is the exact reason I have an engineering class. This is where the whole question developed.

In my eyes, you cannot teach someone how to create an original work of art. You can teach them the techniques until the cows come home, but they have to be able to bring it together. Like dance, I find myself very accomplished in dance techniques. I know every last detail about a pique or pirouette, but I am a lousy dancer. I cannot translate my knowledge to movement, because I don’t have that capability.

How can creativity be taught to someone whose mind was never really meant to understand?