In the first chapter of the "Alone" portion of Imagine, Jonah Lehrer explores "the stumped phase of creativity". Its not difficult to relate to the idea of trying to solve a problem, being incredibly frustrated, and then a solution popping out of thin air. Lehrer says,
"...these negative feelings are actually an essential part of the process because they signal that it's time to try a new search strategy. Instead of relying on the literal associations of the left hemisphere, the brain needs to shift activity to the other side, to explore a more unexpected set of associations. It is the struggle that forces us to try something new." (p. 17).
What do these ideas mean for us as educators? Is it important for us to create prompts and situations to solve problems, and encourage children to think outside of the box? An "aha!" moment cannot be staged, it must come naturally...right?
As teachers, there are moments when we struggle to think outside of the box, for example, having a bit of a "planning rut", where you can't seem to think of anything new.
What are your thoughts on the first chapter, either related to the ideas above or not? What jumped out at you?
Please share! Please use the comments section as a way to discuss; feel free to bring some new thoughts about chapter one to the table!
We are reading Imagine : How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer this month. For more information on the read-along, you can see the discussion schedule here.