According to Sir Ken Robinson, the author of “Out of Our Minds” and “Learning to Be Creative,” explains, in his book Out of Our Minds, that creativity can manifest itself in any area – math, dance, science, language (not just arts and crafts!).
Moreover, a creative achievement is related to control of the medium and that medium can be anything from algebra to the piano. He points out the need for skills and repetition to reach creativity.
Sir Robinson noted three common misconceptions about creativity:
1) creativity is not learned, as creative people are unique and set apart from the majority of people who are not creative,
2) creativity only occurs in specialized areas, such as the arts, and
3) creativity is about spontaneous free expression not involving any skill base.
Robinson explains, that even if you were to think of creativity in terms of the arts only, Robinson clarifies that “a good deal of what [artists] do is not creative at all in any strict sense. It involves a huge amount of practical routine, including refining the control of materials and techniques.” In other words, children and adults need the basic skills to be creative.
How Does Repetition and Following Instruction Help Creativity? “To be a truly good and creative artist you have to learn the basics first.” Examining a series of drawings by Picasso, one can recognize that in order to create a new form of art, Cubism, Picasso first had to learn and spend years practicing drawing and painting realistically.
Attending Art school, one quickly learns, is NOT about free expression — at least not until you had gained certain knowledge and skills.
A Montessori classroom is an environment that provides children with fundamental skills. A fabulous ‘tool kit’ for life:
- Very young children learn how to control their pencil grasp so they can later hold a pencil properly and write words.
- They learn words and syntax so they can later write stories.
- They learn to mix colors, handle a paintbrush, and how to create a gesture drawing so they can later make something unique and beautiful.
- They learn to distinguish the pitch of musical notes and the symbols of those notes so they can later learn to write their own music.
- They learn the concepts behind mathematical operations so they can later build something using those operations. A Montessori classroom is a very special place where children learn skills, without pressure, so they can be creative.
Children have plenty of time for free expression at home or on the playground. But those few hours they get each day in a Montessori classroom are precious, as they provide knowledge and skills that enhance the child’s free expression and independent thinking.