Blog Archives

Using Constraints to Boost Creativity

gtchat 02222018 Constraint

Constraints come in many forms including time, money, and the availability of appropriate resources. Less obvious constraints can include the accessibility to comprehension of suitable outcomes, talent and the intellect necessary for task completion.

No matter the project, a change in your perspective will enhance creativity. Daily routines though comforting, don’t provide stimulation or novel thinking. Changing things up can give you that creative spark you seek. Changes in when you wake up, the route you take to work, work location, how you approach colleagues; increasing novel experiences can increase creativity simply by rethinking your restrictions, limitations, interactions,  or your comfort zone.

Constraints exist in virtually all real-life problems that need solving. Overcoming constraints requires creative solutions. Without time constraints, there would be little incentive to find a solution that would be worthwhile to benefactors. Our brains are constantly in efficient mode, constraints force us to think. They can inspire us to use our minds to be more resourceful; responding to challenge. This is a major reason we want our children to face challenge early on in school.

How can we inspire students to persist through constraints, complete tasks & be more creative? Teachers should consider the scope and breadth of assigned projects and even tasks. It’s important to consider time constraints will reach across all areas of your students’ lives. By cutting down the number of choices, projects are more manageable.  Most students will be able to respond better to smaller projects with tighter schedules rather than semester long projects. Even with increased workloads, creativity can increase in these situations. Students who encounter constraints tend to think more deeply about options. They were also more motivated. They explore less familiar paths, to diverge in previously unknown directions (Haught-Tromp.)

How do we overcome the Goldilocks effect; to find the right balance to spur creativity?  The severity of limited resources leads one to contemplate where to draw the line. Creativity can be squashed if the limitations are simply too great. Finding balance to spur and optimize creativity requires us to prioritize necessary resources, innovate and be thoughtful of how we approach each project.

There are some examples of famous projects that took advantage of constraints. Monty Python & the Holy Grail – a low-budget movie where the actors decided to pound two coconuts together to imitate the sounds of horses was incredibly creative while adding hilarity to the film. A famous use of constraints was Hemingway’s response to a proposal to write a memoir in 6 words: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Tragic, thought-provoking, and genius. Check out the transcript of this chat at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Why Imposing Restrictions Can Actually Boost Creativity

Moderate Constraints Actually Boost Creativity. Here’s Why

Theory of Constraints 3 Bottle Demo to improve Flow (YouTube 6:01)

The Power of Doing More With Less Using Constraints to Enhance Creative Problem Solving

Boosting Creativity through Constraints

How Constraints Force Your Brain to Be More Creative

The Love Affair between Creativity and Constraint (TEDx 11:32)

The Power of Constraints (TEDx 11:47)

Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough (Amazon)

Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined (Amazon)

Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (Amazon)

Constraints: The Mother of Creativity

Creative Constraint: Why Tighter Boundaries Propel Greater Results

The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (Amazon)

How to Use Constraints of Time Money and People for Better Innovations

David Kwong: Finding Creativity within Constraints

Creativity: How Constraints Drive Genius

Image courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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“How Cardboard Can Spark Creativity” with guest moderator, Krissy Venosdale

gtchat 11132015 Cardboard

Many thanks to Krissy Venosdale @Venspired for moderating our recent chat on “How Cardboard Can Spark Creativity” while our moderator was at a conference. Below, please find links to resources on finding and using cardboard for the classroom, homeschool, and home.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 13.00 NZDT/11.00 AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Google Cardboard

Link to Venspired Cardboard Poster

“It’s Not About the Space… All Learning”

Caine’s Arcade 2: From a Movie to a Movement (YouTube 8:20)

Imagination Foundation: Global Cardboard Challenge 2015

Make Do

Constructing with Cardboard

Building with Cardboard

Cardboard Construction (Prezi)

How to Work with Cardboard

Wheatpaste Tutorial

Paper Crafty: 12 Cardboard Artists Think Outside the Box

Trashformation: Furniture & Shelter from Recycled Cardboard (YouTube 7:55)

Flexible Folding Chair (YouTube 1:36)

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Photo courtesy of Flickr    CC BY 2.0

“Smart Girls” with author, Dr. @RobynMcKay

gtchat 10302015 Smart Girls

 

This week we were joined by Dr. Robyn McKay, co-author of Smart Girls and founder of the website ‘She{ology}’. The discussion centered around smart girls – how they are viewed by society, barriers they face and strategies to use to become successful.

It was quickly pointed out that smart girls often don’t fit society’s image of ‘smart’; nor do they always meet a particular school’s image of ‘smart’. Robyn explained, “Smart girls are often too well-adjusted for their own good. Like chameleons, they adapt and fit in instead of stand out. They begin to hide ability by grade 5. They stop raising their hands in class and whisper the answer to their bff instead.  The trend of hiding ability continues thru high school, college, and their professional life [in adulthood].”

Mental health issues can arise for smart girls. Robyn told us, ” They are good at masking disabilities like anxiety, depression, and ADHD (inattentive type). They mask because they CAN.  Smart girls use their intellectual resources to fit in and manage their disabilities. Just think how creative twice-exceptional smart girls could be if they didn’t have to work so hard to mask anxiety depression or ADHD.”

Next we considered what it meant to be smart and a girl in today’s world. Robyn said, “Intellectually able women often discount their intellect and credit hard work and luck to their success. They often don’t believe that they are smart. Although smart woman are able to juggle many responsibilities and have it all, this can also lead to burn out and early exit from careers.” Add to this that attempts to define ‘smart’ for women have been colored by ideas of gender, race and culture.

“We need to educate all students about gender disparities, inequalities in life and empower them to not just overcome but challenge them.” ~ Tyler Murphy, Kentucky educator

In the book Smart Girls, Dr. McKay and co-author Dr. Barbara Kerr made it a point to leave out definitions of giftedness that include sensitivities, intensities, or overexcitabilities as they focused on talent development. We ask Robyn to clarify this approach. Her response was, “Research has not linked overexcitabilities, intensities or sensitivities to academic achievement, high performance at work, or life satisfaction – the predictions we were interested in. Focus on OE sensitivity or intensity can cause us to pathologize giftedness; to make it seem as if strong, even maladaptive, reactions are a sign of giftedness rather than a sign of a very frustrated, bored or troubled child.”

Then we turned our attention to the barriers smart girls face in having their intelligence recognized. Previous flawed research assumed women could not achieve eminence. Barriers to recognition of intelligence can include environment, race, appearance and privilege. Robyn noted, “Gifted underachievers – who don’t “look gifted” because they don’t get As in every class are often overlooked. Creative girls with uneven performance in school are over looked – get As in the classes they love and and Cs and Ds in the classes that bore them and fail the classes they hate.” Furthermore, Robyn told us, “Smart girls need to know: what’s her IQ? What’s her personality profile? These help her understand why she is the way she is. Armed with data, her self-esteem rises.”

Finally, what are some strategies smart girls can use to succeed in the 21st century? Don’t allow society’s views dissuade your ambition – work toward your passions. For young gifted girls, encourage imaginative play, a healthy diet and adequate sleep. Encourage choices that help girls fulfill their dreams; realize their ‘future self’.

Robyn offered this advice to smart girls, “Don’t date “potential” – don’t date people who aren’t chasing their own goals and dreams. Make career decisions based on your creative flow and strengths. Say “yes” to new experiences. Get support for your mental health. Anxiety, depression, eating disorders keep you from living your dreams. Get As in the classes you love and Bs in everything else. You don’t have to be perfect.”

Transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays Noon NZDT/10 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Smart Girls in the 21st Century: Understanding Talented Girls & Women (Amazon)

Gifted Parenting Support: Smart Girls in the 21st Century

Smart Girls Takes Silver in the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Awards

Celebrating Smart Girls in the 21st Century with Dr. Barbara Kerr at The Psychology Podcast

Reviews for Smart Girls in the 21st Century

Dr. Robyn McKay’s Website ‘she{ology}’

About Dr. Robyn McKay

When Intensity Goes to School: Overexcitabilities, Creativity and the Gifted Child (Google Books Preview)

Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement and College Culture (Amazon)

Gifted Girls – Many Gifted Girls, Few Eminent Women: Why? (pdf)

Gifted Women: Identity & Expression

Harnessing Gifted Girls’ Emotional Strengths

What About Gifted Girls

Gender and Genius

Gender Identity and the Overexcitability Profiles of Gifted College Students (pdf)

The Effect of Gender-Role Stereotyping on the Career Aspirations and Expectations of Pre-Adolescent Children of High Intellectual Ability (pdf 1967)

The Intersection of Gender Equity and Gifted Elementary Education: Does Numerical Parity Tell the Whole Story (pdf)

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

A Mighty Girl (website)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

The Relationship between Creativity and Intelligence

gtchat 10232015 Creativity Intelligence

This week’s topic, The Relationship between Creativity and Intelligence was a bit ‘deeper’ than usual. It became quickly apparent that there were many divergent opinions on the subject. It proved to be an interesting conversation. We welcomed many new people to the chat as well!

In order to consider this relationship, we first defined what intelligence and creativity meant to our participants. According to Gautam, intelligence is a domain-general ability to solve complex adaptive problems. In its pure form, intelligence is complex and multidimensional. Defining intelligence has gotten a lot of press in recent years; many new ideas!

Creativity is the ability to come up with original, surprising and useful ideas. (Gautam) Tamara Fisher, education specialist, described it as, “the capacity to generate and innovate in new ways, whether by sudden instinct or through long, hard work.” Creativity emerged as an adaptive cognitive mechanism; improvisational reasoning could lead to novel solutions. (Jung) Christensen defined creativity as the “ability to go beyond intelligence an capitalize on seemingly random connections of concepts.”

Currently, there is no scientific consensus on how these constructs [creativity and intelligence] are related. Some believe intelligence may increase creative potential up to a certain degree. (Jauk, Benedek, Dunst, Neubauer 2013) Some say they are opposite ends of a spectrum; other the same thing.

What are some things that characterize highly creative people? Highly creative people are passionate, sensitive, imaginative, intuitive, and often solitary. They are open to experience, mindful, think differently, daydreamers, turn adversity into advantage. 

We then discussed why it is important to understand the creative process as it affects gifted kids & adults. The more we know about neuroscience and creativity, the better we can meet the needs of gifted children. Using outdated information can diminish best practices for empowering gifted kids to fulfill their potential. Understanding how the brain works and networks will benefit all gifted and twice-exceptional children. A transcript may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays Noon NZDT/10 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

The Relationship between Creativity and Intelligence

The Relationship between Intelligence & Creativity: New Support for the Threshold Hypothesis

Intelligence and Creativity of Polish Middle-school Students: Looking for the Threshold Hypothesis (pdf)

Genius, Creativity and Breakthrough Innovations

Interview with Dean Keith Simonton on Intelligence and Creativity

The Study of Effects of Socio Demographic Factors of Senior Secondary School Students on Creativity and Intelligence

Creativity & Intelligence Leading to Psychosis and Autism (Sandeep Gautam)

Creativity and Intelligence: a Tripartite Structure? (Sandeep Gautam)

The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence (Amazon)

From Madness to Genius: The Openness/Intellect Trait Domain as a Paradoxical Simplex (abstract)

Intelligence, Creativity and Mania

Evolution, Creativity, Intelligence, and Madness: “Here Be Dragons”

Must One Risk Madness to Achieve Genius?

Wired to Create Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (December 2015)

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

Neuroscience of Creativity (Amazon)

Another Look at Creativity and Intelligence: Exploring Higher-Order Models and Probable Confounds

Intelligence and Creativity

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad. Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain 

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