Education Creation Group
Education Creation Group
People, Places & Things
United Arab Emirates
Kodak Moments: Creativity in Micromoments
Larry Audet, Ph.D.
The reason I'm posting pictures on my website is to share with you the best of what I have learned in my life - creative moments when I was fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus. Creativity - it's one of the best tools we have for dealing with change. It's one of the best tools we have for finding new perspectives on life and it assures us that the best is yet to come. But, what is it? What do we mean when we talk about creativity?
Creativity exists in each of us and it's something that's very simple. To me it's a moment. It’s that moment when we look beyond redundancy and see opportunity. It’s that moment when we look at the ordinary and we see something extraordinary. Most everyone has had moments, hours, and weeks when the world was extraordinary. We all remember how we felt when something great happened in our lives. The experience caused us to intellectualize what just happened because we felt it in our hearts. We forever store fond memories because something was learned and something was felt.
When I’m being really creative I feel like I'm about ready to burst. It’s all I can do to hold it in. I’m a cup - so full that the surface tension is the only thing keeping the water inside. And, it feels like at any minute that cup is going to overflow - but I don’t care because it feels like my cup is going to continue filling up - from the inside. It is at those moments when I feel - well it feels like I’m falling in love because at the base of it – that’s what creativity is. Creativity, for me, is falling in love with the world. When I’m in love with the world, I’m in touch with this incredible energy we call passion. Passion! I often wonder what most people would give to feel passion on a daily basis; not just unbridled passion but passion that serves a purpose and relies on technique.
I have some techniques I use to access creativity. Photography is one of my hobbies, along with beekeeping, woodworking, and throwing clay pots that I later fire in the kiln. When sharing my photos, I am sharing my creativity, I am sharing my passion, I am sharing with you moments that were novel and at the same time those moments were constrained by important technique.
When taking photographs, I am constantly paying attention to having the correct lens, adjusting to the correct “F” stop, wondering if I have the right kind of lighting or if I need to use my flash, looking before shooting and checking if I have the correct perspective, and lastly - I adjust my lens and my attitude making sure I have the correct focus.
It is passion - that drives my energy - that insists on technique - that clarifies my vision - that steers my energy into the world - that allows me to see an ordinary world with new eyes. Then, I am able to transform the ordinary to the extraordinary. All this applies to our schools as well.
The challenge for schools is we don’t spend enough time with students - sharing passion and vision necessary for creativity. We need to shift away from busy work and thinking about the desired grade for correctly filling in the blanks. That’s what was ordinary. When I think about traditional learning - I feel as though our vision is out of focus.
What if allow students to pursue their passion, develop their vision and learn important curriculum that expresses who they are and their life principles? What if we create opportunities for students to learn curriculum through carefully self-designed projects? All this requires change and change is difficult because we have to learn new techniques.
Of course, in the beginning, teachers and students will feel a uncomfortable, a little lost; just as I did 34 years ago when I first took seriously – the art and science of photography.
I love being a teacher, I cherish the life of a leader, I can’t wait to get up in the morning and work with people who have passion to be creative in what ever they do. For all these reasons, it’s important for me to share my pictures, my moments when the ordinary became extraordinary with the hope that - in some way - these pictures serve as metaphors for what we should be doing in schools; allowing students to find their passion and help them develop their technique so they can be happy, productive people.