The Age of Creativity (1 of 3)

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Thomas Friedman reporting on the effects of globalization observed that success in this age is reserved for to those who develop the infrastructure, the education, and the governance to link up with the opportunities of the age. In this period of history, genius and highly intelligent individuals from all over the world are in competition with one another via the Internet. In order for students to succeed in this new age, educational institutions will need to teach students to learn how to learn (Friedman, 2005).

Friedman identified three areas of intervention: infrastructure, education, and governance.  Those terms are decidedly societal. In an attempt to bring them to a level of individual and community change through institutions, we will discuss learning, access, and agency.

Learning: Critical Thinking

The new historical period replacing the Information Age may be termed the Age of Creativity.

Creativity is the result when uncommon methods of thinking, doing, and being are applied to supplement a solid knowledge base.

The “thinking,” the cognitive achievement of a solid knowledge base may be termed competence. Cognitive psychology has adopted the term scaffolding to communicate the structure building from current knowledge to new knowledge thus identifying a mechanism for the continued development of the knowledge base. The understanding of efficient use of this scaffolding is often referred to as metacognition—an awareness of learning.

The “doing” suggest that the creativity be demonstrated in educational environments as well as a real-world learning environment. Doing is the demonstration of learned skills and practiced abilities. Masterful doing is expressed in the ability to transfer skills from one environment and apply them successfully in other environments.

The “being” is a call toward a specific socialization in moral and/or ethical guidelines for action. Competence is an ability to express the process, predict the impact, and communicate corrective action. Infrastructure as a support to creativity, then, is a conception of how competence is developed, implemented, and maintained in specific practice contexts.

[This post is excerpted from the book Living, Learning, Leading in the Age of Creativity: Addressing Institutional Barriers to Individual and Community Development available Spring 2013 by]