Put your Mother on The Ceiling; Developing Visual Creativity and Evaluative Thinking

Put your Mother on The Ceiling; Developing Visual Creativity and Evaluative Thinking

How is time set aside to think? Maybe a clue is in the wording of set aside? How is time planned to think?

For instance, reflective practice needs time to think. How can even better lessons be delivered? What changes need to be included? How would this affect student outcomes? The Open University describes the (abstract) reflective concept as:

what am I currently doing?

what have I previously done?

what have I experienced?

what and how have I learned?

At its core, ‘reflective thinking’ is the notion of awareness of one’s own knowledge, assumptions and past experiences. Your past learning and experience provide the context for (your) thoughts, and are therefore unique to you, but reflective thinking is a dynamic process that continues to develop and evolve as you learn and respond to new experiences, situations, events or information. In practical terms, this is the process where you interpret and evaluate your experiences, check that they make ‘sense’ to you, create meaning, justify actions and solve problems, and it helps with your future planning.” 1 Open University, Session 2 Reflective thinking

There are models and core concepts of reflective thinking, which lead to improved performance where even just a few minutes of focus heaps reward but, how does this begin? How is thinking facilitated? Is thinking facilitated, or simply expected?

There are models and core concepts of reflective thinking, which lead to improved performance where even just a few minutes of focus heaps reward but, how does this begin? How is thinking facilitated? Is thinking facilitated, or simply expected?

Early Years education encourages imaginative development. However, as children progress through the standard schooling system, focus evolves to a combination of traditional and blended learning; the rich world of imaginative creativity gives way to the academic treadmill… Yes, a generalized view and I have the pleasure of observing many a colleague’s adept use of metaphors and storytelling, the point is instead, about how thinking can be used throughout the school experience?

The unlikely title, ‘Put your Mother on the Ceiling’, Richard de Mille, offers practical insights into the value of developing an imaginary world, not least to help students understand the boundaries of imagination and reality so encouraging both to live in harmony.

Mille describes, “A human being may be taught to give exactly right answers to thousands of questions, as a computer may be programmed to give the location of any item in a warehouse or to compute interest on savings for any day in the year. The recall of facts and the calculation of right answers are indispensable in the conduct of daily life, and the schools would be negligent if they did not urge youngsters to master them. But such skills are only part of what a child should learn.

Good judgement, originality, fluency and flexibility of thought, the ability to redefine situations or see their implications – such qualities are prized in human society. In everyday life, they reap rewards of wealth, responsibility, or prestige. In times of peril, they may determine who will survive and who will not. Teaching these abilities should be a major purpose of education.”2 Mille, R. Put Your Mother On The Ceiling. 1981, Penguin, London.

Discover a series of increasingly complex imagination games that are fun and introduce the concept of possibility through creative thinking.

All too often I am challenged when a student’s automatic response is what can’t happen. Interesting questions are: What would happen if it did (happen)? What would happen if it didn’t? The latter question is baffling for a while and really prompts creative though, and even may take time at first.

life skills worth having?

 

Tools are here and even when time is tight, think how introducing small changes can develop visual creativity and evaluative thinking; life skills worth having?

 

Links:

  1. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=51386&section=2
  2. Mille, R. Put Your Mother on The Ceiling. Penguin, London 


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