Creativity is a concept that is difficult to define. Over the years it has been approached from different paradigms and social beliefs. Tradition has passed on the idea that creativity only belongs to a few. However, not only is creativity common to all individuals to a greater or lesser extent, but it is also an ability that can be taught and learned.
In the first place, the mysticism and spirituality of creativity in its origins made it oppose the scientific method. On occasions, an explanation based on genetic inheritance has also prevailed as the germ of creativity. Other times, creativity has been considered as an innate ability.
Creativity with uppercase or lowercase
Creativity is not only that possessed by the authors of masterpieces of art or technological innovations. It is also developed by those who are capable of cooking a dish combining few ingredients or of making an ingenious mural in their room with various photographs.
Therefore, it is possible to differentiate between a creative with a capital “C” and one with a lowercase “c”.
Are people creative in all their tasks or only in some specific ones? Is creativity in the arts different from creativity in science or math? Do people who generate good ideas when crafting a story also stand out when explaining scientific phenomena?
The debate about the generality or the specificity of creativity has been intense. On the one hand, the first theories of creativity understood it from a general domain , which assumes that the creative subject is creative in all areas. Creative performance is assumed to be generalizable and transferable from one domain to another.
On the other hand, there is currently a commitment to domain-specific creative . Thus, a subject who is creative in a certain area, such as when making a drawing, may not be creative when writing a text.
Is creative thinking taught?
Today creative thinking is in fashion. It has been included as a new evaluable competence in the international framework of PISA. Specifically, the creative thinking assessment in PISA includes two thematic content areas with their respective domains:
- creative expression. Domains: written expression and visual expression.
- Knowledge creation and creative problem solving. Domains: social problem solving and scientific problem solving.
However, that creative thinking already appeared in reading literacy, as defined by PISA and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement International Study for the Progress of Reading Comprehension .
In these definitions, the task of understanding the text is associated with the idea of constructing and creating meanings. Also included is the idea of developing personal potential through reading and engaging with texts.
Based on the above, can we talk about verbal creativity?
The reading intertext
The use of language implies the ability to generate ideas and use the imagination. However, creativity is not only involved in linguistic expression skills. It is also essential in receiving skills. In fact, it is possible to speak of a creative level in the process of reading comprehension and interpretation.
Verbal creativity allows anticipating and anticipating the details of a novel, through dialogue and interaction with the text itself by its author. The reader is capable of recreating a text and elaborating meanings, in order to complete its reading, which is not closed until the reception process is completed. All text needs to be updated by its reader.
In this sense, the concept of reading intertext is of great relevance in the creative process of verbal domain. The reading intertext is the meeting space for the contributions of the text with those of the reader. For this reason, the previous experiences of the reader, their context and their literary knowledge are of interest in the understanding and interpretation of the text.
The reading we write in our head
Creative writing activities help establish a playful and aesthetic relationship with language. Creative writing workshops are a tool to promote reading.
It highlights the meaning of “writing the reading” in The whisper of language by the French philosopher and semiotician Roland Barthes. This author refers to the text that we write in our head every time we pick it up from the read book. The reader’s thoughts represent a supplement of meaning.
For this reason, special importance must be given to the creative expressions that arise from reading. The creative process allows us to become part of the story. Also extract significant learning from our reading activity.
Educate in creativity
At present, creativity must be understood as a factor of great repercussion in education, for the following reasons:
- Being creative is the key to success in life.
- Being creative is a must in a constantly changing world.
- Creating implies generating new ideas.
- We are all potentially creative.
- Creativity is the original way in which individuals face the resolution of daily problems.
- The practice of creative tasks fosters the development of identity, academic performance, professional future and social participation.
The connections between language and creativity, and the practice and development of verbal creativity can and should be part of formal learning in schools and colleges. Teaching reading and writing in a creative way can contribute to better training in all areas of life.
Author Bios: Maria Isabel de Vicente-Yagüe Jara is Professor of Didactics of Language and Literature and Olivia Lopez Martinez is Professor of Educational Psychology both at the University of Murcia