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Critical and Reflective Learning Journal – How am I becoming more creative?

  • Category:
    Literature
  • Document type:
    Assignment
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
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University of Canberra

Faculty of Business & Government

Unit Number:

ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET

Lecturer/Tutor’s Name:

Diane Phillips

Tutorial (Day/Time):

Critical and Reflective Learning Journal—How am I Becoming More Creative

Introduction

Based on workshop activities, self-reflection, reading blogs, reading reviews and reflexivity and logical reasoning, this task assesses how I have become more creative in terms of evaluation and analysis of issues. The workshop reflection on days 1 and 3 were particularly a great breakthroughs and critical discoveries in terms of science, art and innovation which have resulted in combining creative and critical thinking. I have further noticed, from these workshops that there are different approaches between the skills and creative thinking and those applied in critical thinking. This has made me enrich and deepen your my learning experiences. In addition to this, the application of brainstorming in the group that we divided has improved my becoming more creative and critical thinking skills and as a result benefitted from problem solution to decision making. However, these levels do not end at this point; instead, I am becoming creative in multifaceted ways including the points discussed below.

Related to this, integration of the picture ‘colorful thinking man’ is a reflection to me that becoming more and more creative in thinking is that I am now arriving at innovative ways of seeing and thinking. To me, I am now seeing myself that creative thinking is making me embody a relaxed, open and playful approach in seeing artistic, philosophical and scientific things in the environment. Just like McFadzean (2015) noted, developing creative ways means that I will require to take some risks as there is chance that as I aspire to be more and more creative I will be making mistakes.

Based on reading reviews, I have applied theories of creativity and problem solving and improvisation that now form critical part of my thinking and creativity. To begin with, there is no single theory or model that can be used to satisfactorily explain the idea of creativity or creativity in solving problems owing to the fact that the aspect of creativity has become multifaceted and originate from different disciplines. Based on these understanding, my becoming of more creative has been pegged on two different approaches. Firstly, I am now becoming more and more critical in the approach for issues in the sense that I am now looking for many possible answers rather than just focusing on one answer as it has been before. This development in critical assessment of issue has been influenced by these theories and Day four (4) workshop activities where an opportunity was presented to evaluate issues from the environment so that findings could be reported back to school. The second approach that has made me more and more creative is that I am now not judging ideas early in the process instead; I am treating all ideas as if they may contain the seeds of something potentially useful. This view was supported by McFadzean (2015) who noted that the best way to become more and more creative is by treating every information and clue special while solving problems. This approach is related to the question that the teacher asked as during Day 4 workshop reflection ‘What do you want to be in the future in regards to your creative self? Based on this question, the answer that I can now provide is the creativity that I have now amassed. That is, I am want to become someone learning from what has not worked for others as well as what has worked so that from the two I will develop creative way of solving problems from multifaceted ways. Just like it was once said, I have become more creative, based on different workshops and reading reviews that there is no need to become right all the time as this will be the biggest prohibitive factor to new ideas and ways of exploring options. Instead, I am realizing that it is better to have enough or the needed ideas for some of them to be wrong than to be always right by having no ideas. While this views was first brought by Edward de Bono in his analysis of ‘Six Thinking Hats’ it applies to my gathered experience in observing issues critically.

Becoming more creative has been influenced by the fact that now I am able to keep ideas book. It is apparent from different resource materials that inspiration can strike at any given time. On the same note, ideas are able to slip away very easily if some resource materials, inspirations and lessons learnt are not put into practice. Currently, am developing on this to become more creative by further being critical in the process of learning. Based on the resource materials like the reflective journal prompts, I now note that attitudes are necessary for my development of creativity, for example, seeing problem as interesting acceptable, seeing hurdles as leading to improvements and solutions and confronting challenge are some of the areas that I have become creative in. In summary, I am now more critical in my observation of issues and learning, looking for different independent sources of materials and inspiration materials that have been covered in the course as well as outside the course. As a result, I am becoming more and more creative because my extensive learning is now creating more new questions than answers regarding everything that I see and conceive. What is captivating about the materials and reflective learning or workshop activities is that I can now be creative in class, that I can now say something wise based on my experience or on the basis of materials or literatures that I have read. I can now show my creativity, I can create a theory which can be adopted by other students or which can be discussed further by my colleagues. That is, I am becoming more and more creative because I no longer based my ideas only on a concrete bibliography or literature materials instead, I base my ideas on critical discussion and engagement of critical thinking in articulations of issues. This new development in creativity and critical thinking has been supported by Gomez (2007) who found that becoming creative is achieved by forming a strong or solid ground for critical perspectives.

Currently, I have become creative more creative because practical issues are offering me the opportunity to solve them and as a result I am now approaching them with critical arguments reflecting on different theories that have discussed in my class. In some cases, I realize that my experience is making more sense when I look at these problems in light of these theories. A practical case is the workshop day three experiences where I had to come up with an idea for assessment regarding recycled items—screws and some string, and when built I would be able to hangs things on it. This is a level of creativity that I have now taken a step further. In summary, now that I have been engaged in different workshops, creative writings, articulations of issues and reading different literature materials I feel that I can think about my own actions and put these actions into meaningful actions and that will change a thing or two. For instance, I can independently think and evaluate the good and bad things about schooling, community involvement and need to solve issues in the community critically or from evidence base. This is exactly a case where I am now applying the aspect of learning to think on multiple levels, ways and with multiple intelligences as we were taught in class. Becoming more and more creative according to Proctor (2010) is to apply critical thinking. Critical thinking on the other hand requires that students questioning truisms, raising doubts, investigating situations, and probing alternatives. This is what I have been able to develop in me since I have been able to grow the ability to have logical arguments, not afraid of crossing the convectional line or fighting the right to my own opinion provided that those opinion are evidence based and they have been critically thought and articulated in a manner that do not contravene the already existing facts.

The answer to how I am becoming creative can best be answered by the fact that I have changed as a result of different studies and field works that I have undertaken. I now have the reasons to ask questions regarding things that before these lessons and interactions with literature materials I had taken for granted. My creativity can be measured by the fact that I can now question different moral concepts and things that are related to moral ways of doing things. Definitely, these levels of creativity have been developing with time and throughout my studies and participations that I have been taking with regard to reading reviews and reflective learning. For instance, the colouring process in the creative journal workshop that I undertook in Day 1 involved differentiation by attaching pen to the center of glasses making an artist to be able to draw an art work that is unique by the fact they did it by their head. At first, I would take that this level of artistic interaction with nature was taking place may be because artists were good at their works. However, my level of creativity has gone a notch higher than this and as a result, I am not seeing it that blindly instead, I am finding connections between concepts, asking relevant questions, and solving personal, professional, and academic problems relating to the idea of colouring as observed in the workshop. Just like Proctor (2010) observed, it is possible to understand the extent one has become creative from the first point if one reflects and asks questions such as “have you noticed any changes in your own behavior and attitudes?” Secondly, unlike previously when I had not taken the studies and social interactions with nature and people through workshop I can now pose these kind of reasoning during self-reflection, “Where am I seeing myself in real life after studies? To what extent are the concepts, principles, values, practices, objectives, people, or efforts introduced in the reports, reflective learning or workshop changes my observation about nature and life in general?” The point is, by now things cannot be just true or false and I take that as I am being told or reading. Instead I have been creative in assessing ways in which such statements can be justified based on the already gathered facts that the nature can offer. Creatively, I am now able to ascertain problems, hypothesize possible courses of action, apply appropriate solutions, and evaluate outcomes from the ‘true’ or ‘false’ options that nature can provide to me.

At the moment I have already taken lessons and studies about reflective learning and writing. The process of reflection particularly one which based on my personal life, has provided an opportunity to make me understand the level of creativity that I have gained thus far. Currently, I can argue that as far as how much I have become creative is concerned, I have the ability to carry self-evaluation by observing the general ways of thinking and talking about reflective learning as far as academic discourse is concerned. For instance, I am more concerned with the positive role the process of undertaking the discourse will bring rather than possible difficulties one can interact with when learning. It simply means being able to apply what Dewey (1933) said when he argued that creativity is entangled within reflective thinking when we certainly develop the ability to give serious and persistent consideration to a subject in order to act deliberately and intentionally rather than routinely and impulsively.

I understand that creative thinking are taking different forms however, as far as assessing how much I am becoming creative then it is possible to respond that mine direction has constantly been taking the direction proposed by Edward De Bono whereby now am able to use different designs that has now enabled me to explore possibilities of uncertain or unknown situations. For me, I am now becoming creative in an unrestricted way. Relating this view with activities that I have been undertaking, drawings for example, now makes it possible to integrate the drawings and paintings observed to help improve my literary skills. This is one area that has shaped how I have become creative. This view has been supported by Copeland (2005) who observed that one way of ascertaining how one has become creative is when the person is able to sense and feel situation which may not be physically present and further, the person being able to explore ways in which they behave and develop in their mind’s eye. I relate this definition to the story of the boy I created in workshop day three,

There once was a boy, his mother asked him to get some water from the river with the kitchen utensils. He first tried the spatula but it was just too flat, he then tries all the items until he gets to the soup ladle and it is just perfect. “Mum I got the water”, ‘good job but did you put the lid you put the kitchen utensils back on the rack.’

While the story above was mine based on the kitchen utensils, it was a creation that helps in understanding how I have developed in terms of creativity. It means that at the moment, I engage in activities that require creative thinking, being able to design stories that would ask people to design materials or activities that will provoke their thinking. This story further shows that as far as my creativity is concerned, I can design tasks or activities that will need another person to apply critical thinking so as to solve them correctly. One important aspect to gauge whether one is becoming creative is when such a person is able to take control of their thinking and learning through making different choices. Currently, this is what I have developed and putting it within the correct context, the story above, coupled with different songs and poems that I have reviewed I am now independent in creations of issues meaning that the level of on-task concentration has now improved. This is what Paul and Elder (2004) term as creativity in analysis of issues when he added that, “they do not take an egotistical view of the world. They are open to new ideas and perspectives. They are willing to challenge their beliefs and investigate competing evidence.” (p. 102).

Conclusions

This learning journal has undertaken critical review on various aspects regarding how I am becoming more creative. Based on the reflection it is possible that creativity has been motivating me in my current studies to take fellow students seriously, to approach some of them and to create that relationship to all of them. That is, I am now able to support them with issues that require creativity or critically in reasoning. They can now get some concepts and rational reasoning from my answers or participation on class related materials or tasks. Secondly, while many of the ideas generated may not be feasible, it is possible that by removing practical constraints, an idea will surface that I can mold into a workable solution.

References

Copeland, M., 2005. Socratic circles: Fostering critical and creative thinking in middle and high school. Stenhouse Publishers.

Gomez, J 2007, «What Do We Know About Creativity?» The Journal of Effective Teaching, vol. 7, no. 1, pp31-43

McFadzean, E 2015, “Enhancing creative thinking within organisations,” Management Decision, vol 38 no 5, pp.309-325

Paul, R. and Elder, L., 2004. Critical and creative thinking. Dillon Beach, CA: The Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Proctor, T 2010, Creative problem solving for managers: Developing skills for decision making and innovation, Routledge, New York