These are my notes from Dr. John Feaver’s opening remarks at the Oklahoma A+ Schools Conference on August 1, 2008: Getting to the Heart of Creativity. Dr. Feaver is the President of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, and the chairman of the education committee of The Oklahoma Creativity Project. I recorded this session, Dr Feaver gave me permission to share his remarks, and I share that later as a podcast. These are quick, unedited notes, MY REFLECTIONS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

We are managers of learning

We need to provide competent and comprehensive educational opportunities for our students

what requires us to think creativity?

how do we inculcate creativity in our students?

Don’t ask me. I’ve spent my life in the academy and I have not arrived at a formula.

I THINK THERE IS A GOOD ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION. A+ SCHOOLS. THE A+ SCHOOLS INSTRUCTIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND WHOLE-SCHOOL REFORM APPROACH TO ARTS-INTEGRATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM IS A SPECIFIC, RESEARCH-SUPPORTED METHOD TO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT CREATIVITY WITH STUDENTS.

A number of conditions must be present. (I won’t go into those today.)

It must take in the processes of the mind, how the mind works. Those range between extremes, absolutes, polar opposites: order and disorder, engagement and disengagement, control and freedom, security and adventure. We range between those extremes

In between those you arrive at a point of balance where creativity is encouraged
– you arrive here through a process of wandering
– reject the worship at the altar of any of those extremes
– wandering with a joyful enthusiasm

wandering between clumps of data, information and knowledge in the effort to try and find relationships between those clumps
– connecting, disconnecting those clumps
– deconstructing and reconstructing them
– reconfiguring
– wandering

I LIKE THIS METAPHOR OF LEARNERS AS WANDERERS

A+ Schools has provided you with lots of “clumps today”
– I invite you to wander today among all these clumps of data, information and knowledge
– as you wander, you must have this as a frame of reference: You will share and inculcate it within your students

I DON’T PARTICULARLY LIKE THE WORD “INCULCATE.” I MET DR. FEAVER AFTER THIS SESSION AND WILL BE DELIGHTED TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO FOLLOW UP WITH HIM WITH REFERENCE TO THE OKLAHOMA CREATIVITY PROJECT AND SPECIFICALLY THE ADVOCACY POSSIBILITIES FOR EDUCATION COMMITTEE OF THE PROJECT.

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