Do we over ‘process’ and scaffold creative opportunities?

I went to the TED opening night, cinema event, last week and it left my mind whiring in the wee hours of the morning. Not the usual worries and hashing out of upcoming Open to Learning Conversations either! This was all positive ideas and thoughts, so thank you TED!

One of the talks was by the band OK Go, of the zero gravity music video fame, among others. They talked about their creative process, which they said was hard to describe but was not – think up idea, plan, go back to the ideas phase and refine, new plan, create. Instead, they discussed spending lots of time playing with ideas in their metaphorical sandpit.

I, personally, like the linear model they presented. It works for my more sequential way of doing things. I also like the Design Thinking model and became particularly attached to the simplicity and versatility of the Stonefields School learning model during my time there.

However, I wonder if we allow children enough time in the sand pit at the start of such a process… or do we over scaffold or over process things, thereby removing all the excitement, wonderment and creativity? Though these things have their place, how much play and exploration is there in a KWL chart or a brainstorm on the board, for instance?


2 thoughts on “Do we over ‘process’ and scaffold creative opportunities?

  1. Thanks for the post Emma. You have given me some food for thought. I agree with your wondering of whether we provide enough sandpit time. Often we plan, quickly assess prior knowledge, then shift into the learning as soon as we can. Yet do we consider the learner who may possibly need more time to ‘kick a few tyres’? Can all our learners access their prior knowledge quickly enough, in order for us to provide scaffolding at an appropriate point? Or, as you say, should we wait; allowing time to play and explore so that they can form some questions of their own. Then let the support and learning begin.

    1. Yes, I wonder if we value ‘sandpit’ time as valuable learning time too… I know for myself that, in my continued efforts to learn to cook better, I’m forever in the sandpit, trying things out. I consider this real and meaningful learning. I also think of preschoolers, being the ultimate scientists – exploring, forming hypotheses, testing ideas out and certainly learning… The question is, what does/could this look like in schools? Do we put too many processes in place, thereby squashing potential learning or excitement about the learning? Or is the process necessary to help children learn to learn?

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