Calvin and Hobbes crack me up! I was reminded of them when I saw the documentary film Dear Mr. Watterson by Joel Schroeder. (http://www.dearmrwatterson.com/DMW/dearmrwatterson.html)
I think Bill Watterson and his characters are quite creative, so I thought I’d share a strip that cracks me up as a teacher (and a student!). It’s published in There’s Treasure Everywhere – one of many Calvin and Hobbes books I own and enjoy. Even the title is fab!
Ok, now, before other teachers (or creativity researchers) crank and kvetch that Calvin isn’t REALLY being creative because his innovation isn’t useful in this application, let me say I get it! I understand that definition of creativity, but I LOVE Calvin’s possibility thinking (Anna Craft), his notion of loopholes, and his desire to use them. That sense of possibility, of playfulness, of seeing and using loopholes, of reckless abandon, of seeing and creating the new – that is important and useful!
Do I think Calvin needs to learn a bit of prudence? Yes, of course — though it would make his character much less amusing — but prudence cannot come at the cost of possibility thinking or illumination.
Illumination – that AHA! moment — and evaluation (prudence) — are two distinctly different things. Both are valuable and both must be given encouragement, thought, space and time. And, both must be celebrated!
So, one of my goals as a teacher is to encourage creativity, possibility noticing and thinking, dreaming, playfulness, and risk taking, while also teaching, and encouraging evaluation.
Oh, and I also hope to be open to those times when my question actually asks to be interpreted creatively! Cause really, read the question before Calvin once more. Didn’t he do what was asked? Hmmm ….