A Response to “The Creativity Post’s,” The Educational Value of Creative Disobedience

I love when readers from all professions, not just education, explore their thinking, their own childhoods, ask the questions allowing many perspectives and possibilities as viable choices as we enter into this new time of educational shifts, tremendously affecting all of us.  Below is a response from Dana Herring after reading and reflecting upon the educational value of creative disobedience. The following article is also linked.


In this age of innovation, even more important than being an effective problem solver, is being a problem finder. It’s one thing to look at a problem and be able to generate a solution; it is another thing to be able to look at an ambiguous situation, and decide if there is a problem that needs to be solved. That’s a skill that isn’t really targeted by traditional teaching methods, and in fact, it is often discouraged. Rule-breaking , to an extent, should be tolerated and encouraged, and yes—even taught. To reach this end, we should be teaching and encouraging creative disobedience.

“The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers” –Jean Piaget


link to complete article!




Hi Lori-
Okay… please bear with me… I am awash with thoughts and ideas right now and I’d love to run some by you and get your feedback. This is all more of an existential, stream-of-consciousness type of rant, but with your background… I’d like to get your thoughts.
I started reading that article you posted and I can’t seem to get more than 3 sentences without underlining or circling or putting an asterisk beside it! I’m blown away! I see a lot of parallels in my own education, but in truth, I think almost anyone that was to read this article would find the same.
The first thing that really made an impact was her exhilaration at that uncomfortable moment of dissonance. It was like a punch right to my frontal lobe! She experienced it for the first time when her father couldn’t answer her question about black holes. However, in her article, she only applies it to that moment. The reason I say it was the first time is because of her reaction and how it changed her world. Regardless, it made me think of how many times in our life do we have that moment… that exhilaration… that moment of uncomfortable dissonance. Perhaps it’s something that we often classify as anticipation? I don’t know… I think the exhilaration of uncomfortable dissonance should maybe be coupled with an epiphany… that moment of realization… perhaps the dissonance is created by the collision of formerly held truths and the new reality that one is facing. Anyhow, I think about all of those times… how many go by unrecognized? Is it possible for someone to adapt their course if they don’t recognize the disparity between what they thought and what they face? I feel like this is the point where many people hold fast to a narrative, rather than adapt to the facts. They “stick with the devil they know”… if you will. I love that dissonance… and I love more that I now have a way to relate it! Well, maybe I shouldn’t say I love it, because I suppose that the same way it could enlighten one’s life… I suppose it could also destroy it… I think that is dependent upon the information.
Another thing that she mentioned was after the Hypothesis I/test group is explained. She asks the question as to what the one group of children really learned. Her answer… they learned to imitate. The first thing that popped into my mind was… what are the signs that this is a pervasive issue throughout our lives? Is it the same pattern and structures that create ‘mass appeal’, ‘majority rule’, ‘mob mentality’? Is it something that, if the individual doesn’t play a very specific and active role in their own learning and thought process… this is the result?
So I’ve only read up to Hypothesis II. I’ll take my lunch break tomorrow and continue on. I’d like your thoughts on one last idea, though. It was something that just started flowing through me as I was reading this and I actually had to stop reading and start scribbling it down on the back of my paper so I could try and capture it and work it out on the fly. As I’ve gotten older, obviously all my friends have, too. They’ve had kids and a lot of their kids are getting to be that age… you know… THAT age. The comment I am hearing more and more frequently is, “my kids are getting to the age that they think they know everything.” So here is my question: Which is worse… a kid/young adult/adolescent that thinks they know everything… or the parent/adult that thinks they know everything? Please forgive me because I’m still formulating this in my mind, but I’ll give you my thoughts so far. A child is developing experiences as they grow… experiences that they can use as relative measures as they continue forward in life. They have a single experience and suddenly “they know everything”. Adults scoff at that because they know that the kid has a lot of living to do (which is true)… but it seems that oftentimes what is inferred is that the kid has no clue and that WE do. I think in this case the adult is more “dangerous” (poor choice of word, but my vocabulary came up short for something better). The thing is… the child still has room to grow… to improve… to learn and experience and realize that there is so much more out there for them. It seems to be that so many adults have stagnated… that they’ve forgotten that they were once children with unlimited wonderment… not jaded by experience. What do we, as adults, really have on them? If we were to theoretically level the playing field and give the same level of knowledge to an adult and child… where would the discrepancy lie? I would be inclined to say experience. Experience, however, is situational and circumstantial. Our own personalities and characteristics flavor it individually and keep it from being truly universal. We adapt it to who we are and what we want to take from it. I guess my thoughts are that… as long as we allow ourselves room to grow… room to be wrong… room to adapt to our ever changing experiences… we will still be in tune with our children and pass on the notion that there is always something to learn… to acclimate to… that it’s okay to re-evaluate and revise.
Anyhow… as I said… it’s all a bit stream-of-consciousness. I hope that it makes some semblance of sense. I’m still processing it… consider this an outline… a theory.

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