Time for Creativity?

timeforcreativityHow much time does it take to be creative? Is ten seconds enough? Ten minutes? This short video, from Café Communications, looks at what happens when students are given a bit more time for creative tasks. Take a look.

It made me think, how many times do we do that with students? “It’s time for creative writing–ready, set, go!” or “You have the next ten minutes to work on your projects.” For that matter, how many times do I do that to myself?

Sometimes we hear that schools need a quick pace and tight deadlines to prepare students for the “real world.” But even in deadline-heavy businesses, Amabile suggests that the most important thing businesses can do to enhance creative productivity is to provide time and space for it to develop.

On the other hand, I know that deadlines, and particularly, deadlines that include a sense of audience–a book deadline, a science fair, an invention convention–can provide impetus for creative ideas. And so, like so many times in life, we look for balance. We need just enough time for creativity–enough for flexible thinking, and not so much the task feels endless. Wouldn’t it be interesting to show this video to students and see what they think about when they need extra time and when they need deadlines to be their most creative? It would make a great 10-minute lesson, and I’d love to hear what you learn.

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