Edinburgh Napier University: ENroute Yearbook 2018 Edition - Page 13

ENroute Yearbook 2017-18 Helping to Understand Creativity Ron O’Donnell, School of Arts and Creative Industries, Fellow A product is creative when it is (a) novel and (b) appropriate. A novel product is original not predictable. The bigger the concept, and the more the product stimulates further work and ideas, the more the product is creative. Sternberg & Lubart, Defying the Crowd The value of creative thinking (creative process) is fundamental to all learners and, in photography, it is an essential feature of the process. It is no longer the case that photographers just take photographs, they have to be innovators, understanding the needs of, and how to progress in, a competitive marketplace. Understanding creativity is an important tool in formulating creative ideas. In teaching a Photo Constructed module to second year undergraduates, creativity is an important concept but challenging. How do you engage students in this process? A strategy for understanding this important concept is not to teach it, but to participate in the module with the students. The unique feature of this concept is for the lecturer to disseminate the module project, set the parameters and goals, and also produce an outcome as if the lecturer were a student. This encourages students to ask in discussion groups “how is your project progressing?”, instigating valuable debate on various approaches to the creative process, intersecting with academic writing on the creative process. This debate introduces students to the notion of a system to navigate the creative process, and research academic papers on creative processes. As a consequence of this, students have more confidence in their practice and are less inhibited when working in the studio. For creative students, this is a stimulating exercise, for student’s first introduction to this form of free creativity it seems an invaluable lesson in what is possible. 11