I stumbled across two articles that really resonated with me. Here and here. The latter of those two articles, from GIBS review, has a great quote about art and business that, I think, can be applied to educational blogging.
“The arts discipline is emerging as a role model for business.
Writing, reflecting, collaborating,…it’s an art and it can lead to great innovations.”
As I talk to those in corporate training I sense that educational blogging – writing (and expressing ideas in other forms), reflecting, and collaborating – is not taken too seriously. It’s a hard sell – both to employers and employees. Generally employers don’t pay people to write and reflect and employees can’t envision writing and reflecting about their work. ‘What should I write? they’ll ask.
I can probably track down many companies that are having great success with educational blogging – this art of writing, reflecting, and collaborating – but it’s not mainstream by a long shot. Why? Maybe this….
Skills that utilise intuition, inspiration and active imagination haven’t found a home within the corporate world. â€œMany employees have equally separated their love of creativity and the arts, and a chasm exists between their right and left brains.
Aah…this stirs up that oft cited concept that children are more imaginative, more artistic, than adults. True? An older position paper, “The Child’s Right to Creative Thought and Expression,” for the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) by Mary Renck Jalongo, says:
To be imaginative means that a person formulates rich and varied mental images, sees beyond the obvious, and draws upon experience in inventive and effective ways.
Adults may have the advantage when it comes to storing and retrieving information, drawing upon experience, and making judgments about what is appropriate and effective. Fishkin (1998) uses the term “germinal creativity” as a preferred descriptor for budding creativity in children. While germinal creativity produces unique ideas, the child may not yet have the ability to execute them well or communicate them clearly to others.
Why pursue writing, reflection, and collaborative learning in the workplace? In a word: innovation. An article in the GIBS review, The Art of Work is a great read that helps answer that question.
Art clearly stimulates and preserves business. It therefore makes sense for business to stimulate and preserve art. Art embodies diverse interpretations of how we see the world. It opens our minds, tempts creativity and inspires new ideas.
It’s the collaboration/innovation link that resonates most with me. I would not write here in this space if not for the collaborative nature of the conversation, the creative and diverse opinions of the community, and the support.
In the past, in the present, and in the future, our most enlightened visions of education will be connected by the common thread of imagination, creative thought, and enhanced opportunities for creative expression. As we look ahead, it will no doubt be possible to trace society’s greatest innovations and achievements back to an abiding respect for creative thought processes during childhood. For when we value creative thinking and creative expression in society, it becomes part of our social consciousness and social capital. Society then protects its reserves of creativity by fashioning networks of support that are capable of instilling confidence, promoting resilience, and multiplying ways of being intelligent in every person, commencing in childhood and continuing throughout the lifespan.
In the GIBS article, Linda Naiman believes “with an increased focus on the arts, corporations can overcome many major obstacles, including diversity, cross-group collaboration, and work/life balance.” She also says:
A shared art experience in an environment of trust and freedom enhances our sense of belonging and creates a crucible for deep conversation from which caring, camaraderie and genius-level thinking emerge.
I like Naiman’s description of the process mining group gold.I certainly have witnessed some genius-level thinking in the little group some of us refer to as the edublogosphere. And I’m grateful.