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Friday, October 24, 2014

Malmo, the workshop on creativity

Coaching and the creative mind
Just as the world of Coaching broadens and deepens its involvement into social issues such as Recovery and Education (the coaching of teachers for example), my concern is that this is just an attempt to clean up a mess rather than avoiding it, and its consequences, in the first place.
So my talk addressed the issue of creativity and how this God given gift is threatened and virtually eliminated during childhood. And the paradox is that, currently, respected institutions such as the RSA and the TED series and business and industry everywhere are pleading the necessity of creativity in our daily and working lives, at the same time as (in UK) they have decided to test children at the age of 4 and 5 for competence in reading and arithmetic. (And its laughable and ironic that the younger the age at which they decide to force this tyranny on children, the worst their performance becomes.)
So I took my group at conference back to the age of seven in their imaginations and it is astounding how easily adults can and want to make this imagined leap. They are tired of being adults and want to play and laugh and work together...........And this is what happened.
They plundered materials, pushed each other aside, made a mess and produced images which were indeed almost exactly the sort of image children of that age would make. And how do kids of that age draw and paint? Why, exactly as their teachers have instructed. Shouldn't you put some birds in the sky Susan, and shouldn't your mummy be in the picture too? Dangerous stuff, because this interference programmes the child to conform and seek praise.
Here I showed them a short clip about parents and teachers in Australia who leave their kids alone to paint without any judgement or interference-

look------- Aelita Andre painting

Then I launched the group into drawing and painting ferociously on the floor, turned them into animals with face paint and introduced them to their daemons (mystic creatures which watch over us and our creativity in our lives) and most importantly of all, watched them plunge into the parallel world of the Creative Collective; (what I call the garden of NOW) those magical currents of genius which await us always, if we were but awake enough to see.
Here I showed them a video of a murmuration, this is the Autumn flight of starlings in Europe where they fly in thousands making art in the sky and I likened this to the feeling and thrill humans get too when they combine their creative minds and work as one. That you do not lose any individuality when you work together with others. On the contrary, the experience heightens individuality and creativity.

Look------- murmuration

The talk was all, and more , of this ilk but essentially it was a plea for Coaching to address creativity and about my intention to launch in 2015 a training course, in a small way at first, for those who wish to become Creativity Coaches; to take themselves firstly into the collective genius and to learn how to open this wonder to others.
Finally, it was a plea too (and this I hope to address in an Education Group with Martin Richards)
to launch a sort of underground concept/movement, 50:50 I might call it, which sees the value of both creative and rational learning as being of equal value; essentially play and innovation. Not as separate divided issues but merely representative of the two sides of human nature which should in no way be in conflict but instead blend and flow together.
Kids love this sort of learning
Teachers would too.
But keep politicians away!

To see Micheal's focus session at Malmo, click here

Michael Eldridge.

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