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Channelling Creativity

26 March 2012

I was part of a Royal Society working group producing the report “Brainwaves  - Neuroscience and implications for education and lifelong learning”. Having heard from the scientists directly, I’m cautious about claims for the potential of advances in neuroscience to instantly change the world. However, I was interested to read about the “lightbulb” moment and the idea that a specific area of the brain could be detected in the act of a particularly creative moment. This is because I’ve been thinking about creativity – both in terms of science education and in taking ASE forward.

As you may already know, we’re looking forward to ASE’s  50th anniversary year and there are plans afoot for the year’s festivities. As we do so, I notice that something remarkable is happening and I’d like to capitalise on it. A couple of years ago, a new government came in and the proposed changes to the primary curriculum were scrapped. I noticed then, that there was a core of confident and committed primary teachers who, completely unfazed by the uncertain situation, got on with creating imaginative learning experiences for the children, introducing exciting new projects into their science.

In the similarly uncertain scenario presented by austere times, the sheer fact of needing to save money can stultify thinking. I understand how the overwhelming need to balance the books can prevent one from thinking about anything else. But organisations like ASE depend and thrive on imaginative thought – on creative solutions and exciting new ways of supporting teachers and science.

So it has been fantastic to see, with staff internally, and with members and stakeholders, that as the plans come together for the Anniversary year, our thinking has suddenly been freed up. With a new focus, brilliant ideas are coming along, all without installing multi-coloured bean bags at ASE’s HQ!

As this blog goes live on ASE’s website, I’ll be on my way to Indianapolis for the National Science Teachers Assocation's Annual Conference. I will be blogging from there a few times during my stay. I’m looking forward to meeting our American friends again, as we’re always impressed by their welcome – and I’ll be interested to see how they’re coping creatively with difficult times.

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