Have you ever wondered where creativity comes from?
According to a popular view, creativity is a product of the brain’s right hemisphere. Innovative people are considered right-brain thinkers while left-brain thinkers are thought to be analytical and logical. Is there, however, any evidence for this myth when mathematics is a profoundly creative endeavour, in addition to being a logical one?
At Capulum College we believe that trust and play foster creativity and confidence. That creativity comes from many sources, including socialising, problem solving and play, and is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. There is a strong emphasis on play because play fosters confidence and enables children to make sense of their world. Children possess a natural curiosity to explore – and play acts as a medium to do so.
The definition of play includes:
- being pleasurable and enjoyable,
- having no extrinsic goals; there is no prescribed learning that must occur,
- being spontaneous and voluntary,
- involving active engagement on the part of the player,
- involving an element of make-believe.
Did you know Prince changed the song, Purple Rain dramatically after Wendy Melvoin started playing the guitar to accompany the song. Wendy is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter, best known for her work with Prince, as part of his backing band The Revolution. Then the entire band started playing. The musicians played for six hours straight and by the end of that day they had the music written and arranged. ‘Play’ produced total sales of about 25 million copies worldwide, making Purple Rain one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Taking inspiration from a video clip of The Beatles – Paul, John, George and Ringo – creating the hit song Get Back, Damon, in his column Damon’s Brain, highlights the outcome of ‘play’ when the pop group was under pressure to create a new hit. “What struck me about The Beatles was how they worked,” writes Damon. “They were almost always joking around but focused. Relaxed, yet slightly on edge. They were in no rush but when something stuck, they suddenly became aligned. Even Ringo had this weird way of suddenly playing the drums when an idea started to take shape.”
The Beatles needed a song. Paul started with no idea about what to do. “This is what every creative does,” continues Damon. Paul started to play around and strummed something with no words. He believed there was something there, but he didn’t know what it would be. “Nobody in that clip has any idea where things are going. There is no data. There is no proof. Just trust,” adds Damon.
And trust is a powerful word. It’s what special-needs learners need – and what they get from professional remedial teachers. Testament to this comes in the form of the following recently received letters.
“This serves to confirm receipt of the Owethu’s Term 4 report. As parents, we would like to thank Jenni and the Capulum College family for making sure that Owethu settles well at the school. You have really helped him a lot to regain his confidence. It is our wish to keep working together with you even next year.”
“Thank you to you all at Capulum College for all the effort and hard work that each and every one of you put into helping Hannah-Joy complete her Grade 12, despite the many difficulties presented – both from her learning challenges as well as from the present world climate that each and everyone presently finds themselves in. Hannah-Joy and I will be forever grateful for the persistent belief and trust in her abilities and the amazing support that we have been given in the past couple of years. We truly appreciate each and every person’s contribution in her journey and mine.”