Thursday, June 25, 2009

Do Schools Kill Creativity...?

One of the things I've loved about the past few summers, as I mentioned in a recent post, is the down time from classes to read books of various topics that my class schedule, not to mention work and life, don't always leave much room for.

As such, Mr. USPS just dropped off my box of goodies. There's just something about getting an Amazon box in the mail. It always makes me warm and fuzzy deep down inside. (Strange I know, but it's true).

One of the books bundled up is one that I've had in my "wishlist" for some time now eagerly waiting to purchase and read. It's Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Ken Robinson. Ken Robinson is an expert on creativity and education.

Below, is one of my favorite videos by Ken Robinson. In his presentation at TEDSir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He presents ways in which our current educational systems actually "kill creativity," rather than nurture it. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

I think many of the principles embedded in this talk extend well beyond the range of childhood and school systems to the everyday fabrics of our lives, particularly to those who are parents and communicators, or simply human.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Father with Imagination...

I love to play with my kids... 

...And, I do it ALOT! 

Obviously, some things are more fun than others, but I've discovered pretty much anything can become a blast, if I simply become fully-present in the moment, push pause on all the things that beg for me head-space, and release a little creative imagination...

Last week, I saw the movie Imagine That. From the moment I watched the preview, I was hooked. The movie is a great reminder of the significant influence that is present when a father is fully-present to the moments of life with his children, not to mention the power of creativity, imagination and communication. 

The following highlights a clip from the movie, along with a few father's day thoughts...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Drawn into the Story...

Two weeks ago I finished up my last class for the semester. The past nine-months of classes have been pretty reading intensive. Averaging about a book every week (sometimes two, if we're lucky), is quite a bit for me to keep up with.

As such, the past couple of years, I've come to look forward to the summer break in order to read the accumulating books on my have-not-yet-read shelf in my office. This week, as I traveled to Texas I picked up two books. One of them was from this shelf, the other was a lighter read from C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

On the plane, as I was reading, I was struck by one of the opening scenes. It's the scene where Eustace Scrubb and Lucy and Edmund Pevensive stare at a picture on a wall of a Narnian ship when suddenly the picture draws them into a whole new world.

Suddenly the picture on the wall comes alive and they begin to feel the breeze, smell the air, and hear sounds. The kids are magically drawn into the painting and find themselves in the waters, where they are helped into a boat with the enticing name The Dawn Treader. These kids, now in a new reality, travel to distant lands looking for the seven lost lords of Narnia. At the end of their adventures they find a lamb that turns into Aslan…

This is the sort of adventure with the bible that we are looking for, the adventure of staring at the Bible’s words on paper only to find ourselves drawn into the story itself.

The following is another favorite clip of my on this matter from the movie The Tale of Despaux.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Christ Plays in Ten-Thousand Places

Every month Christian Audio sponsors a free audio book download.

This month's feature is Christ Plays in Ten-Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson. Below is the sites write up on the book.

Christ Plays in Ten-Thousand Places reunites spirituality and theology in a cultural context where these two vital facets of Christian faith have been rent asunder. This foundational book, in a four-volume series on spiritual theology emerging from Peterson’s pen, provides the conceptual and directional help we all need to live the Christian gospel well and maturely in the conditions that prevail in the church and world today.