7 Stages of Creativity

A professor and artist who lost the ability to draw and to speak through traumatic brain injury finds his voice as a proponent of creativity.

In an inspiring and informative 15 minute lecture called, “7 steps of creative thinking: Raphael DiLuzio at TEDxDirigo” explores how the creative process unfolds and how that knowledge can help us nurture the process.  This is a TED talk in Maine.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and TED events are conferences for “ideas worth sharing.”

According to Professor DiLuzio, 7 stages of creativity are described by Murray Gelman, a nobel laureate physicist.

This is my summary of Professor DiLuzio’s presentation of Gelman’s 7 stages of creativity.
I believe these stages can be shared with students, engaged in ourselves and related to the simple process of sharing our crazy ideas, connections and inspirations that can lead to insight, creative connections and deeper learning.

Stage 1: find/ ask/ pose/ realize a question or a problem that needs to be overcome.  Frame a question.  This can be a simple question about what is being learned, or a question that is raised by the learning.

Stage 2: engage in research.  Research is second nature to us – like a baby putting everything in its mouth.  Check out the world / try different things, experience the world and gather info around that question.  Look into your question.   Don’t be afraid to admit that you have questions.

Stage 3: When you stop researching – Enough is enough moment.  Time for the student to stop inputting new info.

Stage 4: Gestation – hold that question. Enter into a state of detachment.  Let it stew.  Keep the question in the back of your mind.  Do something different, think of other things, approach the question through metaphor – what would the question look like if it was a tree?  Visualize the problem as something else – mesh intuition and empiricism.  Operate with fearlessness of imagination like an artist.  DiLuzio says, “Invention is part of our primal being.”

Stage 5: Eureka moment (flash of idea – a song, a connection, how to fix something, how to handle a problem).  It is very important to write Eureka moments down – we do not give them enough importance.  You may just have a Eureka moment about what you are stewing on, or something related…. or something that leads back to your original question.

Stage 6: Process of making – bringing the idea into being – stage of fear, “what will people think?” “I’d rather have eloquent failure than boring success.”  Engage people who can help.  Talk about the elements you don’t think you can handle with those you think can handle that element.

Stage 7: Testing and criticism – share it.  See what other people think.  Bring it into the world.

The stages may come in different order – allow yourself to keep track of the stages – what stage you are in and to acknowledge the process because it may open you up to engaging in the process more frequently and losing some fear about creativity.

Value ideas.  DiLuzio asks us to, “Keep them, make them and share them.”  It may make it easier for your students to value their own ideas and connections and inspirations if you value their ideas, connections and inspirations first.  Encourage creative participation in your class.

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