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对创造力的狂热崇拜使我们变得缺乏创造力
2018-11-25 凌云朵朵 1261 10 1  

The cult of creativity is making us less creative

对创造力的狂热崇拜使我们变得缺乏创造力

 

You may have noticed that creativity is all the rage—and not just among artists. American culture, and indeed the world, has become obsessed with manufacturing creative kids, who will turn into inventive workers, who will then become the innovative leaders we need in these rapidly-changing times.

你可能已经注意到,创造力已经风靡一时,而且不仅仅是在艺术家之间。 美国文化,甚至整个世界,都痴迷于制造有创造力的孩子,他们将变成有创造力的工人,他们将成为我们在这个快速变化的时代所需要的创新领袖。

All this obsessing over creativity would be fine if we were actually good at fostering inventiveness. But as writer and teacher Diana Senechal points out in her new book Mind Over Memes, many schools and employers are going about it all wrong. By attempting to instill creativity, she argues, we end up killing it.

如果我们真善于培养创造力,那么对创造力的沉迷会很好,但正如作家兼教师戴安娜 辛妮切尔(Diana Senechal)在她的新书《理性战胜模因》(Mind Over meme) 中所指出的,许多学校和雇主的做法都是错误的,她认为,尝试培养创造力,我们最终会扼杀创造力。

As creativity is increasingly touted as the “premiere skill” of our time, Senechal argues, there’s little interest in just letting this ability develop independently. Instead, it is being quantified, dissected and tested, taught and measured.

辛妮切尔认为,随着创造力越来越多地被吹捧为我们这个时代的"首要技能",人们对于仅仅让这种能力独立发展几乎没有兴趣,相反,它被量化、分析、测试、教授和测量。

For example, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning—a collaboration between education, business, community, and government leaders in the US—insists that kids must be educated in the ability to think quick and come up with unusual solutions to respond to future employment in a transforming landscape. Similarly, the International Organization for Cooperation and Development, which generates data and research for policies that promote prosperity worldwide, argues that education today must be focused on cultivating and measuring creativity. Teaching, learning, and assessing creative and critical thinking skills will “help [students] succeed in modern, globalised economies based on knowledge and innovation.”

例如,"21世纪学习伙伴关系"( Partnership For 21st Century learning) 是美国教育界、商界、社区和政府领导人之间的合作项目,该组织坚持认为,孩子们必须接受教育,具备快速思考的能力,并能思考出不同寻常的解决方案,以应对转变中的未来就业。 

同样,为促进全球繁荣的政策提供数据和研究成果的国际合作与发展组织认为,今天的教育必须专注于培养和衡量创造力,教授、学习和评估创造性和批判性思维技能将 " 帮助[学生] 在基于知识和创新的现代化全球化经济中取得成功。"

In light of these institutional directives, schools and companies are intent on making creativity something that they can grow and harness. That means measuring it with tests and scoring inventiveness. High test scores may reveal the ability to brainstorm, Senechal says. But they don’t reveal the capacity to innovate, which takes patience.

辛妮切尔说,根据这些机构指令,学校和公司都致力于创造一些他们可以发展和利用的东西,这意味着用测试和评分来衡量创造力,高分数可能揭示头脑风暴的能力, 但是它们并没有显示出创新的能力,而创新是需要耐心的。

Senechal argues that no one can be creative without first learning about what came before. That involves a lot of study, thought, and practice—mastering the basics ahead of any dazzling innovations. Moreover, a dogmatic approach to creativity in institutions only stifles the very quality everyone claims to want to cultivate, she says. Senechal writes:

辛妮切尔认为,没有人能够在不先了解过去的情况下发挥创造力,这需要大量的学习、思考和实践ーー在任何令人眼花缭乱的创新之前必须先掌握基础知识。
此外,她表示,机构对创造性的教条主义做法,只会扼杀每个人都声称希望培养的品质,辛妮切尔写道:

Creativity cannot be institutionalized; the best way to promote it is to give it room and substance. An inventor creates new things not by “being creative”  but by finding new solutions to problems. That requires long, stubborn, springy work: a willingness to test something to the limit, even if no one else deems it relevant.

创造力不能制度化,促进创造力的最好办法是给它一定的空间和实质内容,发明家创造新事物不是靠"富有创造性",而是靠寻找新的问题解决方案,这需要长期的、顽强的、有弹性的工作:愿意去测试一些东西,即使没有人认为它有相关性。

A new slow thinking movement

一个新的缓慢思考的运动

Senechal doesn’t oppose the notion that creativity is important. Instead, she calls for a reframing of our understanding of this quality and how it is cultivated.
Invention is the result of a long process. Take making music, for example. Before musicians can write new songs, much less push the boundaries of their craft, they first have to figure out basics—how to play, scales, notes, chords, how other people’s songs go, and how those songs are composed. There is a lot of practice that comes before mastery and only after that can innovation happen. Ideas must germinate in knowledgeable soil. They benefit from deep consideration, and valuable concepts can’t be generated without a profound understanding of underlying principles.

辛妮切尔并不反对创造力是重要的这一观点,相反,她呼吁我们重新理解这种品质,以及它是如何培养的。
发明创造是一个漫长过程的结果,以制作音乐为例,在音乐家能够写出新歌之前,更不用说打破他们的专业界限了,他们首先必须弄清楚一些基本的东西ーー如何演奏、音阶、音符、和弦、其他人的歌曲是如何演奏的,以及这些歌曲是如何构成的。
在掌握之前有很多练习,只有在掌握之后才能创新,思想必须在知识的土壤中发芽,它们得益于深入的思考,没有对基本原则的深刻理解,就不可能产生有价值的概念。

In Senechal’s view, creativity is both simpler and more difficult than its most vocal proponents make it out to be. It’s not as easy as just having an open mind or being talented at seeing newness in a vacuum. On the other hand, creativity is neither magical nor elusive. Inventiveness stems from practice and variation, attempts to play with traditions and tweak them bit by bit. Nothing useful is totally new. Rather, invention is a twist on a time-tested method, borne of knowledge.

在辛妮切尔看来,创造力既比大多数倡导者所认为的更简单,也更困难,这并不像仅仅拥有开放的思想或是在迷茫中看到新奇那么简单,另一方面,创造力既不神奇,也不是难以捉摸的,创造力来源于练习和变化,在传统中点一点微调,没有什么有用的东西是全新的, 相反,发明是对久经考验、知识积累的方法的一种变化。

Senechal offers her great uncle, Charles Fischer, as an example. He was a 20th-century inventor who patented a number of handy gadgets, including a speedometer, a coat rack, a hands-free book stand that wraps around the thigh, and a telephone holder, among others. Each of his inventions had different element. But it was his fundamental understanding of how mechanical springs work, stemming from his experience as a toolmaker, that led to each innovation.

辛妮切尔以她的叔祖父查尔斯 · 菲舍尔为例,他是20世纪的发明家,获得了很多小玩意的专利,包括速度计、衣帽架、包裹大腿的免提书架、电话架等等,他的每一项发明都有不同的元素,但正是他对机械弹簧工作原理的基本理解,才有后来的每一项创新,这源自他作为工具制造者的经验。

Senechal proposes that a new approach to creativity in institutions could save inventiveness from obsolescence. Rather than insisting that people demonstrate their aptitude for this skill, we should make room for it to grow. Instead of testing people on their brainstorming abilities, schools and companies should allow students and workers to tinker with ideas in various way that suit them.

辛妮切尔提出,一种新的制度创新方法可以从过时中拯救创造力,我们不应该坚持要求人们展示他们在这方面的才能,而应该为它的发展腾出空间,学校和公司应该允许学生和员工以适合他们的各种方式修改想法,而不是测试他们的头脑风暴能力。

In her own classes, Senechal has discovered that when she assigns writing, each student has different needs. For example, one student said he couldn’t write a story in the presence of everyone else. By allowing him to complete his assignment at night, at home, while others wrote in the classroom, she gave him the leeway to be creative, and he produced good work.

在自己的课堂上,辛妮切尔发现,当她布置写作时,每个学生都有不同的需求,例如,一个学生说他不能当着其他人的面写故事,通过允许他在晚上在家里完成作业,而其他人在教室里写作,她给了他发挥创造力的余地,他写出了很好的作品。

Likewise, when one student told her he couldn’t follow the precise directives of her assignment without ruining the story he was writing, she let him hand it in as he wished and discovered he was right. She didn’t squelch his creativity and insist he follow her rigid rules. By being flexible, she lets the students explore their own ideas.

同样地,当一个学生告诉她,他不能按照她的作业指示去做而不毁掉他正在写的故事时,她让他按照自己的意愿交上去,并且发现他是对的,她没有压制他的创造力,也没有坚持让他遵守她严格的规定,通过灵活变通的应对,她让学生探索他们自己的想法。

“To accomplish something meaningful, one can dig into the problem at hand and learn about it slowly, sitting still for a while,” Senechal writes. “Such learning though sluggish at first soon starts to wiggle with questions.”

" 要完成一些有意义的事情,你可以深入研究手头的问题,然后慢慢地了解它,静候一段时间,"辛妮切尔写道,  "这样的学习虽然一开始很缓慢,但很快能开始解决问题。"

If institutions really want to encourage creativity, in other words, they’ll have to develop the requisite patience to wait for it—and the ability to recognize what inventiveness is really made of. Insisting on innovation will never work, according to Senechal. “Perhaps the worst thing for creativity is dogma,” she argues. “Dogma delights in nothing; it insists on its own rigid ways.”

换句话说,如果机构真的想要鼓励创造力,它们就必须培养必要的耐心,耐心等待创造力的到来,以及认识到创造力真正由什么构成的能力。 坚持创新是行不通的,塞内查尔说。 "也许对创造力来说,最糟糕的事情就是教条,"她认为。 "教条不以任何事物为乐,它坚持自己死板的方式。"

In other words, the teacher believes that as a culture, we need to become more creative about our understanding of creativity, and more inventive in our approach to measuring how this skill manifests. It’s not something that teachers or bosses can test and score directly. But it is something they will recognize when a great idea is presented and demonstrated and proves its relevance. There may be no shortcut for this process, Senechal says, but it’s worth the effort and wait.

换句话说,这位教师认为,作为一种文化,我们需要在理解创造力方面更具创造性,在衡量这种技能如何表现的方法上更具创造性。 
创造力这不是老师或老板可以直接测试和评分的东西,当一个伟大的想法被提出、展示并证明其相关性时,他们就会认识到这一点。
辛妮切尔说:“这个过程可能没有捷径,但是值得付出努力和等待。”
 
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