Saturday, February 28, 2009

Creationism 101

I've been consumed with the "new" Bloom's Taxonomy that places "creating" at the topmost level. I've had this idea, for more than 10 years, that helping children learn how to create should be a goal at all educational levels, maybe most importantly before school even starts.

Bear with me here. I taught in three schools in Philadelphia with more than 98% of students receiving federal free lunches. I had a very sweet eleven year-old in a fourth grade class. Her mother came in to the school office halfway through the school year, bringing a nine year-old with her. She had decided that it was "time for S to learn stuff". S had never held a crayon, never seen scissors, never been allowed to touch a pencil. By the end of that school year, I learned that very few of my students had crayons at home. They loved coloring books, adored origami, enjoyed the art projects I dredged out of my grade school and Girl Scouts memories. They glitter-glued, they poked holes in their fingers sewing beads and sequins - even the boys!

I've since wondered whether learning the joy of creation would improve their later education experience? Creating is an optimistic act. Creating implies confidence that there is a future. Creating is the opposite of destroying. Creating is hard. Creating is risky. Creating needs recognition, not for the product, but for the effort, for the risk, for the future of us all.

So, this summer, I will be searching for an agency that supports pre-school programs. I want to contribute, buy, raise funds for art supplies. Crayons, fingerpaint, lots of paper. Maybe what I want to do is provide a art-kit along the lines of board-books. Sort of rif with crayons.

So, this is why I'm stuck on the "creating" thing. There are other ideas tied in with this. Hopefully there will be others helping me tease these ideas apart.

@fisher1000 just started a wiki, a "visual Blooms" at to talk about how technology fits into the taxonomy...


  1. I love what you had to say about creativity. The nurturing you probably provided those students I'm sure carries with them.

    I've been trying an activity in our library called Creative Fridays--time for teachers to cut things out, play with tech toys, and just talk to one another. We all can use that creative energy to invest hope in our lives.

  2. I don't think my comment really reflected how wonderfully you expressed the value of creativity! It was inspiring :)