In Japan, the word ‘creativity’ is often used to refer to the greatest talent and the works of special people such as a great scientist, writer, architect, painter or musician. The number of Nobel Prize winners who are recognised as greatest scientists has increased rapidly during the last 20 years (16 winners). This number is second largest to the US. Why has the number suddenly increased? Several reasons can be inferred. The number of university students has increased rapidly since the 1960s. Many brilliant students who graduated from Japan’s universities then studied in American universities or research institutes and discovered themes connected to the Nobel Prize. After much trial and error, they finally completed these studies. Another reason may be attributed to their dexterity or the ability to think out unusual methods to solve problems in their areas.
This issue has long been the focus of debate in educational circles. In this paper Professor Yumino addresses this issue with particular reference to Japanese education today. He illustrates his argument with a series of lesson plan examples.
In this article, the concepts of ‘domain-specific’ and ‘domain-general’ creativity and its supporting data are introduced. During thirty years, Baer conducted a series of studies for examining the nature of creativity. And he found that creativity is ‘domain-specific’ rather than ‘domain-general’, and sometimes it is ‘task-specific’. Based on Baer’s findings, it is recommended that creativity education in school should be attained through all subjects. The author proposes and argues the unique means and implication of creativity education in several school subjects, based on the concept of ‘domain-specific/ task specific’.
Learning consists of two phases, ‘Acquisition: Manabi in Japanese’ and ‘Creation: Tsukuri’. Yumino (2012) differentiates strictly between the two, and concludes that ‘creativity’ belongs to ‘Tsukuri’. The characteristics of Manabi and Tsukuri are summarized in Table 1. In order to realize Tsukuri in a certain subject, it is necessary to make clear the key points for realizing Tsukuri. Here, the key points of Tsukuri in four subjects are proposed, together with lesson plans in Social Studies and Science with Tsukuri Questions and Praising Words.
Key words: domain-specific, task-specific, creativity, Tsukuri (creation), Manabi (acquisition), fostering creativity in math, science, social studies, Japanese language
Later this year we will begin our Creative Cities series, which will look at Creative Cities in the Commonwealth - a nice link to the Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow this year. However, London is always pushing the boundaries when it comes to new and innovative initiatives and something quite special has been happening near London Bridge. Britain is strengthening its commitment to public engagement with science in a new Science Gallery in London with whom this journal hopes to build an ongoing relationship. I went to meet the new Director, Dr Daniel Glaser, to hear all about it.
Should we see the Arts, Engineering and Science as separate or are they interlinked?
For a start, Engineering can be seen as applied Science. In fact, it is difficult to define where one begins and the other ends. Does it matter anyway? There are many examples where engineering structures and projects have their own artistic beauty (at least to the beholders) such as suspension bridges. Similarly, some find mathematics quite beautiful and analogous to music.
The same applies to the Arts where many forms of art rely heavily upon scientific knowledge and engineering techniques. Jewellery manufacture is a good example.
Science and engineering are often looked down upon by the arts yet most engineers and scientists have a good appreciation of the arts and usually adopt one or more of the arts as hobbies. I wonder if there are many on the arts side that have a similarly broad set of interests. This polarisation has not always been the case. A good example is Borodin who was both a chemist and a composer. Gilbert and Sullivan are also good examples of people with a broad understanding of many aspects of art and science. Sadly this wide understanding of many areas does not seem to have continued across all disciplines.
Many on the science side are put off by artistic objects because they seem to be totally without function and of little beauty or interest. There was an example of this to be seen in the Reception area of one of the large UK electronics firms. It had a large bas relief black design covering most of the wall. It did not reflect the work of the firm and the artist actually had a label stating that it was not meant to be or mean anything?
On the other hand, one only has to look at the complex curves of jet engines compressor blades to appreciate beauty.
Perhaps we should turn the clock back and learn from each other for the benefit of all?
Talent is the foundation for economic growth, and is at the heart of our vibrant engineering and manufacturing sector. Engineering is often the silent 'E' in STEM education so it is vitally important that that we find innovative ways to join up with the existing curriculum and bring engineering to life in in schools.
Despite the fact that three fifths of the general public see a career in engineering a 'good profession/career', 'challenging' and 'well paid', one fifth of teachers believe that engineering is an 'undesirable' career. Just 12% of 12 – 16 year olds know what an engineer does and most see engineering as less well paid than other professions.