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Working Paper

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The study of creativity is vast, with a long history and regular questioning of its intent, purpose and consequences. In writing this paper I recognize this history and will attempt to work my way through one component of a large domain to which I have so far made relatively minor contributions. In presenting this paper I hope to push us to examine our own understanding of what it is to be creative in our own situation, but also within the context of our daily lives inside communities. I recognize that to do this I need to situate my understanding of creativity as an educator, a parent, and a researcher. Creativity for me goes beyond art music and dance (the common repositories of where we are permitted to be creative) and leads us through our daily lives. It is inextricably woven within problemsolving, critical thinking, the ways we learn through experience and make connections between ideas. Though a precise definition is challenging to settle upon, I make the assumption that creativity is a demonstrable personal trait or quality that is expressed through various talents, media, and forms. When the product of that trait is visible, it is judged to be novel and useful, and it improves upon or demonstrates a re-thinking of previous iterations. A creative output should be surprising, interesting for its own sake, have perceived value and unique elements.

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