Homo sapiens, homo faber, homo ludens: Creativity as a Learning Strategy
The interactive panel and exhibition are designed to present some examples of creative projects completed by students in our literature and language classes in the English and Modern Languages departments and a way to share ideas for future projects and pedagogical tools. The panel is also a way of presenting, sharing, and discussing creativity as a concept, with an emphasis on how instructors can encourage students engaged in creative projects in our classes to learn about literature, language, culture, and the creative processes at the basis of people’s intellectual production. The panelists offer successful experiences from their classes through projects underlining interdisciplinarity that show, for instance, how learning a language is not simply a matter of grammar, but that it involves a deeper knowledge of cultures (Rivera & De Santi), that a literature class can go beyond textual analyses toward the creation of something new (Gerber & Nezhukumatathil), or that studying theory can also be a creative process (McVicker). To grasp literature, poetry, cinema, arts, history, politics, economics, and cuisine, students can be required to tap their creativity to investigate these topics in a broader context. Creativity pushes students using different tools to go beyond the textbooks to learn about a world of interdisciplinarity where they are encouraged to make connections between fields.
The exhibit of students’ creative works is displayed in the Reed Library, next to the Registrar, from March 7 to 25, 2011.