The Creativity Workshop is dedicated to helping teachers, K12 through University, develop and nurture their creativity and that of their students. The Creativity Workshop has developed a series of simple and effective exercises aimed at keeping the creative juices flowing both in the classroom and personally. The Creativity Workshop offers professional development courses for teachers from all over the world. This unique experience combines learning, global travel, CEUs, and association with peers from all over the world.
The Creativity Workshop has helped thousands of educators and their students:
- Develop creativity and innovation in math, IT, the arts, creative writing, languages, humanities and science.
- Get over writers' block and combat fears that stifle self expression and new ideas.
- Employ the creative process to develop leadership and teamwork skills and peer respect in the classroom.
- Engage and focus each person's innate curiosity and imagination to foster a lifelong love of learning.
Detailed Information on The Creativity Workshop
Some of this information may be helpful if you are applying for funding.
The Creativity Workshop has been taught to teachers and students all over the world, from preschool instructors to university professors, graduate and undergraduate students, in public and private school systems. Participant teachers have come from the US, Canada, Italy, France, Britain, Paraguay, Mexico, Poland, the Czech Republic , Hungary, Greece, Ghana, India, Singapore, Turkey and Australia, among other countries. They have been specialists in literature, performing arts, visual art, filmmaking, creative writing, as well as math, business, science, psychology and computer technology to name but a few. The Creativity Workshop offers tools and techniques that teachers can implement to help students develop their creative, collaborative, artistic, and writing skills, as well as out-of-the-box thinking, self confidence, leadership, and respect for their peers. To this end, the workshop concentrates its experiential exercises in the following areas:
1. Getting Over Fear of Creativity
And writers block and gaining self-confidence in one's ideas. Our techniques in free-form (automatic) writing and storytelling help students get over 'blocks' which make them afraid to express themselves, say the wrong things, paint a bad picture, take a stupid photograph, write a foggy paragraph, or sing off-key. The workshop works against self censorship in the early stages of creation so that critical analytical skills will come into play later when they can be more effective. To this end, we use techniques of free form drawing and writing, as well as visualization and relaxation exercises.
2. Team Work
We believe that by sharing work in intimate groups, students (at times without their teacher) can learn to develop and feel secure in their academic endeavors. Such work also helps individuals learn self-confidence and respectful listening towards others. The Creativity Workshop involves several modules in which collaborations, ranging from 2 person teams to a whole class are explored.
3. Map Making
Every creative and analytical project has a process or 'way'. To this end, The Creativity Workshop teaches teachers how to make journey maps or scrolls with their students of the process and progress of their work. The maps, which are a visual and written representation of the ongoing work in the classroom, help students see where they are in their projects and where they can go with them.
4. Free-Form Writing And Automatic Drawing
Teachers learn how to use these 'writing from the right side of the brain' techniques with their students in order to help them find their innate ideas and develop them. The workshop also teaches imaginative editing techniques through our 'writing a jungle' and making an editing trail through the jungle of words.
Storytelling, be it visual or literary, is vital to how we perceive and share our perceptions of the world. We do several exercises with telling and performing stories with found objects and also by interviewing each other and then 'becoming' the other person. These exercises also teach listening skills, which greatly enhance our abilities to express ourselves and learn from our peers.
6. Changing Perceptions
How we see is important to what we see. We teach a variety of techniques aimed at altering perceptions physically (through cameras, cut out shapes, kaleidoscopes, telescopes, microscopes) and emotionally (through fairy tales, memoir writing or inter-generational interviews), which assist students in broadening their sense of the world they live in.
7. Using Your Environment
We teach participants how to use their natural surroundings to generate ideas. Exercises to be done in local cafes, libraries, cafeterias, woods and mountains show that inspiration can come from the most usual and surprising of places.
In our busy, multi-tasking world we seldom feel we have enough time to create. We teach participants how to "stretch time" and use 15-minute blocks to do satisfying creative work on an ongoing basis.
Teachers spend so much of their time encouraging and supporting their students. At times, teachers forget to nurture themselves! The Creativity Workshop teaches the importance of self-nurturing and curiosity and not always knowing the "right" answer.
10. Professional Development
Many schools offer professional development for teachers. Many workshop attendees have received financial aid to attend our sessions from their school district or from national programs such as Fund for Teachers. Costs for the workshop and related educational travel expenses may be tax deductible if the course is relevant to your profession. In addition, if you are completing an advanced degree, you may be able to take The Creativity Workshop as an Independent Study course. In this way, your university can give you credit for it. The Creativity Workshop was taught as a regular course at the University of Iowa for many years, offering 3 credits and open to graduate and undergraduate students through the International Writing Program.
"We brought back a flood of new ideas for introducing new lesson plans and formulas for tapping into our students' creativity and expanding their knowledge and ability to learn on a much more creative basis!"
"I cannot tell you how inspiring your workshop was! I continue to draw inspiration from those few days!"
"The experience that I had in New York at The Creativity Workshop was not only rewarding, but it was life changing. I went with the idea that I was going to learn ways that I can ignite my student's imagination and lessons that I can apply in my classroom, but instead I came back with an experience that would change the way I teach and the way I perceive each one of my students and their unique creativity."
Many educators taking the workshop receive help from The
Fund for Teachers to attend our summer Workshops outside the United States. Recipients receive up to $5,000 each.
Also, there maybe financial help from your school district or university. Contact your Professional Development office.
You can receive a Certificate of Attendance and CEUs for
attending our Workshops. Certificates
of Attendance and CEUs are available at no additional charge.
What educators say about the workshop:
"I only wish that more people could experience what you have to offer. You gave me a feeling a freedom that I NEVER felt before. Shelley and Alejandro have a great gift to share with others. They give of themselves in a way that is incredibly beautiful. Thank you for touching my soul, for helping me soar!"
"I wrote my first published memoir because of this class. The instructors are magicians! They gently pushed us into discovering our unique creativity."
"Thank you for the great, great inspiration and fun of The Creativity Workshop. It helped me get a whole screenplay done. It was great for me and my film directing students. I don't think I've ever seen them so happy."
"The Creativity Workshop transformed my art and teaching. It is a gift that I treasure and at every opportunity and share with my students. It gave me new ways of "seeing" and interacting with my images."