Thursday, June 5, 2014
Connecting Creativity to Reading for Pleasure
Creativity is an important side of Living More Than OK. Creativity helps us to break free from the mundane repetitiveness of life. How do we grow in our creativity? Can reading be a help in improving our create side of ourselves? I firmly believe so. The power of story and the enjoyment of reading fiction came aid the mind in improving its creative powers. In reading fiction the mind is actively creating pictures within the mind. When watching a video all the creativity is fully formed in the graphics so the mind passively accepts the rendering of the video pictures without the work of creating the images itself. That is what I prefer about reading in that the mind can conjure up its own imagery of a scene.
Schools focus most of the reading efforts on information building reading. That is learning of facts and ideas in science, psychology, history sociology and the like. This is of importance but reading for pleasure should be encouraged with the study of fiction works as this builds on creative thinking of using imagination and visualization (LeCren, 1997). Louise Rosenblatt speaks to creative reading as aesthetic reading, “The reader is no less immersed in a creative process that goes on largely below the threshold of awareness. He is conscious of the resulting images, ideas, states of mind, even physical states, that are generated by his reading, but he is not aware of the individual responses or of much of the process of selection and synthesis that goes on as his eyes can the page.” (quoted in Lecren, 1997). So the mind is active in reading fiction for pleasure in creating the images in the mind and synthesizing the ideas in the story. Lecren mentions how students who read for pleasure in her class in a two year informal study came up with higher creativity scores on the Torrence Test of Creative Thinking.
Foter.com reading to children
Reading for pleasure in past research has been shown to be positively related to academic achieving. This is especially seen in the particulars of being open to new experiences and ideas. Reading for pleasure is also connected to increase in academic motivation (Kelly & Kneipp, 2009). I can see that in my own life as I reflect back over my years of reading. I believe it was the early fiction reading in Summer public library reading programs that opened my mind to other types of people in the world and the variety of places in the world. It never helped with my low risk taking levels but that is more my personality. Yet I do feel this early reading allowed my mind to be more open to new ideas and continual desire to learn which helped me academically.
Other studies noted by Kelly & Kneipp suggest fiction reading and encouraging reading for pleasure can aid in moving students from outward motivation to intrinsic motivation of the importance of learning for learning sake. Creative reading of fiction and the classics can help our minds grow in so many ways as noted. Those who were more inclined to enjoy reading for pleasure importantly showed a negative correlation to watching tv. I would believe this could carry over to internet video watching. It is important to encourage creative reading early in childhood. As school is letting out encourage the children you know to be involved in Summer reading programs at their local library. Building the habit of the pleasure of reading will reap future benefits. Of course this is not just for children. I spoke with someone today who stated since he got his ipad he hardly ever reads. Put the ipad down and open up a book from your local library!
Reflection: Do you feel reading has helped your creative thinking? What book has tapped into your creative side the most? Stop by your local library or local bookstore and pick up a fiction book to read.
Kelly, K.E, & Kneipp, L. B. (2009) Reading for pleasure and creativity among college students, College Student Journal 43(4) 1137-1144.
LeCren, C. (1997) Creativity and reading … is there a connection. California English (Spring) p. 20