Messers, Dreamers and Misfits

Posted in Teaching on September 5th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“… I agree with the broad thrust of Fintan O’Toole’s argument. I think the School and University systems are far too focussed on examination and assessment at the expense of genuine education. What I disagree with is the idea that creativity is only to be found in the Arts …” (more)

[In the Dark, 5 September]

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Maths, rules and creativity

Posted in Teaching on September 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I’m a chemical engineer. I’m ok at maths – competent but not a natural like this guy with whom I went to secondary school. Nevertheless, I have written a book on mathematical modelling. The book is not all that advanced – it mainly contains calculus and ordinary differential equations – but I’m kind of proud of it …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 21 September]

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Why are we fixated on creativity and problem-solving?

Posted in Teaching on August 3rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“One thing that strikes me when I visit my students who are on placement in multinationals (mainly in the biopharma sector) is that each company has its own culture. For someone like me who has spent all his career in academia, multinationals have a cult-like feel to them. There is a company ‘way’ and if you are to succeed in the company you need to buy in to that way …” (more)

[The Optimistic Educator, 3 August]

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Parents warned of obsession with sending children to university

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 24th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir Ken Robinson came to worldwide prominence when he argued that schools were killing creativity and failing to recognise the diversity of children’s intelligence. His 2006 Ted talk on the topic holds the record for the most watched talk online with more than 50 million views so far …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 23 February]

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On Creativity

Posted in Teaching on May 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Creativity is one of those supposed ‘21st century skills’ that an awful lot of people are obsessing about these days. ‘We need to teach creativity’ they cry, without ever saying how we might do such a thing …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 5 May]


In defense of Ken Robinson – sort of

Posted in Teaching on November 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“According to Sir Ken, ‘schools kill creativity’. At the time of writing, Robinson’s 2007 TED talk, which started the whole schools-kill-creativity train rolling, has been watched by an incredible 42 million people. But the thing is this: Robinson does not provide a single shred of evidence to support his arguments about creativity, just a few witty anecdotes …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 12 November]


Why I think Ken Robinson is wrong about schools killing creativity

Posted in Teaching on June 11th, 2014 by steve

“Ken Robinson is a wonderful polemicist, and a fantastic speaker, but his points on creativity are highly debatable; if schools were killing creativity why is the so much creativity being generated by people who have gone through the school system? In both the artistic and problem-solving domains of creativity we have incredible examples of modern-day creativity …” (more)

[Taliessin through Logres, 10 June]


Blogging can be a release from all the structural pressures corroding the creative impulse in academic writing

Posted in Research on March 6th, 2014 by steve

“Mark Carrigan untangles the mixture of creativity and routine when academics sit down to convey complex thoughts. Waiting for the organic moment of inspiration when deadlines loom can be unreliable …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 6 March]

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Universities master the art of creativity

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2013 by steve

International“Having trouble matching your trousers and jumper? Unsure if you can wear a blue shirt with black shoes? For those aspiring to have a definitive answer to these questions and more, two universities in Milan are offering what is being touted as the world’s first masters degree programme dedicated to colour …” (more)

[Eric Sylvers,, 7 January]


My creativity is worth paying for

Posted in Teaching on November 10th, 2012 by steve

“I’m a writer who teaches and a teacher who writes. A teaching creative. Helping others discover and explore their creativity is as much an artistic delight and achievement to me as making my own work. Sometimes schools, which may naively assume that art costs nothing to produce and artists zero euro to maintain, ask me to work for little or nothing. For reasons that concern us all, this is foolish …” (more)

[Dave Lordan, Irish Times, 10 November]


Rarity of the ‘Irish thinker’ reveals society bereft of depth

Posted in Research on July 2nd, 2012 by steve

“In terms of intellectual creativity, the arts alone are funded – ostensibly, through three agencies. Philosophising would not be for the like of us …” (more)

[Desmond Fennell, Irish Times, 2 July]

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Who says scientists aren’t creative?

Posted in Life on February 18th, 2012 by steve

“One of the things that people tends to think about scientists is that we are all machine-like robots who are technically advanced, but without an ounce (or gram) of creativeness. I’m planning in this brief blog to dispel this criticism with a few choice counterpoints …” (more)

[No Comment, 17 February]

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Explaining Creativity to a Martian

Posted in Life on March 2nd, 2011 by steve

“… Explaining a subject to a Martian is a particularly useful exercise where people of good will disagree bitterly about a subject on grounds both moral and practical, such as sexual mores, economic justice or spirituality. As an instrument, Martian-Explaining has a special gift for lifting and separating the spaghetti-mess of the moral and the practical into individual strands …” (more)

[Cory Doctorow, Locus Online, 2 March]


Economics of Creativity

Posted in Research on May 29th, 2010 by steve

“David Galenson has written a series of papers on the creative arts, including songwriting, architecture, filmmaking, photography, and many kinds of visual art. A new paper, ‘Understanding Creativity’, summarizes and synthesizes much of this work. A central theme is the distinction between ‘experimental’ and ‘conceptual’ innovators …” (more)

[Peter Klein, Organizations and Markets, 28 May]

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Galway Symposium – First call for papers

Posted in Teaching on January 25th, 2010 by steve

“We are pleased to announce the call for papers for the 8th Galway Symposium on Higher Education which will be held on the 10th and 11th June, 2010. This year’s theme is ‘Creativity in Higher Education’ and our conception is broad, encompassing creative approaches to teaching, curricular design and the nurturing of students’ creativity …” (more)

[Summa cum laude, 19 January]

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Restore joy in education with less focus on outcomes, says professor

Posted in Life on August 19th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“Focusing on the joy of learning rather than outcomes and celebrating creativity and innovation are two priorities for education at this time, Prof Tom Collins of NUI Maynooth said at the Merriman Summer School yesterday. Prof Collins questioned whether the education sector, like other institutions, could have done more to predict and avoid the current economic crisis. There had been a failure of the critical faculty in society as a whole, he said. The value of critique and creativity needed to be learned ‘as opposed to one of compliance and conformity’ …” (more)

[Éibhir Mulqueen, Irish Times, 19 August]

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Mad Genius or Bad Science

Posted in Research on July 30th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“As we build up towards next June’s Symposium we’ll be running a number of occasional posts on the theme of ‘creativity’. To kick the series off, where better to start than with one of the most prevalent myths, that of the ‘mad genius’? In a paper published in May’s edition of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, Judith Schlesinger (psychologist and Jazz afficionado – there seems to be a distinct subgroup of such people) exposes the weaknesses of this idea by tracing back recurring references to their original source …” (more)

[Summa cum laude, 29 July]

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