In summer 2015 the Center for Teaching Excellence hosted discussions of three books (one in June, one in July, and one in August) focused around Miami’s 2015-16 theme of Creativity and Innovation.
The discussions allowed faculty and staff from across campus the opportunity to consider the following questions, among others, raised by the books:
• In what ways is creativity a social act?
• How can we assess creativity in the various disciplines?
• Why do our students (and we) sometimes shy away from the challenge to be creative, and how can we encourage students to embrace this challenge with confidence and enthusiasm?
• What are the most pressing problems or challenges requiring creativity and innovation that our students are likely to face in their professional careers? How can we address them in our courses? In the Miami experience as a whole?
The first book discussion topic, on June 25, was Marty Neumeier’s Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age (http://www.amazon.com/Metaskills-Five-Talents-Robotic-Age/dp/0321898672/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440433560&sr=8-1&keywords=metaskills).
Amazon.com describes the book in this way:
“In this sweeping vision for personal mastery in a post-industrial era, Neumeier presents five metaskills–feeling, seeing, dreaming, making, and learning–that can help you reach your true potential. They’ll keep you two or three steps ahead of the machines, the algorithms, and the outsourcing forces of the “robot curve.” They’ll also bring you greater creativity, higher purpose, and a deeper sense of fulfillment. . . .
“Metaskills is more than a manifesto. It’s a compass for visionary leaders, policymakers, educators, and planners. It’s a creative framework for designers, engineers, scientists, and artists. It’s a picture of the future that allows people from a wide range of disciplines, industries, and professions to envision new ways to create value together. Perhaps more important, it’s a long-overdue examination of what it means to be human in the 21st century.”
The July 23 book discussion topic was Bruce Nussbaum’s Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire (http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Intelligence-Harnessing-INTELLIGENCE-Hardcover/dp/B00QQ1PPWA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440433302&sr=8-1&keywords=brucenussbaum)
Amazon.com describes the book as follows:
“Offering insights from the spheres of anthropology, psychology, education, design, and business, Creative Intelligence, by Bruce Nussbaum, a leading thinker, commentator, and curator on the subjects of design, creativity, and innovation, is first book to identify and explore creative intelligence as a new form of cultural literacy and as a powerful method for problem-solving, driving innovation, and sparking start-up capitalism. . . .
“Nussbaum investigates the ways in which individuals, corporations, and nations are boosting their creative intelligence—CQ—and how that translates into their abilities to make new products and solve new problems. Ultimately, Creative Intelligence shows how to frame problems in new ways and devise solutions that are original and highly social.”
The final book discussion of the summer, on August 13, was Scott Berkun’s Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds (http://www.amazon.com/Mindfire-Big-Ideas-Curious-Minds/dp/0983873100/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440433454&sr=8-1&keywords=mindfire)
Amazon.com says the following about the book:
“This definitive best-of collection of one of the web’s best young writers is packed with provocations and entertainments, guaranteed to make you think and smile. You’ll learn to find passion, think free, manage time, pay attention and more. Fast paced, inspiring and memorable, you’ll find new ideas and inspirations on every page.
“Essays include famous missives such as: How to be a free thinker; The cult of busy; Why smart people defend bad ideas; Street smarts vs. Book smarts; Hating vs. loving; Why the world is a mess; How to make a difference; How to be passionate; The secret motivation of death; Creative thinking hacks; How to detect BS; Why you must lead or follow; and nearly 20 more provocations that will get you motivated to create, think, and enjoy your life.”
All three summer reading books (along with over 1000 other titles on teaching and learning) are available for checkout from the Center for Teaching Excellence library in 317 Laws Hall on the Oxford campus. You may browse the library collection at http://celt.miamioh.edu/celt/libsearch.php.