Inside The Box

Auditory creative engagement

Join us on this journey and find interviews with educators, artists, writers, thinkers, and doers sharing stories and ideas that encourage new ways to think about education. You will find illustrative stories related to makeSPACE curriculum and experiences, too. On occasion, you will find monologue excursions from project director, Ross Anderson, and other members of the makeSPACE team, as we navigate the exciting creative journey of makeSPACE ourselves. Without a doubt, you will find a garden of metaphors. Lend us your ear and offer any feedback and suggestions for future episodes.

Episode 1

Episode 1: Origins

In the early 1970s, a psychologist named J. P. Guilford set out to study creativity as a natural extension of his work in human psychology. One of Guilford’s most famous studies was the infamous nine-dot puzzle, aligned in a 3-by-3, box-shaped grid. He tasked participants with connecting all nine dots without lifting pen from page.

The solution requires moving outside the constraints of the box to extend lines beyond the grid’s borders. Hence, thinking outside the box.

In our inaugural episode, we’ll explore the ways in which our constraints limit our creative potential. And we’ll, of course, examine solutions to these limitations – both inside the classroom and out.

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Episode 2

Episode 2: Everyone is Creative

If we look for it, we can find small, modest acts of creativity happening all around us. In this view, we are all implicitly creative. We don’t need a grandiose vision to channel our creativity. And we don’t need to possess a special skill or trait to begin the process.

In other words, everyone is creative.

Today’s episode examines the life of Maria Sibylla Merian, a pioneering scientist whose life is a study in pursuit of developing curiosities and burgeoning creativity.

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Episode 3

Episode 3: How Are You Creative?

At makeSPACE, we believe that the creative process is participatory and for everyone. And so we ask our partners to think about creativity from a different perspective.

This approach to understanding creative potential—and our capacity to produce creativity—follows the same logic proposed by Stan Kuczaj. Dr. Kuczaj, a comparative psychologist and dolphin expert, wasn’t satisfied with the narrowly standardized approach to cetacean research. He implored his fellow researchers to ask, “not how smart are dolphins, but how are dolphins smart?”

In this episode, we find parallels between this inquiry and our own creativity.

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Episode 4

Episode 4: The Labor of Delight

In July 2018, poet, teacher, and author Ross Gay had an idea—what might happen if he wrote about something he found delightful as a daily practice for a whole year striaght. His idea grew into The Book of Delights, a selection from his yearlong meandering through the experiences, observations, and reflections that arose from his daily “essayettes” and developing “delight radar”.

Today, we have a conversation with Ross Gay about the world of delights.

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Episode 5

Episode 5: Teacher Talk with Michelle Colbert

Michelle Colbert is an educator at Fir Ridge Elementary. She works to honor the voices of all her students through a variety of projects and disciplines — including 3-D printing and CAD; CNC machining; laser engraving; robotics and electrical engineering; circuit boarding; graphic design; and woodworking. In this episode of Inside the Box, we Zoomed with Michelle about her classroom and her teaching process. 

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creative resource shuffle

Episode 6: Creative Resource Shuffle

Listen as we take educators through a thought and movement activity that points at expanding one's notion of the creative self. We all possess skills and attitudes that make us creative beings. Identifying and celebrating these skills and attitudes can be cathartic. 

We invite you to try this activity in your classrooms or with other groups.  

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roasted chicken

Episode 7: Teacher Innovations and Experiments

Teachers are innovators! In this episode Philadelphia educators share their classroom adaptations of makeSPACE Creative Routines, opening new paths to student engagement and success with their unique invitations into creative thinking and action. To find a few examples of makeSPACE Creative Routines visit Our Work.

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numbers on a blue wall

Episode 8: Let's do the Math!

In this episode the Creative Engagement Lab team reviews and discusses two excellent teacher examples from the makeSPACE Foundation Course. These teachers adapt and apply creative routines to their existing math curriculum, aiming to support and enhance student understanding in particular math concepts.

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