INSIDE THE BOX

For auditory creative engagement, listen to the makeSPACE PODCAST!

Inside the Box: the makeSPACE Pod

Join us on this auditory 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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Meet Your Host

Ross Anderson

CAPOEIRA ENTHUSIAST, STUDENT OF GUITAR AND OUTDOORS EXTRAORDINAIRE!

Ross is a designer, strategist, and scholar in the education field working to harness creative potential of educators and students, alike. Ross hopes his contributions enhance learning opportunities for students and educators to become more equitable, engaging, creative, and aspirational. As a dedicated researcher-nerd, he tries hard to understand how the process of creative development in education unfolds. Ross practices Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art dance form, hunts everywhere for metaphor, and loves to write.

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We want young people and their teachers to be fulfilled, to feel agency, and to shape their own lives and the world around them. We want them to thrive within the possible - as the world offers them moment after moment of uncertainty.