Reading Reflection: “Group Flow” by Sawyer, “How to Kill Creativity” by Amabile

Turning attention to creativity in a group context, the hints from “solo” creativity now surface: that creativity is a blood brother to motivation. To me this is both unsurprising as well as somehow disappointing. As I read through both articles it felt like I kept getting hammered by the same idea: it’s motivation, motivation, motivation. Even when an explanation for group creativity wasn’t motivation, it still seemed to be round-about motivation. For example, Amabile cited “Resources” as a threat to creativity. Too much time (as a resource) and a task isn’t challenging enough. Too little and the pressure feels like no freedom. Like this example, many if not most of these seem like a blend of Deci and Ryan’s Self-determination Theory and Csíkszentmihályi’s Flow theory.

Another example is an activity in which I participated, to think of ideas to promote creativity at a university. I thought of these ideas:

Pre-test and vs. goals
Personalization (especially where a learner can pick their own paths) – mind opening
Flipped learning – in-class group activities to experiment, etc.

All of these seem like variations on motivation! Which brings me to a question: what does the research say on the relationship between creativity and motivation?


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